Post WW2 Research
The file can also be downloaded at the bottom of this page
Hi Angelique, Sarah and Roger
my main points/interests are: the disappearing lifestyle of the beach house and beach house community; shack communities (especially from 1930s); the beach houses at Angelsea.
Beach houses are about a lifestyle; an informal lifestyle different from that in the cities, towns and suburbs. more informal.At the beach house you could hear the water breaking, smell the sea, hear the rain on the corrugated iron roof; wander among the wildflowers in spring, and fight bushfires in summer.
the coastal community is different from the main home; the friends at the beach town are often only seen there, even if they live relatively close by in the city.
Communities of Beach shacks and houses date from late 19th century.
Many communities near the coast took holidays at the beach. eg The coalmining communities around Cessnock (Hunter Valley) took their holidays at Lake Macquarie.and The agricultural community at Buderim (where I live) holidayed at Mooloolaba; at first they camped in tents- late 19th early 20th, then built shacks, and later in 1920s huts on stilts, a map was complied by laurel Carruthers shows 30 huts and houses by 1922, mostly owned by Buderim farmers.
In early to mid 20th century many huts were built on crown land near the sea or rivers, squatters, especially in the depression years of 1930s. A few of those communities remain- in Royal National Park, south of Sydney, there are three communities built on former dairying land, at Era (160 shacks), Little Garie and Burning Palms- the latter largely owned by families from the illawarra coal mining communities. Era (the largest community and accessible only by foot along a steep track down the escarpment ) Ir was created and sustained a wide variety of people. Hal Missingham, director of the Art Gallery of NSW ( 1945-1971) had a shack there to which he invited other artists, including Margaret Olley, David Boyd and Max Dupain.The huts were often built from material washed up on the beach and using material,s such as bottle for walls.
Environmental groups supported National Parks in the push to remove the shacks- on the basis that the land should be available to everyone. However, the huts have been listed in NSW Heritage Register.and are now protected. At Dobroyd Point in Sydney, 7 huts (now unoccupied) remain from a larger community
In 1950s, Edna Walling, the noted garden designer, built a shack, with the help of friends, along the Great Ocean Road.(between Anglesea and Lorne). Mostly constructed using materials washed up on the beach at Eastern View, and hadn't been finished long when a bushfire came through and it was destroyed, all but the stone steps.
The state with the highest proportion of shack and holiday house ownership is Tasmania; its a strong part of the culture, Everyone owns a shack or has family or friends with a shack, many built on Crown land. These are being upgraded, some are not very modern.
My father constructed a house at Anglesea, Victoria, in 1948. the local building built the frame, shell and chimney, and my fatter built the floor and lined the rooms inside. Every weekend we would hold sheets of canenite, or masonite, for my father to cut. He lined the main room with panelling of Tasmanian myrtle. we visited all summer holidays and other holidays and many weekends. In the summer, at least in the 1950s, children spent most of their time at the beach and in bathers (cossies in NSW), with little supervision.
Some of the permanent residents had bathing boxes, where tops and towels and surf boards and equipment of beach cricket. Our house was built in the local ;vernacular- weatherboards to waist height, then Fibro, with a corrugated iron roof.
In Victoria, some of the beach houses were constructed following plans published by the Institute of Architects in Friday morning's Age newspaper. Many designed by Robin Boyd and other architects.
