Age is no bar­rier

90-year-old for­mer tim­ber­man still able to mend fences

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S - Erica Murree erica.murree@cnbtimes.com.au

BIGGEN­DEN res­i­dent Ge­orge Cross may have just turned 90 but he still gets out re­pair­ing fences.

Born at Kin­garoy on March 29, 1925, Ge­orge grew up in the Ellesmere area, 18 miles out of town to­wards the Bunya Moun­tains.

Par­ents Al­bert Ge­orge and Mar­garet Re­becca, bet­ter known as Peter and Aunty Mag, had a dairy farm.

“I had seven other broth­ers – Alby, Andy, Neil, Jim, Reg, Pat and Char­lie – and then we got a sis­ter, Mar­garet,” he said.

“They all had nick­names with the ex­cep­tion of Reg and my­self.

“I was called Scot at one stage af­ter the man down the road who gave me a dou­ble on the bike.

“I had red hair and so did he.”

Ge­orge said he didn’t know his fa­ther for very long as he was 40 when he fa­thered him and died at the age of 60.

“By that time we’d been living in the Biggen­den area tim­ber cut­ting,” he said.

“The fam­ily use to live in a makeshift camp so we could shift to the var­i­ous jobs.

“When we were at Coon­garra Rock I re­mem­ber my par­ents and Mar­garet used to drive to the pic­tures in an old Chev.

“The boys came in the truck with a load of logs.

“We sat on the load like ‘birds on a fence’.”

Af­ter Ge­orge’s fa­ther died the fam­ily bought a home for their mother on the out­skirts of Biggen­den where she lived 10 years be­fore she died.

Ge­orge and Neil mar­ried the two Dove girls, Mavis and Marj, while an­other brother, Reg, mar­ried their cousin, Joan How­ell.

Th­ese three broth­ers plus Jim were known as the Cross broth­ers and cut and hauled tim­ber around Coon­garra Rock for 10 years.

Ge­orge said those were the good old days but it’s “gone to the pack now”.

“When Mavis and I first mar­ried we rented the lit­tle sawmill house,” he said.

“We bought it off Joe Geissler for 111 pounds in 1953.

“This was a good move as we just had to walk the fur­ni­ture from one house to an­other.”

When the pine ran out in the area they moved to Al­lies Creek near Mun­dub­bera.

They were there 19 years, made lots of good friends, many of whom were at Ge­orge’s re­cent 90th birth­day party.

Ge­orge said there wasn’t much to do there but work, but Mavis used to play ten­nis with the ladies.

“She also used to go out and fill the holes in the road with rocks and dirt to make the road a bit bet­ter for the tim­ber trucks,” he said.

“I still have the let­ter from the Mun­dub­bera coun­cil thank­ing her ef­forts.

“We moved back to Biggen­den when the mill closed down and sold up.”

Ge­orge and Mavis had six chil­dren – Al­lan, Linda, Bob, Gra­hame, Margie and Christine, all born at Biggen­den Hos­pi­tal. The fam­ily has grown to now in­clude five gen­er­a­tions.

Sadly Mavis died on Au­gust 11, 2009.

Ge­orge said he was find­ing he wasn’t as young as he used to be.

“I still have the farm and (am) do­ing some flood re­pairs,” he said.

“You don’t re­alise how much wa­ter came down in the last flood. It was the high­est ever.

“Rocky and Degilbo creeks join to­gether to form one creek in my prop­erty.”

Ge­orge said there was only Alby, Mar­garet and him­self left.

“I visit Alby, who turns 99 in June, most days for a chat,” he said.

“He has a great mem­ory on him.

“Any­thing I can’t re­mem­ber I go and ask him.”

PHOTO: ERICA MURREE

HAPPY 90TH: Ge­orge Cross with his chil­dren Christine, Margie, Linda, Al­lan, Bob and Gra­hame.

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