<![CDATA[FINCH HATTON PROGRESS ASSOCIATION INC. - BLOGNEWS]]>Wed, 24 Mar 2021 04:23:58 +1000Weebly<![CDATA[Down Memory Lane...]]>Tue, 16 Mar 2021 14:00:00 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/down-memory-laneAs time moves through the 21st century, it is easy to lose the stories and recollections of eras long gone. In a little time capsule of its own, we bring you these recollections from Graeme Ware, one of our long-time locals, who has captured some pieces of our history. We hope you enjoy the read!
(Antique picture postcard from internet search)

By Graeme Ware

The Cedar Hotel and Cedar Theatre
were built in 1911 entirely from Red Cedar, and were located down near the Ambulance station, approximately where the navvies’ shed is now.

The first Licence was issued to George Warburton on the 5th July, 1911. The School of Arts building was close by, where the Rural Fire shed currently stands. The last licensee was Fred Shaw and the hotel itself was owned in partnership by Fred Shaw and fellow local, Jim Barklay.

Because the hotel was situated out of the main part of town and there were two other pubs in Hatton, its business slowly declined until it became unprofitable and was shut down. My mother Grace Ware (nee Shaw) and her siblings were distraught at their father shutting the Cedar down as it had been their home for most of their lives. The one big attraction to the Shaw kids was that the Cedar had an attic, a great place for them to play.

After the Cedar Hotel closed down, Freddy took over the licence of the Royal Hotel which was on the western side of the General Store in Hatton. It was built by Dave Waters in 1904 and was called The Cattle Creek Hotel originally. The Royal had a hall beside it as well, with a projection room for showing pictures. It also had a balcony inside the hall. There was a general store on the eastern side of the hall.

The whole complex was destroyed by fire on the 25th October 1962, the same day Cattle Creek Mill caught on fire. It was lucky the Mackay fire brigade was out attending the mill fire and was able to go to the Royal fire; if it hadn’t been in Hatton at the time, the whole of the street would have been burnt out. At the time, the creek was running right in against the bank where you go through the flood wall onto the old Gorge road (Zarb’s Crossing), so the fire engine was able to pump directly from the creek to the fire.

After the Cedar closed down in 1938, the hotel was bought by Mrs Pomeroy in 1940 and moved into Mackay opposite the old railway station in Boddington Street. It was set up as a boarding house and was still in use into the ‘70s. The Cedar Theatre was moved from where it was built down near the Hot Water Gully , as we used to call it, up onto the corner going around to the old Post Office. It then underwent a bit of a revamp. The middle section of the verandah was removed and a brick projection room and entrance were added. The open verandah on either side was then closed in to make two rooms. The eastern room was used as a store room, kiosk and ticket office, while the western room was used for accommodation. Beverly Moule, widow of the late Duffy Moule, and their children, lived in the front room after Duffy was killed on River Hill near Broken River whilst clearing the power line to Crediton with Noel Patello in 1960. Pat and Pam Moule also lived in that room when they were first married. I fondly remember going to Junior Farmers’ concerts run by Peggy Shaw and Heather Langdon, with skits such as ‘Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport’, ‘A strapping young stockman lay dying’, ‘The only man on the Island’, the Rick and Thel show, Enrico the hypnotist and of course, the pictures in the Cedar Theatre. Mattie O’Neill told me that they had a big ball in the Cedar in 1963 in honour of Tricia Reschke who was the current Miss Australia; it was the first time a Miss Australia had visited Mirani Shire. This was one of the rare occasions where the theatre was transformed into a ballroom, with the pictures cancelled for the occasion.

The Cedar was like all the old picture shows in the district, as we called them, with three rows of canvas seats and a stage up front under the screen. Pictures were screened Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Picture night usually started off with ‘God Save the Queen’ for which we all stood and sang, then the newsreel which started with a DC3 aeroplane looking as if it was going to fly out of the screen (which reminds me of the open-air theatre in Broome where the planes fly right over the top of the screen when taking off from the aerodrome).  There would normally be a cartoon, then a picture, and half time where you could buy refreshments from the theatre itself or walk across the road to the café. Most of the men used to slip over to either one of the pubs for a quick beer, then conveniently forget to come back. In those days, a lot of farmers and people who lived out of town used to do their shopping at one of the shops before the pictures started, on Saturday night, that is.