all for now
10th Jan 2018
17-12-16 Sunshine Coast Daily - Why wouldn't people come to the coast for a holiday
2017-08-2 We lapped up the post-war boom in lifestyle choices courtesy Sunshine Coast Daily
A similar phenomenon as seen in Sydney's Northern Beaches is shown below
Beach Houses by Jenna Reed Burns. Lansdowne Publishing 1999
As suggested by Meredith, and with Introduction by Philip Drew with useful observations about the development of the concept of beach houses, from pre 1960s when the poor lived near the beach, and depression era architecture resulted in the use of cheap and ordinary materials, to the surfing culture and middle class weekender movement who built houses which were unconcerned with notions of class and wealth, and their demise due to the development juggernaut which overran the coastal areas. He talks about the spiritual connections , and the ability to draw closer to our inner souls. Simple pleasures such as talking round the barbeque, walking, fishing, surfing taking us back to a less complex existence. Jenna Reed Burns argues that the beach house has a special place in our collective consciousness. The book charts the evolution of beach house evolution up to the end of the 20th century. As car travel increased, people were able to head to the coast, explore and holiday. They built storage sheds for things needed, and these developed into simple but charming houses. Use of fibro became widespread, and skillion roofs, and the practice of naming houses, gave them a rakish air. Cover stripped fibro introduced opportunities to play with colour. They were unpretentious and did not try to dominate their surroundings. Sunshine Coast architect John Mainwaring is quoted as sayiny that lack of arrogance was one of their most appealing characteristics. Reed Burns notes "The unique architectural style of such houses is representative of a simpler age that is bound up in our collective memories of the beach and is one of the reasons why it is so special. For many people, the fibro cottage remains the quintessential Australian beach house and an expression of australian identity." The book shows old and new beach houses from around Australia and includes the filmset for the Australian film Under the Lighthouse Dancing. Late 20th century works on the Sunshine Coast by Lindsay and Kerry Clare, and John Mainwaring are illustrated as well as Stradbroke Island examples by Brit Andresen and Peter O'Gorman, Robert Riddel & Donovan Hill.
From Adam Maurer. A collection of images, drawings and descriptions of Brisbane houses of the 1960s. Concluded that the 60's house was shaped and influenced by a number of factors including the background and training of the architects, and that the practices were melting pots for new architectural ideas. "Many characteristics of the sixties house in Brisbane, particularly in response to climate and lifestyle were anticipated in the work of the fifties." The modern movement had a significant influence on these architects while they were students.
Kitsch is the meeting point of ethics and aesthetics. Not the boisterously vulgar - the golliwog ashtray or the fur bikini - and not just fun, or cheek, or fantasy. True kitsch, so to speak, involves a deliberate cleansing of the truth. It is what impels us to pursue the comfortable rather than the genuine, and to make this pursuit socially required. Kitsch is the collective pretence that a second plasma screen television is a genuine spending priority and the conformism that demands this pretence even from those who cannot afford and do not want it.
That's what makes these epidemic beach mansions rude and dangerous. With their glam and polish, their air-con and their mod-cons, they whisper the same false promise that high office whispers to politicians: exemption from nature. They lie, but we love them for it.
The charm of the endangered Aussie shack, by contrast, was its recognition, even for a few weeks a year, that for all our aspirations and inspirations, we're still barefoot bipeds, still subject to the grandeur and wrath of sand, sea and sun. The shack tells us the humble truth. We extinguish it at our peril.
At the beach: the cultural significance of beach settlements and houses Thom Blake, Gerard Murtagh and Catherine Brouwer (2001). Caboolture Shire Heritage Survey (2001). Redcliffe City Council Heritage Survey (2001)
The Australian Dream Design of the Fifties Powerhouse Publishing edited by Judith O Callaghan1993
The Fibro Frontier
Sunshine Coast Daily May 18th 2007 Searching for a style of our own by Rebecca Marshall
Australian Council of National Trusts 2002
report card Roger Todd 1993
Growth threatens classic character Sunshine Coast Daily Aug 23 2002
Age of Innocence by David Bentley The Fifties a Special Report Courier Mail Weekend April 9 1994 p1
style guides from Sally Todd's interior design notes - source unknown
Growth of Caloundra Part 1 Erica Riis 1995 index A comprehensive history of Caloundra
Architect for the Post Office Store was probably J.Hamilton Park - see below
Friday 5th October, 1951
NOT A 'FLYING SAUCER'
On Thursday. 20th September,
LATE J. HAMILTON PARK
Being a life-long friend of the
late J. Hamilton Park, whose
death notice appeared in your
paper, I am sure many of your
readers would like to know a
little more of the life of the de
ceased. He was a product of
those two fine schools, the old
Normal and Brisbane Grammar.
Leaving, he was articled to the
late F. D. G. Stanley, the then
leading architect in Brisbane,
paying £100 premium and serv
ing for three ? years without pay.
