Backward Glance: Auld Lang Syne – memories old and new
  • Wednesday 28 December 2016
The Scottish folk song Auld Lang Syne made famous so long ago by Scot Robbie Burns is an international song of significance sung regularly at New Year. 

In Australia and many countries throughout the world, we celebrate the crossover from the old year to the new. 

Australian cities stage events that include fireworks, parades, music and entertainment. 

Fireworks are launched as the clock strikes midnight and we farewell the old and welcome in the new. 

People often hug, toast to the future or kiss each other to show their joy and appreciation for all that they have. 

Many Sunshine Coast residents celebrate at special events in parklands or on beaches and others hold parties and barbecues at their own homes.

In the 1890s, the coaches of Cobb and Co began to fade from memory when the North Coast railway line was completed as far as Landsborough. 

The first train arrived on February 1, 1890 and Landsborough remained the terminus of the railway line northward from Brisbane for nearly a year. 

A railway station was opened at Glass House Mountains soon after the railway opened to Landsborough and the station was known as Coonowrin Station until January 21, 1894, when it was renamed Glass Mountains Station. 

The railway station retained this name until 1914 when it was again re-named to become Glass House Mountains. 

The first electric train service to Landsborough from Brisbane started in 1988.

The Anglican Church at Peachester was officially opened on January 1, 1908. 

Woodford’s Reverend Neil rode on horseback and swam the flooded Stanley River to conduct the ceremony. 

It stood for 55 years until it was demolished by the New Year’s Day tropical Cyclone Annie in 1963. 

The little church at Peachester had served the pioneer families of the district well including Inigo Jones, the long-range weather forecaster of Crohamhurst.

Prosperous storekeeper John Tytherleigh promoted his Universal Providers stores, situated at Landsborough, Caloundra, Maleny and Woombye, as selling everything from fancy goods to fencing wires. 

It was one of the oldest established firms on the Sunshine Coast. 

John Tytherleigh was involved in many new organisations and he became chairman of the newly formed Landsborough Shire Council in 1912. 

At an early council meeting, men’s swimming costumes or trunks were a hot topic. 

Some men had been discovered bare-chested wearing bathing trunks only and one of the councillors wanted it stopped. 

Cr Tytherleigh rose to his feet and insisted there was nothing wrong with the new style of bathing apparel and he believed the outdated by- law was driving people away from our beautiful beaches. 

Another councillor suggested a beach inspector but Cr Tytherleigh gave a notice of motion to rescind the by- law making it legal for men to wear the new beach style. 

The thick shoulder strapped one piece suits were replaced by the new fashionable bathing apparel which could be purchased at Tytherleighs Universal stores. 

Nearly 60 years ago on January 5, 1957 a special party took place before the closure of an old Caloundra favourite, the Hotel Francis, which ceased trading and closed its doors for the last time. 

Around 5000 people gathered on the lawns of the Hotel Francis to celebrate the closing of the old cyclone damaged hotel. 

The 1954 cyclone had caused significant damage to many buildings in Caloundra and the Hotel Francis lost parts of its roof and veranda at that time.

Member for Landsborough and later Premier of Queensland Frank Nicklin officially locked the hotel at 10pm. 

The function was organised by the Metropolitan Caloundra Surf Life Saving Club and the Caloundra Ambulance, where substantial funds were raised for local organisations.
A fire broke out in the ceiling while food was being cooked for the closing ceremony function.

A lifesaver carrying drinks on a tray fell through the white ant infested floor and didn’t spill a drop. 

The party to farewell the old building was remembered fondly by the many thousands who attended.

These stories depict the times of change both old and new. 

From the early pathways along old corduroy roads to the spider bridges of the hinterland, stories of people, places and later modern development all identify the amazing changes that have taken place in this region, now the Sunshine Coast. 

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

Image captions
Hero: Bathers at the Kings Beach Pavilion during the holidays, 1937. 

Carousel images:
Image 1: Beachgoers enjoying the summer holidays at Bulcock Beach, Caloundra, 1955
Image 2: Alexandra Park sign at the Presbyterian Church's Conference Property, Alexandra Headland, January 1955. The holiday camp provided a permanent location for holiday camps and seminars.
Image 3: Swimmers on Maroochydore Beach, ca 1920.
Image 4: Tytherleigh's Landsborough store in Cribb Street, ca 1920.
Image 5: -Steam train pulling into Landsborough Railway Station, ca 1895.