Mossman’s first motorised carriage
THE first car to rumble into Mossman and splutter its way along the handful of dirt but often boggy streets in 1914 was a Model-T Ford owned by Richard Lunn.
The Model-T was delivered by boat and used for delivering goods from Port Douglas to Mossman.
In those days a one-way trip between the two towns could take up to three hours.
The track was muddy and rutted by buggy wheels and horses’ rest stops and Lunn would drive until bogged to the axles, dig the car out and start again.
Lunn was the popular publican of the Post Office Hotel and also opened Mossman’s first garage, complete with four hand- operated bowsers on the footpath.
But Lunn was best remembered as the owner of the Northern Photo Play Company, which opened in 1912.
The Northern Photo Play Company quickly became the district’s main entertainment hub as people flocked to watch the “flickerless” silent films with piano accompaniment.
Lunn was also locally famous for the social evenings in his Coronation Hall, in Mill Street, including one which raised money for the repatriation fund after the World War 1 Victory Parade.
The crowd enjoyed a furious night of dancing, singing, riotous storytelling and some speechifying by a few “stiff shirts”.
But the mayhem really got underway with raffles where the items raffled included a calf (live of course), a fine smoking pipe, and a box of chocolates, as well as a number of linen and clothing items along with new pairs of sturdy work boots.
Cassowary farmer, Jim Price, won the first two articles, but he gave the pipe back to be raffled off again.
Refreshments were sold during the evening and many willing ladies helped to quickly raise money - and temperatures - by selling kisses at sixpence a time. And with 25 khakiclad returned soldiers attending, the money tins soon rattled themselves full.
A special train brought people from Port Douglas and the Mowbray and took them back to their respective townships after the dance ended. It was a great success with £66 being raised for the repatriation fund.
Lunn featured in Mossman’s Victory Parade in 1919 decked out with his Model-T Ford.