He later joined his father, who
was a leading city builder. After
some years the land 'bug' caught
him and with his brother, Jim,
now of Caloundra, was one of
the pioneers of Dulong, five miles
from Nambour. That property is
still held by them. They decided
to see South Africa. Father and
J.H.P. started building and Jim
became resident secretary of the
Westminster Estate and private
secretary to the Duke when he
visited Africa. After four years
overseas, the deceased returned
to Dulong; his brother returned
three years later. Both went to
the 'West and started sheep and
wool growing. Then they sold out
after 28 years, retired and took
up residence at Caloundra. At
one time the deceased practised
his profession at Thursday Island,
Cairns and Townsyille. At Cal
oundra he kept his pencil busy,
and at 84 years of age designed
and carried out many buildings
at Moffat Beach, including six
houses and the fine store there.
He also drew plans and super
vised the building of the North
Coast life savers' home.. Almost
all his work was to a friend
from a friend and was a labour
of love. Since the deceased lost
his wife some 15 years ago, I
think, he had been looked after
?wholly by his brother. They were
life-long partners and real cob
bers, who never lent, one to the
other, but always gave — a truly
wonderful pair. He was also a
life governor of the N.C. life
Sourced by Meredith Walker from the Trove website
2007 Stamp issue commemorating architecture of the 1950's
Advertisment for Fibrolite illustrated in "A Very Good Business" One hundred years of James Hardie Industries Limited 1888-1988 by Brian Carroll
James Hardie Industries Limited 1987
New Tilux introduced 1960 with marbletone pattern available in six colours, info from Brian's book
association with Peter & Marlene Overland
Interview with: Peter Overland
Date of Interview: 28 December 2000
Interviewer: Diane Warner
Interview Number: OH039
This is an interview with Peter Overland from Moffat Beach.
Interview with: Peter Overland
Date of Interview: 28 December 2000
Interviewer: Diane Warner
Interview Number: OH039
This is an interview with Peter Overland from Moffat Beach.
• The Overland family settles at Moffat Beach
• Holiday cabins at Moffat Beach
• Tourist transport to the area
• Remembering Vance Palmer
• Local flora and fauna
• Busy tourist periods
• The Overland’s general store
• Remembering the Dicky Wreck
• Volunteering and Surf lifesaving in early Caloundra
• The Overland family moves to Brisbane
• Caloundra becomes a restricted area: Wartimes
• Early erosion and clearing
• The military returns Overland family cabins
• Death of James Richard Overland
• Death of Myrtle Overland
• Personal hopes: Caloundra’s future development
D.W. Can you tell me your full name please?
P.O. Peter Richard Overland
D.W. And what were your parents' names?
P.O. Myrtle Elizabeth Overland, and James Richard Overland. My Grandparents lived here
also and they were Richard Perry Overland and Beatrice Louise Overland.
D.W. When were you born?
P.O. On the 24 October 1937
D.W. Where was that?
P.O. In Brisbane.
D.W. Did your parents always live in this vicinity?
P.O. Initially this place was bought and they were going to live here. They built cabins on
the land in the front which they used to rent. Then the army came along and we had to leave
and go back to Brisbane, whilst they occupied this land.
The Overland family settles at Moffat Beach
D.W. Let's go to when your parents first got the land, what period of time was that?
P.O. That would be about, and I would be guessing as I do not have the title deeds but it
would have to be about 1935, and they purchased that land there.
D.W. Can you describe to me where that land is?
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P.O. It is on the corner of Seaview and Bryce, Moffat Beach, and initially on the Council
plans you can see where there were another two lots in front which were wiped away. The
Council was given that land for a park.
D.W. So your parents bought here in 1937?
P.O. This one was bought in 1937 where I live now. The one in front was bought in 1935
so I believe.
Holiday cabins at Moffat Beach
D.W. When they came here and decided to build holiday cabins who built those cabins?
P.O. They were built by my father who had help from his mates as they used to do in those
days. One of his mates was a fellow by the name of Salter who owned the block of land next
to my father.
D.W. So there was a working bee and the cabins were built?
P.O. That's right, they were built over a little period of time.
D.W. Can you describe those cabins? What they were made of?