Quite often around election time, the local politicians would be up on the verandah of the Criterion Hotel in front of Roy Jarman’s barber shop or the hall pushing their point. The QATB would also have their spinning wheel set up on the verandah, running raffles. Many a romance started in the old canvas seats of the Cedar Theatre and possibly a life or two as well.

After half time there would be another cartoon, then the main picture.

Vic also used to patrol the aisles in the theatre, keeping an eye on all us young fellas…. and our girls. Pat Moule also attended to anyone who was making a noise throughout the film.

In my early childhood, a lot of people didn’t have motor cars so they used to come to the pictures in their trucks with the cane bodies on the back that were built very low with steel hoops over the back wheels. This made it easier to load the cane by hand. So, the main street would be filled with trucks backed into the gutter of a Saturday night. It was also compulsory to drive up to the old Chestnut tree at the end of town and do a U turn then head back east and reverse park. Vic Abraham, the local Sergeant, was very strict in enforcing this rule; I still do that to this day … mostly.

We usually walked to the pictures because we didn’t own a car. If it was raining, we’d sometimes go in the Dodge truck Dad and Grandad had to cart cane with. One night when Dad, Mum, Gary and myself were walking to the pictures, I stepped over a taipan lying on the road at the Hot Water Gully. I don’t remember this happening but my brother Gary reminded me of it a couple of years ago when there was a big one dead in the same place; it’d been run over by a car.  

When Gary went off to boarding school, Mrs Kate Ringuet was the ticket seller, and wouldn’t let Gary in for kids’ price anymore, so Mum told us that if she tried to charge him full price we weren’t allowed to go to the pictures. We went home, two unhappy boys that night.

Another night I walked to the pictures on my own and the film, ‘The Black Scorpion’ was the feature; anyway, it was pretty scary and on my way home under the mango trees in front of the railway station in the pitch dark (no street lights then), Frank Hutchinson, the plumber at the mill, staggered up behind me as full as a boot, put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘How you going mate?’ We lived down in the second house coming into Hatton on the left-hand side and I reckon I took two steps and I was home in bed. (I wasn’t going; I was gone!)

The Moule family owned the Cedar Theatre and the Coronation Theatre in Gargett. They then built the Gargett Drive- In Theatre, closed the Gargett Theatre down, shifted the projectors from Gargett to Hatton and took the projectors from Hatton and installed them in the Drive In.

The reason for this was that the Cedar projectors were particularly good and showed nice and bright on the screen, whereas the Gargett projectors were a lot duller as we all found out when we went to the pictures after the swap.

During the crushing, you quite often had to dodge the steam trains and cane wagons bringing the stick cane down from Netherdale out the front of the Cedar, or they could be shunting railway wagons loaded with logs or sawn timber enroute from Netherdale to Mackay. We also had the sugar train to contend with every night, taking the raw sugar from the mill to the harbour. If it was now, with the crazy world we live in, the whole bloody place would have to be cordoned off. In those days we were all born with common sense and knew that if we stepped in front of the train, we would surely die…. and it would be our own fault, nobody else’s. On one occasion, the timber trucks got away from the Netherdale railway station and raced through Hatton. They hit a steam loco crossing the main line in front of the mill, tipping the loco over and tearing the wheels out from under the wagons. They pulled up between the line and the road in front of the Ambulance Station. I think this was shortly after everyone had gone home from the pictures; it would have been a real tragedy if the pictures were just coming out. The wagons would have come out of the darkness like a bullet and ploughed through the crowd.

Unfortunately, the Cedar Theatre burned to the ground one night after the pictures in 1969.

