16 June 2017
This week we meet Colin Hazel, a local of the area for 70’ish years. I had a delightful couple of hours spending time with Colin, his granddaughter Dani, and his great grandchildren Sarah and Henry.
I need to get this out of the way early in this post, I was very intimidated by the practical skills that Colin has. He built his greenhouse from plumber’s conduit, has been an engineer his whole career, and I am pretty sure if I challenged him, he could weave chicken wire from a drum of 18 gauge wire.
I will go off script for this post, as I usually ask the subject of the post, the same 5 questions and answers each week for consistency, but I add a small insight at the top of the post from my chats with the person. Well, there was so much great material coming from Colin, I needed to stop taking notes, and asked if he could send me some things.
Grab yourself a coffee, or your tipple of choice and enjoy Colin’s story in Wynnum!
Colin has some beautiful orchards
I was born in Wynnum as were my parents, most of my children, most of my grandchildren and all of my great grandchildren. I used to think that Wynnum was the aborigine name for the fruit of the pandanus palm but according to the internet it is the aborigine name for the pandanus palm itself. Either way, Wynnum was an important part of aborigine life.
Oh, and it was built from scratch!
My paternal great grandfather, Thomas Cloherty, came out to Australia from Ireland in 1875 as a master mariner and joined the pilot service for Moreton Bay. He was the first member of that pilot service to be appointed to the position of Harbour Master for the Port of Brisbane.
My paternal grandmother was born on Moreton Island (actually she was born in a dingy that was taking her to a boat which was to take her to a hospital in Brisbane for the birth) and when she married my grandfather they moved to a house in Tingal Road just opposite the Wynnum Central railway station where my father was born and lived all of his life until he married my mother. He was present when the foundation stone for Nazareth House was laid in 1924.
tools of the trade
My maternal grandfather, David Jamieson, was born in Brisbane and moved to Wynnum when he married my grandmother. He lived all of his married life in, what is now called Granada Street in Wynnum North. (This street was originally called Florence Street after my grandmother but was later changed to avoid confusion with the present Florence Street.) He was a member of the last council that existed in Wynnum before it was amalgamated with the larger Brisbane Council. I have a copy of an invitation from the Mayor of Brisbane, Alderman Maurice J. Barry, inviting him to the laying of the foundation stone of the first block in the new hospital in the grounds of the Brisbane Hospital in Bowen Bridge Road on the 7th August 1925.
It was cathartic to watch the leatherwork
During the years of the Second World War my uncle used to walk along the waterfront at Wynnum with a piece of timber over his shoulder so that it looked like a rifle to any Japanese boats in the Bay. I have a vague recollection of doing air-raid shelter drill during my first year at school.
I was born in Wynnum and lived all of my pre-married life in Berrima Street.
Henry was so engaged in the process and got involved
I attended Guardian Angels School for my primary education and went on to St. Joseph’s College Nudgee for my secondary education. Apart from the academic input the nuns at Guardian Angel’s School taught me basket weaving and leatherwork; a hobby which I still pursue 64 years later.
They were so much fun on the shoot! And the best out takes!
My parents were married in Guardian Angels Church in 1936 as were my wife and I in 1963.
Many changes have occurred around Wynnum since my youth.
So many different applications for leather wor, glasses cases, coin purses
There was much more sand along the waterfront. (It was brown in colour; we used to call it golden sand.) In fact there was so much sand that the Courier Mail and Sunday Mail used to have sand garden competitions and my mother used to get involved in these when she was a teenager.
The detail in the work is incredible!
There were two wooden jetties protruding out into the Bay. One was on the site of the present stone wall near the wading pool and was the same length as the present wall. The other was the same length and was located on the northern side of Wynnum Creek. Both of these jetties had swimming enclosures on the end; complete with diving boards and walkways around the swimming enclosure but well above the tide level. These swimming enclosures had change boxes in them and were enclosed by vertical wooden batons which were in turn wrapped with submarine netting to keep the sharks out. These swimming enclosures were very well used.
Master and the apprentice
There were also change boxes on the waterfront for tourists visiting the area who wanted to go swimming; one at the bottom of Bride Street which was open to the general public, and a smaller one at the bottom of Pine Street which was used by the nuns from Mt. Carmel Convent. These change boxes jutted out from the shore and had steps to allow people to walk down into the water.
The Wading Pool, which was built in 1932, had a wooden slippery slide at the opposite end from the present slippery slide. I remember that during one cyclone the tidal surge was such that a boat floated into our yard in Berrima and I was able to paddle my canoe along the road on the esplanade. The water level was about half a metre above the walls of the wading pool and all that could be seen was the top of the slippery slide.