P.O. Initially they were individual cabins and they were 12feet x 12feet, they had four
bunks and a table at one end of them. Kerosene stoves, and ice was the only refrigeration
they had. For the power to those cabins, we used to have a model T Ford engine in the back
yard of this place with a generator on. That used to run up to the cabins.
D.W. What sort of people would come and stay in those cabins?
P.O. They would be mostly people from Brisbane. They always came up for the fishing,
crabbing and for the solitude and isolation.
D.W. So the fishing and the crabbing, were crabs plentiful then, today?
P.O. Tooway Lake was full of crabs, Moffat Beach was full of fish and eugarie, you used to
get eugarie on the beach here at Moffat Beach. So if you wanted fish for tea you would just
pick up your fishing rod and go down wriggle your toes and put the anchor on and throw you
rod out and no trouble getting fish for tea.
D.W. You always had plenty of people wanting to stay in these cabins?
P.O. Yes there was always people, and people would rent them years in advance for
holidays and Christmas holidays and Easter and school holidays.
D.W. How would the people of find there way here?
Tourist transport to the area
P.O. In those days you could drive with great difficulty, but you could, I think the sealed
road was only from Brisbane to Strathpine there was a dirt road and it was relatively
accessible. Most people would co-ordinate rail from Brisbane to Landsborough, and then
take Kings Bus from Landsborough to Caloundra.
D.W. How would they get to the cabins?
P.O. The bus would drop them off here.
Page 2 of 11
D.W. Was it sandy tracks from here to Caloundra?
P.O. Oh yes, it was a dirt road. I know you used to come along Sugarbag Road, and then
Vance Palmer got a certain amount of money from Council to put a track through from here
over to the rail hotel which is Hotel Francis and you used to come down Queen Street then
and down that way.
Remembering Vance Palmer
D.W. Can you recall Vance Palmer?
P.O. Yes I knew Vance Palmer, I got a block of land off Vance Palmer back about 45 years
ago now, and that this one up on the corner, on the corner of Rinaldi Street and Seaview
Terrace. It was a 'B' shaped one, it was only about 16 perches. Vance Palmer was a bit of
an author. I knew his sister she was also an author. I bought it from him. It was not much of
a house. We bought it with the intention of selling around here in Moffat Beach and living up
D.W. Can you recall him there writing, did he actually live in that house?
P.O. Yes he lived there and I can remember Vance because he was there till I was at least
17, he lived there and had a garden, shack and one of those hip baths, he had a lot of
manuscripts there I suppose. When we bought the place from him, his sister Arma came and
got a lot of the furniture. Vance used to keep all his manuscripts and that type of thing.
Local flora and fauna
D.W. What was the wildlife like in these areas besides fishing? Can you recall what sort of
animals, birds were here?
P.O. There were plenty of cows that used to break your windows, Maltman up here had
cows and they used to come down to the beach and break the big glass windows in the shop.
They would come up and see their reflection and they'd break the glass. Wild animals, there
were kangaroos, seagulls there were sea eagles and osprey and that type of thing.
D.W. What about wildflowers?
P.O. There were miles of them, I used to make pocket money as a kid I'd go down to the
Buzacott Reserve at the end of Robert Street here and pick Boronia and sell them.
D.W. And what would you sell them for, Peter?
P.O. A shilling or something like that.
D.W. And Christmas Bells?
P.O. Yes, we used to get Christmas Bells, but you used to get them more down Golden
Beach, Currimundi as well. We never bothered to get them out of Two Mile Stream. They
always were there but I don't think there's so many now, sugar cane land has taken over now.
D.W. Sugar Cane?
P.O. Yeah, there is sugar cane growing along the same strait where the beekeeper was.
Busy tourist periods
D.W. And what are your earliest memories of the early days when your parents had the
cabins here? What were the times you looked forward to?
Page 3 of 11
P.O. You always looked forward to Christmas because there was a stack of kids and all of
this was covered with tents. On the beach it was covered with campers at the time. The
same campers would come back every year. You would get to know the children your own
age and we would play football. What we did do was go around and pick up bottles, milk
bottles and softdrink bottles and take them to the shop for a penny or tuppence returning the
bottles. One of the chaps down there used to play cards for money. We would have to sell a
lot of bottles first to get the money, but once we got the money we usually ended up beating
all the old people playing cards. That's where most of my pocket money came from as a kid.
