A commemorative Police Display has been mounted by the Tamborine Mountain Historical Society. It was a huge event on the opening day with special guests the Deputy Police Commissioner Mr. Peter Martin, Inspector Mick Dowdy from Logan, Sergeant Craig Roberts from the Canungra Police and Sergeant Mick Jones from the local Tamborine Mountain Police.
There was a significant welcome for Sgt. Steve Webb from Maryborough, where he is head of the forensic crash unit for Wide Bay. Steve was the first police officer on the Mountain, appointed in an acting capacity to get it up and running. He was responsible for organising the official opening ceremony in April 1992.
Also joining in the celebrations were the Mayor of the Scenic Rim Regional Council, Mr. Greg Christensen, Divisional Councillors Nigel Waistell, and Nadia O'Carroll.
When Society President Muriel Sheppard addressed the gathering she said ......
"When volunteer Spence Higgins first suggested we do such a display, I have to admit I was a bit sceptical, thinking well, there’s only being a police station up here for 25 years and that’s hardly historical. But then, I realised that before that, we were under the governance of Canungra for 75 years. That makes all up 100 years of policing for this area and that’s historical. Before Canungra there was a police station at Tamborine Village which closed when Canungra opened".
Back in 1884, the sound of axes, saws and the thud of trees crashing to the ground were ringing throughout the mountains and valleys all around Canungra. There were at least two sawmills; the biggest was Lahey Brothers which employed 120 young men.
When the men were paid fortnightly on Friday afternoon, many of them made their way to the local hotels which were at Jimboomba and St. Bernard’s. Many of them thus became intoxicated and being young and foolish got into mischief.
At this time, the only police presence was the officer from Tamborine Village who did a patrol every pay day. A letter written by the manager of the sawmill in 1915, to the Police Commissioner in Brisbane requested a police officer be appointed and that he should be male and unmarried. In the letter he wrote that these young men are getting into all types of larrikinism.
After 3 months and no reply, another letter is written. This time it mentions the obscene language and that someone had put explosives in the WC belonging to Mr. Lahey and it was blown to pieces. This time the letter says “Reply with Haste”.
Finally in 1916 the first police officer was appointed. His name was Robert George Christie. Back then, many police were veterans of the Boer War and WW1 and so they wore their Army hat.
In 1898 Sgt. Christie was one of the officers who investigated the so-called “Gatton Murders” mystery. This was a terrible tragedy when 3 siblings were killed and a arrest was never made.
In 1912 he was awarded the Police Medal for Merit and in 1934 was awarded the Imperial Service Medal by the Governor of Queensland for dedicated service.
A few interesting facts about the Canungra Police Station. Canungra was manned by one officer till 1954 when another was appointed. In 1989 there were four.
They rode on horseback till 1942 when they were issued with a bicycle. In 1950 they got a motorbike, and finally in 1957, a Landrover.
It became apparent after the demise of the timber industry in the mid 1930’s, the population of Canungra dropped whereas the population on Tamborine Mountain increased significantly especially after the dairying industry finished up here in the early 1970s, and large lots of land were developed.
In 1984 land was bought by the Government for a police station and that finally came to fruition in 1991. In April 1992, the police station was officially opened by Mr. Neville Warburton, the Minister of Police and with Mr. Kevin Lingard, the local member for Fassifern and the then local Councillor from Beaudesert Shire, John Neitz in attendance.
The police here are a unique mob. Many of them have opted to live here permanently, forfeiting possible promotion because they love the mountain and what it offers to their families. Many of them contribute in a variety of ways to the mountain through voluntary service to their children’s schools and sporting organizations.
Then there’s Blue Light Discos, Neighbourhood Watch, the Snake Catchers, and their involvement in The Make a Wish Foundation. One of the most beneficial events they do up here is the Government approved Defensive Driving Course which has been going for about 8 years and is afforded to all Year 12 students from both the High Schools.
Another major event the Police organise here is the Charity Golf Day. This has been going now for 16 years and has become legendary on the mountain, raising much needed funds for RACQ Careflight. Depending on the weather, this can bring in anything from $15K to $25K.
Mayor Greg Christensen spoke of the contribution the Police have made to the community and the value of the Historical Society in recording the mountain's growth.
Deputy Commissioner Peter Martin then formally opened the display in celebration of 100 years of Policing on Tamborine Mountain.
He spoke of the dedication of his officers and the great contributions they make to the community.
After the official proceedings were concluded a light luncheon was served. Many memories were recalled and a good time was had by all.
Tony Smallwood - Historical Society
On Friday the 6th of August, sixteen year 11 students from Redlands College endeavored to serve the Mount Tamborine community of the historical society. Whilst initially planning to film a video to simply record our day, the students were enriched by hearing the stories of the volunteers and learning the history of the mountain, which had served as our home for the last 3 days.
The dramatically different culture of previous decades provided an interesting outlook on how lives have been changed in previous years, and why we live the way we do in modern culture.
The morning tea allowed the students to connect with the volunteers, and share our own stories not only from our camp, but also share our interests which allowed us to bridge a generational gap to learn more about the passions of the volunteers. These volunteers then continued to share their passions, by allowing us to interview them and discover more about why they wished to volunteer at the Tamborine Mountain Historical Society.
The students were touched by the humility, and enthusiasm of the volunteers who were more then willing to hear our stories and share their own. One key moment from the day, that many of the students looked back on fondly, was celebrating one of the volunteer's 89th birthday, he played the traditional piano as we all gathered together to sing happy birthday to him.
The tour around the grounds allowed us to interact with a series of recreations of the General Store, Fashion House, Blacksmith and the Slab Hut Cottage, which were all made using donated relics from areas around Mount Tamborine.
Overall, the experience allowed us to form closer relationships, not only with our peers, but also with the volunteers of the Tamborine Mountain Historical society, who have so perfectly preserved the history of Mount Tamborine for future generations.
On Friday the 18th December, A new web site was launched at Canungra RSL called www.canungraansweredthecall.org.au The Canungra RSL received an Anzac grant from the Federal Government to tell the story of the 135 soldiers and 1 nurse who served in WW1 who are listed on the memorial in D. J. Smith Park. 11 soldiers from the Mountain are included.
Back in 1938 when the memorial was unveiled, Canungra was part of the Tamborine Shire, which also included Tamborine Village, Beechmont and Tamborine Mountain, hence so many names. A great deal of research and data are recorded on this easy to navigate web address.
There are 6 names on the Memorial that could not be traced. They are F. Adkins, A. MacIvor, P. Moore, Maurice Taylor, F.N. Thomas and F Walcott. If you know of these soldiers, please let us know at the Historical Society.