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The Lifted Veil of Sunnybank

by Neville Buch | June 18, 2020 | Uncategorized
“When I was sixteen I was sent to Geneva to complete my course of education; and the change was a very happy one to me, for the first sight of the Alps, with the setting sun on them, as we descended the Jura, seemed to me like an entrance into heaven; and the three years ...
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Annual General Meeting 2017 December

by Ryan Jones | November 27, 2017 | Events
Annual General Meeting 2017 will be held at 10.00 a.m., Saturday 2 December, at the main meeting room, Sunnybank Hills Library. At which point all SDHG positions will be vacant. Three vacancies need to be fulfilled President Secretary Treasurer For an organisation to continue it has to have one executive position of leadership (President). The ...
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4 November – SDHG Meeting

by Ryan Jones | October 31, 2017 | Events
The Tale of Two Cities – Heritage and History in London and Brisbane A Talk by Dr Neville Buch after his brief ‘London Tour’ Sunnybank District History Group (SDHG) Meeting on Saturday 4 November, from 1 pm to 3 pm, at the large meeting room in the Sunnybank Hills Library (Level 2, Sunnybank Hills Shopping ...
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2016 Meetings – Sunnybank District History Group

by Ryan Jones | May 25, 2017 | Uncategorized
Report from the February 2016 Meeting of the Sunnybank District History GroupIt was decided by the group that, in the absence of a full executive for the Sunnybank District History Group, with a new Secretary and a new Treasurer to be elected, the program will run as a possible mixture of Topic Speakers and DiscussionsShow ...
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Fourth Meeting

by Ryan Jones | April 16, 2016 | Events
You are invited to --  The Fourth Meeting of the Sunnybank District History Group (SDHG) is on Saturday 7 May, from 1 pm to 3 pm, at the large meeting room in the Sunnybank Hills Library (Level 2, Sunnybank Hills Shopping Town). ** Celine will discuss the work of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church History Project ...
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Third Meeting of the Sunnybank District History Group for 2016

by Ryan Jones | March 21, 2016 | Events
You are invited to --  The Third Meeting of the Sunnybank District History Group (SDHG) is on Saturday 2 April, from 1 pm to 3 pm, at the large meeting room in the Sunnybank Hills Library (Level 2, Sunnybank Hills Shopping Town). ** Beitscke will be speaking on the Stories of Calamvale **  Our vision is connecting local ...
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SDHG Historical Images

by Ryan Jones | February 4, 2016 | Uncategorized
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Sunnybank District History Group First Meeting Of the Year (2016)

by Ryan Jones | January 6, 2016 | Events
The first meeting of the Sunnybank District History Group (SDHG) is on Saturday 6 February, from 1 pm to 3 pm, at the large meeting room in the Sunnybank Hills Library (Level 2, Sunnybank Hills Shopping Town).Our vision is connecting local residents to the best descriptions and explanations of the past.Click here for the Facebook eventWebsite: sunnybankdistricthistory.bshn.orgContact: ...
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XII Commonwealth Games 30th Anniversary Commemoration

Barbara Scott with her 82 Games UniformThe 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. 

029Ann 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

IMG_1316The 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

Motor Rail Fire. Sunday Mail. 16 February 1969, p. 16In 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".

The story as published is probably correct in most of its detail, however, the date is in error. It is important that events are referred to by a closely-accurate date, otherwise it is difficult to find further information on the event, and furthermore it adds to the misunderstanding of the event, placed in a very different context of time. In this case the context of four years in the error from the actual event is significant. The correct date of the RM 1808 fire at the Sunnybank Railway Station, is Saturday, 15 February 1969.
The correction to the published history is based on QR Incident Report book for the 1960s records and a search of the QR’s Incident Report book for the 1970s ordered by the Queensland Railway historian, Greg Hallam, and reported to Dr Nevillle Buch by email dated 23 October 2012. It is confirmed by this newspaper report of the incident in The Sunday Mail, 16 February 1969, p 16.


BSES Pathology Farm

BSES pathology farmThis 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.


The Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations Pathology Farm was established off Warrigal Road in Eight Mile Plains in 1951 and operated until 2001. The site was selected because of the large area of land available close to Brisbane laboratories in a district where sugar cane was not grown. This was to eliminate the risk of cross infection from commercial crops. The existence of the Farm has given rise to the mistaken belief that the district had a commercial sugar industry. The Farm’s history, role and impact on the local area have not been documented for the District’s historical narrative. This project seeks to achieve those aims as well as to document the Farm’s role in, and impact on, the development of the Queensland sugar industry.
How you can help

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

South-East Portion of Brisbane Green Belt 1952 Zone  (Small) cropped.jpgThis 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.

Sunnybank District History Group First Meeting Of the Year
Sunnybank Hills Library , Level 2, Sunnybank Hills Shopping Town,Sunnybank Hills,QLD
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