D.W. So they were great times, and they were very safe times for children?
P.O. Yes they were. The only unsafe time was we had one child out at Tooway Lake
drowned. He went missing from his parents. He was here for the day, and he went missing
during the day. The fishermen then came around with there fishing boats, and pulled the
fishing nets back in and the little boy was in it. Then there was one chap drowned here on the
beach. They left his body under our house as there was no mortuary in town at that time and
they picked him up the next day.
D.W. So I guess there was no surf life savers at that time in this area?
P.O. No, there wasn't. The only life savers were at Metropolitan Caloundra and I joined
that club, and got my bronze medal in 1953, 1954.
D.W. So where did you learn to swim?
P.O. Down Tooway Lake.
D.W. So were there any lessons or did you just learn as a child?
P.O. No, you just learnt as a child, kind of taught yourself especially after school.
D.W. Can you describe for me not only the cabins but also your shop?
The Overland’s general store
P.O. The shop at the front was next to the cabins and we lived above the shop, there are
some photos available. It was like an open area downstairs, and the icecream would come
from Brisbane in the big canvas containers with dried ice. We would get it once a week. It
used to come to us underneath the bus. You sell normal things, like papers. You would get a
certain amount of papers from the main paper shop in Caloundra, which was supplied to the
people. A lot of fresh milk was delivered to Caloundra by the milkman on Caloundra turnoff.
D.W. And how did that come around, by bottle?
P.O. No, in the old cans, at the back of his truck.
D.W. And people would put their billies out and get their milk that way?
P.O. Yes, bring it up, and tip it in.
D.W. So there were fairly relaxed times?
D.W. Did your parents have a car?
P.O. Yes, they did. Father had various, he seemed to like motor cars. Father was in
charge of the parts division of Elpingstands in Brisbane, which was Overland Motors. He
Page 4 of 11
used to answer the phones and say Jim Overland and that put a name to the business. We
used to drive up here quite often from Brisbane, in the motor cars.
D.W. I guess in those times with the highway from Brisbane to this area that it would take
you quite some time to get here?
P.O. Oh yes, the creeks and gutters might have water in them, and you would have to get
out and walk through it first.
Remembering the Dicky Wreck
D.W. Can you recall the Dicky Wreck?
P.O. Yes, I have photographs of it. I remember as a kid playing on it, and in those days
there was still a roof on it. I have photos of my grandfather standing on the roof, and we used
to play in the hull of it.
D.W. Did you walk up there?
P.O. Yes, we used to walk there, no trouble. You didn't get lost in those days, you followed
the beach, and didn't go too far out, although we used to go Birt’s in Edmund Street, and pick
up chooks and eggs. He had a poultry farm there.
D.W. Now, getting back to the Dicky Wreck, so you recall when it had a roof on the top of
D.W. And did a lot of people go there for walks, along the beach just to look at the wreck?
P.O. They would of yes. It was a point "Oh, let's go look at the Dicky Wreck". You could
also walk up to Cockatoo Creek, which is next to the pass, and there was always plenty of
mullet in there. In those days or later on, you used to get milk bottles with a big round top on
it, and you would fill them with bread down the bottom, then fill them with water and hold them
up so the bread would drown. You would set them in the morning, and go back and clean
them out in the afternoon. The fish would swim in and they can't swim backwards so you
would go up and collect the mullet that you wanted and put the rest back.
D.W. So they were easy times to catch fish?
P.O. Yes, easy times.
D.W. Getting back to the Dicky. There was talk that there may of been a fire on the Dicky
in the early days. Can you recall any indication that there may have been a fire there, it is a
bit of a rumour?
P.O. I would not like to say. I have read articles. I think it was done by Pearl Windsor.
She said people may have lit fires in the hull of it. They may have had a B.B.Q inside of it. I
can't really remember it.
D.W. You obviously recall that the big propeller was still attached to it?
P.O. Oh yes, that was always there till Bob Brown pulled it out, 38 years ago.
D.W. Can you recall any major cyclones since you were living so close to the beach. You
were saying a cyclone went on to your land down there?
