Ful­fill­ing life­time am­bi­tion

Colleen Brown now back to her child­hood roots

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Erica Mur­ree erica.mur­ree@cnbtimes.com.au

AF­TER decades away Colleen Brown has re­tired to the town where she was born and raised.

She said she had so many mem­o­ries of shows, cam­p­drafts, rodeos and sports she at­tended with her par­ents Don and Coral.

“I was even here in Biggen­den the Christ­mas the hall blew down,” she said.

“Af­ter we moved when I was 11 we al­ways came back for hol­i­days to stay with rel­a­tives.”

In 2010 Ms Brown and her part­ner Reg Berthelsen bought a home at Deg­ibo.

But it wouldn’t be un­til 2015 that they came to live in the area.

Ms Brown said this was the time she and Mr Berthelsen al­ways planned to re­tire.

“But it didn’t quite work out to plan,” she said.

“Thanks to the fi­nan­cial crash ... it didn’t leave me with as much money as I thought I’d have.”

Ms Brown said Biggen­den was al­ways home.

She met Mr Berthelsen, who grew up in the Yerra area, near Mary­bor­ough, when they worked for the same truck­ing com­pany in Beaudesert.

“What has al­ways fas­ci­nated me was we knew so many of the same peo­ple,” she said.

“The rest is his­tory: we’ve been to­gether ever since.”

Both are keen pho­tog­ra­phers and are found­ing mem­bers of the Beaudesert Cam­era Club.

Ms Brown said this all came about from them want­ing to learn more about photography.

“I went to one photo shop ask­ing where I could go and take lessons,” she said.

“He sug­gested the li­brary, so I went to an­other cam­era shop in town to be told he had al­ready had some in­quiries.

“With this in­ter­est we formed the club with six mem­bers.”

At the Biggen­den Show, Mr Berthelsen was busy snap­ping pho­to­graphs which will be used in next year’s show sched­ule.

Ms Brown said when she came back to Biggen­den she wanted to vol­un­teer some hours to a com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion.

❝ Biggen­den was al­ways home to me.

— Colleen Brown

“I orig­i­nally went to the Biggen­den Mu­seum for pho­to­graphs for the Biggen­den State School’s 125th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions,” she said.

“When I re­alised they needed help des­per­ately I de­cided I could help.

“I am there of a Tues­day and Thurs­day la­belling.

“There is just so much there it’s amaz­ing.”

Ms Brown loves fam­ily his­tory and re­search­ing his­tory in gen­eral.

Her an­ces­tors, the Sum­mers and Fowler fam­i­lies, were early set­tlers in the Lake­side area.

She said both fam­i­lies came out to Aus­tralia in 1886 and to Lake­side in 1890 where they lived side by side.

“Two of the Fowler men mar­ried two of the Sum­mers daugh­ters,” she said.

Her in­volve­ment with the Biggen­den Show came about when she read a piece in the pa­per about them look­ing for help.

Ms Brown at­tended some meet­ings and 12 months later ended up as sec­re­tary.

She said she en­joyed the re­cent show where she met new peo­ple and fam­i­lies she recog­nised from grow­ing up in the area.

In the mean­time Ms Brown and Mr Berthelsen are hook­ing up the van and head­ing north with their cam­eras.

PHOTO: ERICA MUR­REE

HOME AGAIN: Af­ter years away from Biggen­den, Colleen Brown has re­turned to the town where she was born.

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