The Moule family owned it at the time. Glen and Marge Cameron owned the butcher shop and the house beside the picture show; they were very lucky not to have lost their house as well. Dad, Grandad and I were camped at Annandale Station west of Nebo building a dam, and Grandad heard on the early morning ABC news that the picture show had burned down the night before, a Saturday night. He told us when we came back to the camp for breakfast. Anyway, Mum and my fiancée, Robyn, brought tucker up to us that day and when they got out of the car they said, “Guess what happened last night?” and we said, “the Cedar burned down”. They weren’t impressed that we already knew. Mum and Rob heard the fire engine screaming past home and raced outside; they could see the glow in the sky so jumped in the car in their PJ’s and raced up to see the last of it disappear in flames.

​It was the end of an era for Mum and the people of Finch Hatton and district. A lot of people had a lot of good times at the Cedar, including this little black duck.

I’ve written this article from memory as most of the information I had got burned when I was burnt out, so I stand to be corrected if I have names, dates and events wrong. I hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. 

<![CDATA[Communications Project]]>Fri, 26 Feb 2021 07:40:57 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/communications-projectThanks to a grant from the Mackay Regional Council, the FHPA Inc is carrying out a communications project. Check out this video for a quick roundup of what's happening...
<![CDATA[OUR MEMORIAL TREES]]>Mon, 10 Feb 2020 03:35:32 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/our-memorial-treesThe avenue of mango trees planted  in front of the heritage listed railway station in Finch Hatton was originally intended as living memorials for the young servicemen who were lost from this region during WW1. Each tree represents  an individual soldier, sailor or airman.  These trees are a part of similar plantings that span the Mackay Eungella Road from Mackay out through the valley.
Some of the memorial drive trees themselves have perished over the last 100 years due to accident, storm or lack of proper attention. One, accidentally removed from Pinnacle, has now been replaced by the monument that stands beside the Pinnacle Pub.
Proudly they stand in our town and remind us - Lest We Forget
Who is responsible?
Opinions abound and excuses made, whether it be from Community or Council. But it really depends on how we want to live. It depends on the values we hold dearest and it depends on how we honour our past and look to our future.
LATEST UPDATE FROM THE COUNCIL:  1. The mango/green skip will remain in the carpark of Finch Central until the end of mango season. 2. Council is presently sourcing supply of an injection chemical to inhibit fruiting. 3. Council arborist to assess trimming of trees has been prioritized and  a visit should occur within next few weeks.  4. A plan for the management of the memorial trees is to be drafted this year by Council Parks and Gardens in consultation with members of FHPA.  5. Council is prepared to accept submission for maintenance equipment that may be required by FHPA under present grant scheme.

<![CDATA[HERE’S ONE FOR THE TWITCHERS]]>Mon, 10 Feb 2020 03:16:15 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/heres-one-for-the-twitchersThe Pied Imperial-Pigeon or commonly called Torres Strait Pigeon ranges from the western Bay of Bengal eastward to the Philippines and south through Indonesia and New Guinea to northern Australia. In northern Australia it is found in the Kimberley's area, in the Northern Territory, across Cape York Peninsula and along the east Queensland coast from Torres Strait south to about Rockhampton.
In Finch Hatton we provide luxurious accommodation for this migratory species. High-rise with magnificent views to the ranges, ecologically friendly housing with a hint of danger and full air-conditioning provided at no extra cost. Easy access to all transport options are found on the main road.

<![CDATA[Greetings from Hatton News!]]>Thu, 14 Nov 2019 06:25:51 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/greetings-from-hatton-news
Hatton News - Produced and published in Finch Hatton , our newsletter is focused on the upper Pioneer Valley namely the townships of Mirani , Gargett, Pinnacle, Finch Hatton through to Eungella.

​Its goal is to bond the surrounding community and channel our ambitions to provide a sustainable environment for the future of this area. The inaugural publication was released in September 2019 and at the time of writing this, our October and November issues are out.

You'll find our Hatton News items in these blog pages, under their own headings for ease of reference. We hope you enjoy our community newsletter offering - Bridging neighbours with neighbours across our region.