P.O. It wiped out two allotments for the full length. That would be as early as I can
remember. The worst cyclone I can remember would be in 1953, 1954. My wife was here
then. All the crowds got sand blasted down the front there. All the tents got blown down. So
Page 5 of 11
they all moved up and came into the cabins or the house. You could not get out of
Volunteering and Surf Life Saving in early Caloundra
D.W. You were talking about surf life saving, and you got involved in that as a young
P.O. North Caloundra to start with, I was never a member of North Caloundra, Metropolitan
Caloundra I was. I helped build the North Caloundra Club house as a kid. My mother and
most of the women around here, they used to hold fetes on Moffat Beach here. In those days
there was a shelter shed, and they made cakes. I used to pick up the shells from the beach,
and punch a hole into them and string them onto a string and make necklaces and they would
sell that type of thing. It was all built by volunteer labour. Charlie Reid was one of the fellows
that was there, and Jeff Herman. I used to go up there and be more of a hindrance than a
D.W. With your mother and the ladies volunteering, can you recall any other ladies names
that may have been a part of that voluntary organisation?
P.O. There was Nelly Herman, Mrs Hughleberg, and Mrs Hughleberg's husband. They
had a caravan just down the road that he used to sell fish and chips from. Then later he
became the cook up at the North Caloundra Surf Life Savers. There were a lot of people here
over Christmas time. Down here you had the Deep Sea Fishing Club. They'd put on
concerts, there would be the two Wildman fellows.
D.W. So they would put on concerts to help the surf life savers?
P.O. Yes, Bagley would come over from the other side of town. They were very well
D.W. So, that was a major fundraising event. The same as Met Caloundra had chocolate
wheels in Caloundra. Did they have concerts, like the life savers in Caloundra?
P.O. Yes, they would do the hula, hula and those types of things. Wearing short skirts,
and dancing up on stage with them. The can can, men used to do the can can.
D.W. That was the entertainment for the campers?
P.O. Campers, and everyone from Caloundra too. It used to get pretty crowded down
D.W. In those times electricity would have been here? In those early days you would not
have had power here. You said you had icecream on dry ice. Where did you get the ice
P.O. The ice we used to get from Steve Chaplin, Chaplin's Iceworks they had the ice run,
they would come around and supply ice to the campers. They had the ice works. Lloyd
Clarke, he had an iceworks too, I don't think he delivered ice this far.
D.W. Let's get on to when the Australian Military decided the cabins were what they
The Overland family moves to Brisbane
P.O. Well I can't remember too much about that, I was only relatively young at that stage.
We ended up having to move to Brisbane, as I say to live when they took over. My
grandfather then built a shop here. He was a Chief Steward on a Coastal Liner. He used to
Page 6 of 11
have tea and hot water that type of thing. The soldiers would come down for scones and
things that my grandmother used to make.
D.W. So your grandparents stayed here, and you moved to Brisbane. Was it for the fear of
invasion, or was it because there was nowhere else to go once the building had been taken
Caloundra becomes a restricted area: Wartimes
P.O. For us we had nowhere else to go. There weren't too many people around in those
days. It was thought easier for us to go back to Brisbane, and live in Brisbane which we did.
D.W. Did you come up here at all during those times, because this area was restricted?
P.O. Yes it was restricted. We used to come and stay here in the shop, that my
grandfather had. I don't remember a lot about it because, I was young as I say, but we had
barb wire along the fence and steel pickets.
D.W. So how many Military personnel would you say would have been camped in this
P.O. Well, I would not like to answer that. They were camped up around Roderick Street.
There was a camp there. I used to go up as a kid and get biscuits from the soldiers there.
D.W. There was an accommodation shortage when they did come here as far as what they
P.O. Well, there wasn't much they could get, so they had tents.
D.W. The Officers were in here?
P.O. I'm not sure who was in there. I remember the writings on the walls in here. The only
thing I can really remember is that I was staying here when one of the planes come over to
Dicky Beach, and crashed on Battery Hill.
D.W. Can you explain that to me?
P.O. Well we were sitting outside, Margaret and I, and we heard this plane roaring and the
noise. It came down pretty low down here, and clipped the beach near the rocks just up here,
from what I can remember. Then it went up in the air again and then came down and then
someone said it might of crashed. My grandfather said "Stay here, I'm going up there", I
said "I'm not staying here", so I went with him. I remember being there and the bullets were
still going off. The plane disintegrated and bullets were exploding.