Incredible pieces, the detailing process amazed me (as well as all the other processes)
My brothers and I used to pump for yabbies on the Wynnum North flats and then wade out to waist deep on the flats and catch whiting and bream. At this time this general area was called Black’s Camp. My father used to get large mud crabs from Crab Creek using a long hook. I took my wife with us one day on such a crabbing trip before we were married so that no matter what happened during our married life she could always look back and remember that there was something worse.
In the 1960’s Hayles ran two boats, the Mirabel and the Megeera, on daily return trips to North Stradbroke Island, berthing at Dunwich and Amity Point. These daily pleasure trips were also well used by the locals. The boats left from the wharf near Manly Baths.
The area also had three cinemas; the “Imperial” on the corner of the Wynnum Esplanade and Florence Street, the “Star” on Florence Street on the site of Coles and the “Strand” at Manly. The Star theatre burned down in 1959. The Star was owned and operated by Sammy Green.
Sammy Green’s sisters, the misses Green started and ran Moreton Bay Girls College which then was located on Bay terrace.
Old and new bible covers
The Gordon Club in Florence Street, located on the present site of the General Gordon kindergarten, was an athletics club and the home training site for many Boxing and wrestling champions of Queensland and Australia. My father trained there and was Welterweight wrestling champion of Queensland for 8 years. He wrestled against Dick Gerard to see who would represent Australia at the 1948 Olympic Games. Gerard won and went on to win the silver medal.
In 1951, during his world rosary crusade, Fr. Patrick Peyton visited Australia. (He was the one who initiated the saying “the family that prays together stays together”). I have a photograph of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima being carried on the back of my father’s utility along Bay Terrace.
I remember when Wynnum was sewered in 1964 during Clem Jones term as Mayor of Brisbane. I have a slide of the installation of sheet steel piling that was put across Wynnum Creek at the bridge to lay the sewerage pipeline.
Test piece with greatgrandson
When at Nudgee College I was the Junior Gymnastics Champion and played in the 1st fifteen rugby team for two years. I was also selected in the all GPS Rugby team for each of those two years. In 1959, the centenary of our statehood, there were celebrations throughout the state including an athletics carnival in Wynnum. I won the under 18 and open javelin and discus and came second in the under 18 shot put and third in the open shot put.
After completing my secondary education I studied Civil Engineering at Queensland University which was at that time in the process of relocating from the Domain to St. Lucia. I graduated in 1963 and worked my entire professional career with the Queensland Water Resources Commission or one of its many names over the following decades. During my professional years I became acknowledged as a world expert in groundwater and I still conduct training courses for groundwater practitioners.
really some amazing pieces
Immediately after graduating I married Sandra, my wife of 51 years who sadly died in 2014.
Sandra came to Wynnum when she was 6 years old and attended Guardian Angels Primary School. She was the first pupil enrolled in Mt. Carmel College where she completed her secondary education to Junior level.
Sandra, and I to a lesser extent, was heavily involved with Iona College. She worked with the founding priests, Father Tim Long and Father Denis McCarthy, during1957, the year before the School opened for pupils, and continued to work with the College in a number of capacities for the rest of her life. I coached the first ever football team at Iona in 1959.
Her father directed the first Iona Passion Play in 1958 and continued to direct it for a number of years after. The start of the first Passion Play at Iona College was delayed for two hours because there was such a long queue of cars wanting to get in to see the performance. (Sandra’s father was also instrumental in starting the Spring Parades in Wynnum.) Sandra did all of the makeup for the players in the Passion Play for the first five years. She was fifteen when she started this makeup.
amazing ration cards from the war
All of our 4 boys attended Iona College and Sandra was heavily involved with all aspects of the College. She was involved with the P & F; president of the Mothers Committee for 2 years; she helped students who were having difficulty with reading; helped organise and run Festivals of Arts; she helped with some social aspects of religious education. She was asked to assist with religious education, first as a wages employee and then on staff as Assistant Religious Education Coordinator. Over the years she was appointed Religious Education Coordinator and finally Dean of Faith; a position that she held until her retirement in 2008. She continued to help organise the liturgies for the Iona Chapel until her death in 2014. Her work at Iona was such that in 2012 she given the honour of being made an Honorary Oblate, only the third layperson in Australia to receive that honour in the previous 100years.
Sandra was also one of the people involved in starting Rosies in Queensland. Initially they started Rosies to look after the kids at Schoolies week and then extended that to the homeless. Sandra got a bus licence so that she could take kids to their homes at night and keep out of danger. She was heavily involved in training the young helpers in Rosies. Her involvement was such that, just before her death, the board of directors of Rosies named its fund raising arm the “Sandra Hazel Pledge Fund” so that her involvement would live on long after her death.
Apart from a few short years when I was sent to Longreach to look after the water resources in western Queensland, I have lived in Wynnum all of my life. I have travelled extensively and I can think of no place on earth that I would rather live.
finished apprentice lesson