Backward Glance: A good neighbour – support those close to you
  • Wednesday 29 March 2017
Australia has just celebrated Neighbour Day which identifies the importance of community and connectivity with those who live in your neighbourhood. 

The annual theme for Neighbour Day this year was the importance of social connection for the elderly.

A good neighbour is someone who looks out for you whether you are young or old, being there when you need them most and offers a wave and a smile “just to say hello”.

It is about a sense of community and kindness and respect for all who live around us. 

Not all of our Sunshine Coast stories are formal. 

They may be handed down through yarns or memories, stories of bravery or humorous tales once told and forgotten, then recalled and today written to become a part of our local heritage. 

A memorable wake to say farewell to a good neighbour occurred in the sparsely populated land located not far from what is now Roys Road, just off the busy Bruce Highway. 

The farewell was organised by those who lived and worked in the district and a party took place on the junction of Mellum and Coochin creeks on December 9, 1896. 

It was the night when old Campbellville, the sawmilling town where once the steamer Mavis loaded sawn timber from the heavily timbered land of the district, closed for the last time. 

Residents of the region decided it would be “a graceful act on their part to organise a banquet and say farewell, though regretfully, to P Campbell, the popular manager of the mill.” (Stan Tutt) 

Mr Campbell had treated the locals fairly and always looked after his neighbours, some being many miles inland at places like Landsborough, Beerwah and up into the high country of the Blackall Range. 

He had trusted their word and when times were tough allowed some credit at the Campbellville store. 

The toil of a hard working community and generosity of a neighbourhood, both rich and poor, came together on that hot December night to say farewell and say thank you. 

Campbell’s neighbours arrived by boat, horse and cart and all forms of transportation, all with food and drink to wish him well on his new venture and to say farewell. 

The decorated tables were well lighted, weighted down with all that the community could offer and to say thank you to a man recognised as their good neighbour. 

Once the speeches were over, there were various songs, step dancing, and banjo playing and dancing till dawn. 

By the time the “good neighbour party” was over daylight began to break, which allowed the locals to see their way home perhaps to get on with the milking and other chores on their farms.
Today the little town of Campbellville has mostly been reclaimed by the bush growing in the Glass House region. 

Author Nettie Palmer, in a series of articles which appeared in a Brisbane paper in the late 1920s, wrote of Thomas Welsby’s description of the pioneering Tripcony family and their welcoming home “Cowie Bank”, situated on the bank of Pumicestone Passage – “The hearty welcome, the jolly times and the sense of integrity of the home”. 

All of these words describe a place that perhaps we would all like to know and experience, but sadly the historic home was burnt down by vandals on Christmas Eve 1990.

A link to Caloundra would be the happy memories of the special guest house, Caloundra House, where sisters Hilda and Jessie Waters managed the accommodation on the Passage for their family from the late 1920s. 

The visitors’ welcome was special as Hilda and Jessie’s brother Ken Allen-Waters had a touring Hudson automobile named Annabelle which was kept immaculate. 

Ken would pick the visitors up from the Landsborough station after they arrived by train, take visitors for drives around Caloundra to meet the neighbours often stopping off for cups of tea with a particular local. 

Simple times, happy memories when Caloundra was just a small village and everyone knew everyone. 

The Allen-Waters gave a big farewell party for Caloundra lighthouse keeper Birrell and his family when they left Caloundra. 

At that stage, Ken had traded in Annabelle and was driving a very flash silver grey Oldsmobile called Valerie.

During World War II, manoeuvres were held at night all throughout the Sunshine Coast district. 

Sometimes the soldiers camped out in the bush for days at a time and one group found themselves training in winter at Buderim. 

Buderim, being a farming place, also showed its kindness when the soldiers were marching along near a peanut crop and a farmer called out from the distance “Hop in boys, and get some peanuts”. 

Another good neighbour was Alan Templeton, of Eumundi, who became one of the leading ginger growers of the district. 

It was Alan who put the green into Eumundi by planting shrubs and gardens down Eumundi’s Memorial Avenue and along the road approaches to the town. 

Hard working and unassuming, the voluntary work of Alan Templeton can still be seen in Eumundi to this day.

Alf Roy was another busy person in the early communities. 

A popular farmer of the Palmwoods district who contributed greatly to the development of Palmwoods, he served voluntarily on many committees and was always a good neighbour to the town by helping any way he could.

Today we have volunteer organisations that help our community in times of trouble. 

If you have time on your hands there is always a group or organisation that needs a hand. 

This week in North Queensland we will see SES and Red Cross volunteering their time due to cyclonic weather. 

There is always a volunteer group there to extend a hand if we are in trouble, quietly bringing people together for a community event or a volunteering exercise. 

Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images. 

In 2017, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Naming of the Sunshine Coast. For more information on this milestone anniversary visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/fifty

Image captions:
Hero image: Draft horse pulling bogged utility at Hell Hole, Diamond Valley, Mooloolah, 1936.

Carousel images:
Image 1: Mapleton residents who helped maintain Mrs Johnson's banana crop while her husband was away at War, 1919.
Image 2: Kenilworth residents on a picnic outing at Kenilworth, ca 1912.
Image 3: Christmas Day at Maurice Stiensen's 'Felicity Cottage' Omrah Avenue, Caloundra, ca 1940.
Image 4: 'Mosman' share farmers dwelling on the property 'Fairview' near Maleny, ca 1920.
Image 5: Glass House Mountains residents Ron Shaw, Bill Burgess and his son Graham on Bill's cattle truck, ca 1946.
Image 6: Beerwah Mountain rescue, ca 1940.