D.W. Were the men killed in that accident?
P.O. Yes, that's one thing that stayed in my mind, I can remember that, I stood there and
watched it, as a young kid.
D.W. What period would that of been Peter?
P.O. Most probably 1944.
D.W. So you would actually have been up here on holiday with your grandparents?
P.O. I was on holiday. It could possibly have been Christmas, I'm not sure.
D.W. What was your grandfather like?
Page 7 of 11
P.O. He was tall, thin, as he was a Chief Steward on a ship. He could look around with a
cigarette ash half the length of the cigarette. He used to roll his cigarette so he would serve
tea or that and never, ever drop the ash off the end of his cigarette.
Along the beach besides the barbwire they had square holes in the ground with a roof on
them. They were 18 inches to 2 feet high. They used to have a border. They were all built
out of tea tree, the actual floor was dirt and the sides and the top were tea tree.
D.W. So they cut the tea tree?
Early erosion and clearing
P.O Just behind here through to Currimundi.
D.W. Lloyd Clark said that he believed that throughout Kings Beach the military cut the
bush out, and that was probably the start to the erosion in this area. The bush went, they
drained the swamp behind Kings Beach it was so dry that the dunes started to go. Can you
P.O. The dunes most probably would have been blown away. I remember the dunes with
our life saving shed on top of it, when they had to shift the shed.
D.W. Do you recall that?
P.O. I can recall being on top of the dunes, there used to be a lot of change sheds for men
and women to change in.
D.W. Can you recall the Wishing Tree?
P.O. No. I have been asked about that, it was at Shelly Beach. It was just a tree that was
there. I can't remember it.
D.W. What about when surfing came? Can you recall Ma & Pa Bendall?
P.O. Oh yes, they came years after. I remember Ma & Pa Bendall pretty well. They had a
very attractive daughter. She had the most beautiful hair I've ever seen in my life. They had
tennis courts there, and then they ended up turning it into a skating rink. We used to go
there, skating on the tennis courts. He was one the first to start the surfing out at
Maroochydore. We used to surf out here. We used surf skis in those days.
D.W. Can you tell me a bit about that?
P.O. Surf ski's were about 12 feet long they were timber frame. The bottoms and the tops
were usually made out of plywood. That was probably 20-30 pounds of weight.
D.W. What period would that of been Peter?
P.O. Around 1950's.
D.W. And you had one of those?
P.O. Yes I had one, I have photo's of them. We used to use them with the life saving, but
mainly we used them for sport. They weren't used as a rescue craft. They were good fun. A
fellow named Gordon Jefferies, he is the main fellow who built most of that type around here.
D.W. Do you remember his full name?
P.O. No. I used to know his son, because he was in the cabin with Gordon Jefferies, but
old fellow Jefferies, he is still alive and living up around Wurtulla at the moment. I have seen
him in the past 12 months.
Page 8 of 11
D.W. Regarding tourism the cabins where here, the Military came. When did you get the
The military returns Overland family cabins
P.O. Straight after the war. 1945 I suppose.
D.W. Did they pay your parents?
P.O. I don't know that they paid them or not. My father ended up dying when I was about
4, so he wasn't alive when the war was over. My mother was still running the place. She only
died about 2 years ago. Originally there were 5 cabins, there was an old fellow by the name
of Byerlee, and he came along one day and saw ours and said that's a good idea I might build
a few of those myself. He built a few cabins where Raintree's is now.
D.W. When you came back after the war, did things start to progress in this area?
P.O. No, not much, there was not a boom or anything like that. A house might go up
occasionally, things never really took off for quite a while. In fact if you went to Brisbane and
they asked where you came from and you said Caloundra they'd say, "Where's that?" People
just didn't come up here.
D.W. Where you at school at this stage?
D.W. Did you go to school at Caloundra?
D.W. Where did you go to High School?
P.O. I didn't go to High School, I could not afford to, and there was no school around here.
So I got a job at the Post Office.
D.W. Did you have other brothers and sisters?
