XII Commonwealth Games 30th Anniversary Commemoration
The Sunnybank District History Group (SDHG) joined with the Coopers Plains Local History Group (CPLHG) for a celebration to mark the 30th Anniversary of the opening of the Commonwealth Games at QEII Stadium on 30 September 1982. This event was held at the Sunnybank Hills Library on 6 October, 2012 in place of the scheduled monthly meeting of the SDHG. Two academic historians, Dr Marion Stell from the University of Queensland and Dr Celmara Pocock from University of Southern Queensland, attended to assist members of the public to record their memories of the Games through the Living Memory, a multimedia interactive computer program. Karawatha Ward Councillor Kim Marx opened the celebration.
Special guests were the family of Paul Carter who had been in charge of putting together staff and volunteers to ensure the smooth running of the Games. Dr Jonathan Richard from the Brookfield History Group ‘set the scene’ speaking about the politics and culture surrounding the organising of the Commonwealth Games. Dr Neville Buch, Chairperson, SDHG and Beryl Roberts, President, CPLHG spoke about the importance of the Games to the local community. Barbara Scott, Secretary, SDHG led a session to share memories of the Games. Her own memories were those of being a volunteer at the Games Village at Griffith University, Nathan and produced the evidence with a mannequin dressed in her uniform which had been stored for 30 years in a top cupboard. Daily newspapers from the village were on display with other photo albums and memorabilia from the time.
Ann Eeles spoke about the bus fleet conducting practice runs through the suburb, distracting her pupils at the Sunnybank State School; Angela Reid’s family had been involved in the production of the medals; Beryl Renton from the Mt Gravatt Historical Society spoke about her work with Ric Birch who staged the successful opening ceremony. “I was the only Queenslander in the Production Display Unit at the Games with my boss being Ric Birch. I was working for the ABC who was responsible for arranging the Opening Ceremony.” Beryl has photos of her grandchildren inside Matilda as she was being put together. They kept the secret and only showed pictures after the event. The celebration was a major success for the Groups rounded off by a delightful afternoon tea provided by members.
Kyabra Community Gardens Springfest Display
Kyabra Community Gardens held a Springfest at the Association’s premises on 27 October. SDHG were invited to set up a booth which enabled the Group to spread the news of our existence and also to network with folk who could provide us with information. Interesting sessions about worm farming and mulching by Jerry Coleby-Williams of the ABC’s Gardening Australia program were enjoyed by all present. Geckoes Wildlife presentation was great with small lizards to large snakes being produced from boxes and bags.
Meteorological Memories Day
The Group held a very successful meteorological memories day on Saturday November 2 in the meeting room of the Sunnybank Hills Council Library. It was attended by twenty-five keen weather watchers and residents. Group member Peter Lloyd presented a paper on 125 years of official rainfall recording at Sunnybank and how the data can be used for historical research. Guest speaker Dr Greg McKeon gave a presentation on the value of long term rainfall data in the Australian context and the Regional Director of Meteorology for Queensland, Rob Webb, talked about the latest forecasting and warning systems being used by the Bureau.
The meeting also shared memories, stories and images of the Brisbane Tornado 40 years ago almost to the day (4 November) and other recent weather events. Several keen rainfall observers brought their records along and these will be used in a separate locally driven study of rainfall patterns in the Sunnybank and surrounding districts.
Sunnybank Railway History
In Paddocks to Pavements: Railway Centenary, Sunnybank 1885-1985, published by the Sunnybank State High School Parents' and Citizen's Association in April 1985, on page 24, it is stated "[Do you remember?] The day in 1973 when the rail motor caught fire and was burnt out", and there is a picture of the burning Rail Motor 1808 on page 22 with the caption, "Train on fire -- Sunnybank Station 1973".
BSES Pathology Farm
This picture of the Pathology Farm at Eight Mile Plains in the mid 1980s has been scanned from page 3 of the BSES (Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations) Bulletin No. 20 January 1988.
If you, or anyone you know, worked on the Farm or has a story, interesting experience or material/photos relating to the Farm, please contact the Sunnybank District History Group.
Brisbane's Green Belt
This image of the south eastern portion of the Brisbane City Council zoning map of 1952 was provided by the Brisbane City Archives in 2012 and shows proposed zoning for the south eastern part of the City as it was then. The map shows the zone referred to as Green Belt in yellowy-green while the area in red is urban and that in brown is zoned rural. Two local features are Toohey Forest in dark green and Archerfield aerodrome in buff with a red dot at its centre. The two red areas to the east of Archerfield are the Coopers Plains and then the Sunnybank built-up areas. The Sunnybank urban area is almost surrounded by land zoned green belt.
The concept of “Green Belt” zoning was adopted by the Brisbane City Council in 1944 as part of its town planning scheme to manage urban sprawl and plan development in the growing city. The specific impact of the Green Belt and other planning proposals on the historical development in the Sunnybank and Coopers Plains Districts has not been researched or documented. This project aims to explore the origins and concepts of the city Green Belt zoning concept, in particular that used for Brisbane in the 1940s and later town planning schemes. It also aims to research and document the impact of Brisbane’s Green Belt proposal(s) on the subsequent historical development of the Sunnybank and Coopers Plains Districts.
How you can help
If you have had, or know of anyone who has had, any experience with Green Belt planning and its effect on local development, the Sunnybank and Coopers Plains Districts History Groups would like to record your story. Please contact either Group.