Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -


ON WED­NES­DAY, March 28, 2018, my cousin, Suezanne Lynch (nee Wit­ton) and I, to­gether with our hus­bands, drove to Biggen­den to learn a lit­tle more about our fam­ily his­tory.

We ar­rived at the museum where we were blown away to meet peo­ple who had lived in the houses be­long­ing to Ge­orge Wit­ton and who took the time to come and share these mem­o­ries with us. Not to men­tion a fab­u­lous morn­ing tea. Thanks ladies.

Lt Ge­orge Rams­dale Wit­ton was our grand­fa­ther’s (Ed­win Wit­ton) cousin.

We grew up with the knowl­edge of Ge­orge go­ing off to the Boer War cam­paign, and the tragedy that un­folded.

We were also aware he had writ­ten the book, Scape­goats of the Em­pire, on his re­turn to Aus­tralia.

We un­der­stood these books were never distributed due to a sus­pi­cious fire at the ware­house.

Luck­ily Ge­orge had a few copies at his home which the fam­ily kept.

This book has since been reprinted and tells a fas­ci­nat­ing story.

Ge­orge and Ed­win’s grand­fa­ther, Joseph Wit­ton, was the first Wes­leyan min­is­ter in Aus­tralia and he set­tled the fam­ily in Vic­to­ria.

There has been con­fu­sion as to where Ge­orge set­tled in Queens­land be­cause we are aware a Ge­orge Rams­dale Wit­ton is buried in the Cairns ceme­tery.

It was a chance meet­ing with Erica Mur­ree at Biggen­den who filled in some of the miss­ing pieces of our fam­ily his­tory.

It now ap­pears the Ge­orge Wit­ton buried in Cairns was ac­tu­ally our grand­fa­ther’s older brother who met with a tragic ac­ci­dent while work­ing at the sawmill there.

He had gone to North Queens­land in or­der to work and sup­port his mother and younger sib­lings fol­low­ing the un­timely death of his fa­ther.

We are grate­ful to the peo­ple of Coal­stoun Lakes and Biggen­den who have, with love, taken the time to re­mem­ber and doc­u­ment Ge­orge’s time in the area from 1910–1937.

We would like to say thank you to Erica, Vi, Joy, Colleen and Clar­rie for a very spe­cial day, shar­ing their mem­o­ries, and re­trac­ing the places that played such an im­por­tant part in Ge­orge and his wife, Mary’s, lives.

We all had a re­mark­able day and we ap­pre­ci­ate the time you gave to us. — Lynette Tun­gate (nee Wit­ton), Mackay

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