P.O. I have a younger sister, she is four years younger than I am. My mother was
pregnant before my father died.
Death of James Richard Overland
D.W. What happened to your father?
P.O. He had an operation, I think it was for his gallbladder, and during that time there were
not any good doctors around and he died.
Death of Myrtle Overland
D.W. When your mother died how old was she?
P.O. I think 84 or 86.
D.W. Looking now to the early 60's development started to come to Caloundra?
P.O. Yes, it was starting to grow. It was still relatively small in the 60's.
Page 9 of 11
D.W. Did you imagine that this area would grow to be this large?
P.O. No, I didn't. I came back here when I was 22. I lived here till 1955, then went to
Brisbane for a couple of years and then out west for a couple of years, then came back.
D.W. Do you think the rapid change in the area is a good thing or a bad thing?
P.O. Well, the lifestyle is not as good as it used to be, but no matter what I want to buy, I
can find a shop in Caloundra.
D.W. Moffat Beach had the camping grounds. What was at Dicky Beach?
P.O. They had a camping ground too. There was one shop there. There was a caravan
park there also. There weren't a lot of houses over at Dicky.
D.W. Were there any Guest Houses around?
P.O. No, there was one behind here before I moved in.
D.W. Where did you go to get assistance if you were sick?
P.O. Later on there was Doctor Woodson, Doctor May was here in 1950, there was an old
Doctor in Macaray Street.
D.W. Your sister, did she go to school in Caloundra?
D.W. Before your Mum passed away what did she think of progress?
P.O. She was amazed by it.
D.W. What happened with the cabins, when were they pulled down?
P.O. It was not viable to upgrade them. So they were pulled down about 1975.
D.W. What happened to the land then?
P.O. Well, when my father died he died without a will, and in those days if you died without
a will it was divided between the wife and the children. When my mother died my sister and I
shared the properties.
Personal hopes: Caloundra’s future development
D.W. Can you give me an idea of what you would like to see for the future of Caloundra?
P.O. Well I know what I like for the area, and I'd like to see more play areas for the
children. If you look around the beachfront for a place for children to play, there's not a lot.
They seem to use more ground for car parks than for play areas. As a rule at Christmas time
there is a cricket game that goes on pretty late. I'd like to see more grass, there is too much
D.W. So you think some more forward planning is needed?
P.O. They have to do something about the traffic, I tried to get the Council to extend to
fence, down to the footpath the kids play football or cricket and hit the ball over and the
children run onto the road, and one day someone will get hurt.
D.W. So gone are the days of the open space you remember?
Page 10 of 11
P.O. That's right. When you came here, you never went anywhere, the tent went up and
the car stayed here till you went back to Brisbane. You went fishing at Marlow Hole, at Shelly
D.W. So the good old life as you knew it Peter, has certainly changed?
P.O. The only other problem is they will have to do something about dogs, there are too
many dogs, not on leashes.
D.W. Did you think the old Landsborough Council, might of cared a bit more?
P.O. They certainly cared. The Councillors were retired people. What I think has
happened to council, there are too many on top and not enough out doing the work.
D.W. You worked with Australia Post and Telecom, are you surprised about the change in
P.O. We have seen a lot, with mobile phones that sort of thing.
D.W. Did you ever imagine that those sorts of things would come in?
P.O. Well I think I could as they happened gradually.
D.W. Did you have the phone on here at Moffat and Dicky?
P.O. Yes, we got the phone on in 1960.
D.W. Can you recall Sir Frank Nicklin?
P.O. Yes, I knew him well, I used to deliver telegrams to him as a kid. Then later when I
was in the North Caloundra Association, he used to come and lecture us.
D.W. Did you help your mum quite a bit?
P.O. I was like most kids not very responsible.
D.W. Thank you Peter for you time.
END OF INTERVIEW
Page 11 of 11
Interview with Peter Overland, (2000) Moffat Beach Resident - (Adam Maurer 2011)
"Rose Cottage" architect Harry Seidler 1950. Seidler had worked for Gropius in the USA before coming to Sydney - a direct link to the Bauhaus School
photo Roger Todd
houses by architect Peter Mcintyre illustrated in Architectural Design 1955