By Barry Clark Bribie Island Historical Society

History. Bribie Island. Moreton Bay. Brisbane. Queensland. Major events. Historical

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Tags: History. Bribie Island. Moreton Bay. Brisbane. Queensland. Major events. Historical

People often ask me what to read to get an overview of the rich History of Bribie Island. There is no doubt that this small Island has a fascinating past, and has experienced many events that are significant in the history of both Queensland and Australia. A basic understanding of what has happened here over the year s will enhance enjoyment for both residents and visitors.

Featured Image(above): First shop on Bribie Island

The following quote from noted historian and author Stan Tutt, a man who had experienced a lot of life and history, puts it all in perspective.

“Pumicestone Passage and Bribie Island contains more History, written and unwritten, than any other place in Queensland.”

For this month’s History Page I thought it would be helpful if I provide readers with a chronological list of some of the major events that have happened on Bribie over the past 248 years since James Cook first sailed past this coastline back in 1770.

What he saw through his telescope was the distinctive distant shape of what he named “The Glasshouses”, being reminiscent of Glassmaking factories back home. He did not come near Bribie Island, it was Matthew Flinders who first set foot on the island with his aboriginal companion Bongaree, 29 year s later in 1799. Long before white man came to this land there had been thousands of years of occupation by the indigenous people. Within 100 years the last of the local aboriginal people were gone.

The early white settlers saw the birth of an amazing tourist industry on Bribie from 1912, and although thousands came for weekends and holidays, there were still less than 200 residents in the 1930’s. Here is a list of some key events and old photos that have shaped this island community over the years..

Learning more about Bribie Island History

There are several plaques and signs around Bribie Island that recall some of these events. The names of many streets and Parks around the island are a reminder of the pioneers who contributed so much, and in the local Library, you can find several books by local authors who have captured wonderful stories and events from the past.

History. Bribie Island. Moreton Bay. Brisbane. Queensland. Major events. Historical

Crowd awaiting the arrival of the bay steamer

Historical events

1770 James Cook aboard the Endeavour names “Glasshouses”
1799 Matthew Flinders & Bongaree on the Norfolk land on Bribie Island.
1823 Three castaway Sydney convicts cared for by Bribie aborigines.
1824 Surveyor John Oxley rescues lost convicts & shown Brisbane river.
1824 Moreton Bay Penal colony established on future site of Brisbane.
1839 Convict transportation to Brisbane stops and pioneer settlers come.
1859 Queensland proclaimed a new colony of the British Empire.
1867 Caboolture develops on Brisbane road to Gympie Goldfields.
1877 Area at Whitepatch reserved for Aboriginal settlement.
1886 Reserve now closed and Town of Bribie surveyed at Whitepatch.
1890 Oyster Farms, Bees, Fish canning and Cattle grazing on Bribie Island.
1891 School for Aboriginal children briefly operates at Mission Point.
1901 Commonwealth of Australia formed with the creation of Federation.
1903 Brisbane Tug & Steamship Co. promote interest in Bribie Island.
1912 Steamship Koopa starts regular trips to new Jetty built at Bongaree.
1918 Hall & Bestmann first shop opens at Bongaree for holiday campers.
1919 First car floated across to Bongaree after a long drive from Brisbane.
1924 First School & Road constructed from Bongaree to Ocean beach.
1933 The closest Surf Club to Brisbane established at Woorim beach.
1937 Thomas Welsby’s book “Bribie the Basket Maker” published.
1939 New Hotel Bribie at Woorim used by the military during World War 2.
1941 Residents evacuated and Military Forts & defences built.
1947 Residents return and new car ferry runs from Toorbul point.
1953 Electricity connected and Movies being shown at Church hall.
1953 Recluse artist Ian Fairweather comes to live in a grass hut on Bribie.
1963 Bribie Island Bridge opened with expensive Toll lasting 12 years.
1967 Proposal that Bribie, now with 1000 residents, become Independent.
1977 Development plans for a Bribie Racetrack & Airport rejected.
1988 Community Arts Centre opens as a Bi-Centennial project.
1989 Bribie Island National Park was declared.

History. Bribie Island. Moreton Bay. Brisbane. Queensland. Major events. Historical

Bongaree Foreshore 1920

History. Bribie Island. Moreton Bay. Brisbane. Queensland. Major events. Historical

Hotel Bribie built 1939

The Historical Society give presentations to local Clubs & Groups, conduct Heritage Walks and publish several free informative brochures. We are conducting guided Heritage walks at Bongaree on August 9th and Woorim WW2 relics on September 20th as part of the Councils “Healthy & Active” program. Visit the website to book in.

You can also view our Blog site at where there are hundreds of articles and photos dealing with all aspects of Bribie Island History. There is also a public presentation on “Bribie in WW2” on Friday 31st August at the U3A Centre in the Recreation Hall on First Avenue.

You must phone 3408 1450 to register your attendance, which will be followed by afternoon tea. We hold a monthly public meeting on the second Wednesday of each month at 6;30pm at the RSL Club with presentations by members and guest speakers. Visitors are always welcome. We have recently published a new book “Describing Bribie Island” containing 27 first-hand stories by people who visited Bribie over the century from 1865 to 1965.

These are personal handwritten articles, stories, letters and poems in which the writers detail their Bribie Island experience. This book is available for sale at the Seaside Museum or by contacting us. If you have information or photos of interest or would like to ask a question, you can contact us on [email protected]

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A highly successful sales and leadership career working in a number of different and very competitive industries. Engaging with decision makers at all levels in business and government. Three decades employed by corporations, SME businesses in senior roles and almost twelve years operating as a freelance contractor has equipped me well for all aspects of business. Whether leading and mentoring sales teams, or in a direct sales role I enjoy the challenge to meet and exceed expectations. Making a real and tangible difference in either a team environment or as an individual is an important personal goal I have consistently achieved throughout my career. In all of my business and personal dealings over the years there is one issue that stands out above all others - communication. Excellent communication skills creates trust, helps with mutually beneficial outcomes and above all cements long lasting positive relationships. I strive everyday to communicate effectively with the people I encounter.