FHPA wish to thank our local MP in Capricornia, Michelle Landry, for providing the printing of this monthly newsletter.
The magnificent view across the Finch Hatton region, west of Mackay, Qld.
<![CDATA[Finch Central Rejuvenation]]>Thu, 07 Nov 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/finch-central-rejuvenation
In concert with Mackay Council, the Finch Hatton Progress Association Inc. is presently undertaking the rehabilitation of our heritage listed railway station. After protracted consultations and sourcing of quotes, has commenced at our heritage listed rail station house!

F i n c h  C e n t r a l  U P D A T E
By Leila Verban

The railway station has long needed some tender love and care, slowly deteriorating, taking with it great memories shared by community members who spent their childhoods in Finch Hatton. The Finch Hatton progress
Association took on the project a year and a half ago, not fully realizing how much it would take to not only restore the building, but transform it into a hub for the community that can be enjoyed by all ages - both local and travellers passing through. We as a community have risen to the challenge! And are already seeing great results.

For those who missed our project sharing day last May; the railway station, now named “Finch Hatton Central” is being restored to its original colours with some groovy upgrades,
which will facilitate the future goings on that we hope to achieve. Maintaining its authentic heritage facade, the FHPA hopes to create a community space run predominantly by volunteers with arts and crafts, local produce and locally supplied refreshments available. This
space will be open for workshops, markets and fairs as well as an information center for local events, businesses and in the event of emergencies, a place where you can go for support. 

Ainslie Merriman is the artist who painted this fine watercolour of the station house in 2004. It hangs in the dining room of the Criterion along with other memorabilia of bygone years in Finch Hatton.
​If you haven’t already seen, the first stages of cleaning and painting the entire building have already begun, giving our community the sense of what we hope to achieve. In the future there will be decking added, gardens restored and final touches to bring the whole project together. Keep an eye on the new Finch Hatton news letter and the Progress Association Facebook pages for further updates, as well as Finch Hatton Central now having its own Facebook page, documenting the journey.

Thank you to all the community members who ​have thus far been involved in bringing this incredible restoration together.
<![CDATA[Searching for Youth Ambassadors in Pioneer Valley, Qld.]]>Thu, 24 Oct 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/searching-for-youth-ambassadors-in-pioneer-valley-qldThe Finch Hatton Progress Association is calling for nominations for two Youth Ambassadors who will represent the upper Pioneer valley in 2020.  Picture
Nominations are being called for young men and women between 16 and 22 years of age to become the young faces in advertising and the young minds in promoting the interests of our youth in the Upper Pioneer Valley for 2020.

​All applications, not exceeding one page, should be addressed to - FHPA Youth Ambassador c/- P.O. Finch Hatton 4756

Closing Date 7 December 2019 

It is proposed our Ambassadors will: 
  • Work together on issues affecting youth employment to come up with ideas and solutions to support all young people
  • Empower, inspire and support young people to become young professionals in the guardianship of the Valley.
  • Share their own and other young people’s experiences and opinions on areas within the youth employment space – blogs, vlogging, attending events and conferences, writing articles
  • Support organisations to develop youth friendly policies and procedures to create more opportunities for all young people

What FHPA offers in return:
  • Training to develop key skills for life and work
  • Opportunity to make a difference to youth unemployment
  • A platform to have a voice, build your profile and ambassador
  • Personal support and guidance in your journey
  • Opportunity to evidence your volunteering activity for future CV’s and job applications
  • An opportunity to be connected to a wide network of employers, government staff and other key organisations.
Click to Enquire
<![CDATA["Farmer's Neck" - a Chiropractor's view by Dr Rod Le Coz, Chiropractor]]>Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/farmers-neck-a-chiropractors-view-by-dr-rod-le-coz-chiropractor
​Being a farmer is physically tough.  The relentless hours spent in tractors, lifting heaving equipment or being in awkward positions to fix machinery all for the aim of farming high-grade produce or product.  Quite often the dedication of farmers means they tend to put themselves last and years of aches and pains can lead to bigger issues and unfortunately the inconvenience of downtime. 
I’ve been a Chiropractor in the Mackay Region for over a decade and one of the most common issues growers present with is what we call ‘Farmers Neck’. This can present varying symptoms including: • Stiffness in the neck and difficulty to easily turn the head • Radiating pain down the back, shoulder and arm or up to the head • Headaches • Tingling/weakness that radiates to the shoulders, arms and/or fingertips • Problems with gripping or lifting objects • It can be mild pain or severe enough to interrupt sleep or normal routines and activities.
Dr. Rod Le Coz, Chiropractor.Ph 4953 1622
Varying factors can cause these issues but addressing them promptly rather than shrugging it off, can be one of the smartest things you can do for your health.

