Moss­man’s first mo­torised car­riage

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - HISTORY -

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.

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