​As growers, if you had issues with your soil and only addressed the symptoms and not get to the root of what’s causing the issue/s, you would not be able to create a healthy stable and regenerative biological system and in turn this may cause bigger issues. The same principles apply to your bodies and health. As a Chiropractor, it’s my job to get to the root of what’s causing the problem not just addressing the symptoms with a ‘quick fix’. This in turn helps your body heal and function at its best - even when it’s under physical pressure.
Pain is not normal or something you ‘just put up with’. 
For growers or anyone in a physically demanding job, regular chiropractic care makes sense. It keeps the spine healthy and the body moving as it should. It is a simple, natural and effective way to help your body function correctly. 
<![CDATA[56th annual Pioneer Valley Show               - Wrap up]]>Wed, 11 Sep 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://finchhatton.org.au/blognews/56th-annual-pioneer-valley-show-wrap-up
On the 16th of June, Finch Hatton played host to the 56th annual Pioneer Valley Show. While the weather leading up to the show was challenging, the day itself was pleasant enough for the 11000 patrons who attended.
​Free entertainment filled the grounds including Gilmore's animal farm and pig races, The Crack up sisters, Bumpkin entertainment, Luke's Wildlife Kingdom and mobile reptile park. FMX Kaos Motocross aerial stunt show and the Horse vs Motorbike Challenge. 
The Fine Arts and Horticultural pavilion was packed with outstanding local and regional entries whose quality was a credit to all exhibitors. It created a wonderful display to the constant flow of patrons and excited winners alike. 
After a dry end to 2018, the sugarcane section was well supported again this year. Growers supplied good amounts of quality cane creating healthy competition and demonstrating a fine testament to good farming practices.
The poultry and pigeon pavilion was filled with the sound of many and varied breeds of all shapes and sizes. The entries for this year were well above previous shows suggesting a resurgence in domestic poultry numbers. (Fresh is best) Qld Shows have started a young judges competition for poultry, so if there is any aspiring youngsters out there please contact the show for more information. 
The woodchop was a crowd pleaser again this year with fierce competition between local and out of town choppers alike. The father son relay is one event that ensures the legacy of wood chopping is passed onto the next generation. 

Pioneer Valley Annual Show
Beef cattle numbers were higher this year with strong competition between a good spread of producers. Judged on confirmation, weight for age and suitability to markets, the stock on hand would have stood up to any other beef competition held around the state. Thank you to all producers for entering your best livestock particularly those battling against unfavourable seasons. 
Numbers were slightly down in the caged birds this year, but still provided a wide range of breeds for patrons to browse.  
The quality of the stud cattle line up was exceptional this year with a diverse selection of breeds. The young judges and junior paraders stole the show with their devotion to cattle obvious for all to see. Cambil Brahmans from Proserpine, who proudly support our show, recently had great success at the Brisbane EKKA proving the quality attracted to our stud section. 
The ring events this year were well attended with some competitors making the long journey to our picturesque grounds. With a full day of competition, patrons were able to sit back and enjoy the horsemanship on display. As usual the riders and horses were all presented extremely well. Congratulations to all. 
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with this years show, no matter how big or small your contribution. Stewards, judges, cleaners; the list goes on but the simple fact is there would be no show without the support of volunteers throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond. Its not by chance that we have the long upheld title of the best one day show in Australia and with ongoing support and hard work we intend to keep living up to it. 
Management Committee Member. 
Chris Peoples