Medals awarded for bravery in 1893 floods
SEPTEMBER 23, 1893 was a day of great celebrations in the town of Lowood, mainly because the Governor Sir Henry Wylie Norman was there to present Royal Humane Society Medals to Major J.F. Flewell Smith, Private Malcolm Smith, Sgt. Edward Nunn and Mr William Russell.
The medals were awarded to the men because of their bravery when at the height of the Jan/Feb 1893 floods, they rescued eight people who clung to trees in the middle of the raging Brisbane River. Those rescued include Cpt. and Mrs R Vernor, their children and others.
Also on that same day the annual inspection of K Company (Lowood) Moreton Regiment by Commandant Major General Owen took place and the laying of the foundation block for the new Lowood Anglican Church (Three of the rescue party were members of K Company).
Captain Vernor explained “We had a fearful trial and fortunately escaped with our lives. Our home had been surrounded by flood water. We remained in the house until the water drove us out.
We then went in a boat to the loft in the stable where I thought we would be safe.
Within half an hour we had the forlorn hope we might reach the other side of the river but we ran into branches of trees, the boat capsized and we were all struggling in a fearful torrent. We clung to the trees for 23 hours until we saw two little flat bottomed punts coming to our rescue. How the men managed to guide their frail crafts I cannot tell, but within 10 minutes we were all aboard and were rowed to safety”.
His Excellency Sir Norman made the presentations of the medals but the honours of pinning them on to the men was given to Mrs Vernor.
A new shirt factory was being erected at the corner of Bell and Union Streets Ipswich in January 1908 for Messrs Alexander Stewart & Sons.
It promised to be an imposing structure of brick.
The building was reported to include special features for the staff. These included a spacious dining room of 24ft x 50ft, a workroom of 76ft x 50ft and the building was to have good lighting.
A further report on the shirt factory read “The Shirt factory at the cnr. Union and Bell Sts is opening on March 28 1908.”
Operations commenced early in the morning and 25 hands were employed.
These girls had received instructions for three weeks at the firm’s Brisbane Factory and had travelled to Brisbane by train.
Another 30 girls were employed on the opening day and they would receive training from those who had earlier been trained in Brisbane.
Mr Stewart who came to Ipswich to supervise the opening of the Ipswich branch hoped to have 150 machines installed within 12 months and that 200 girls would be employed.
AERODROME AT AMBERLEY
Mr Jos. Francis MP stated on the evening of September 28, 1939 that he had discussed with the Commonwealth Director and Mr Cadden, chief Engineer of the Commonwealth Works Department, the position of ex-soldiers who were employed constructing the aerodrome at Amberley. He had been informed that the construction had reached such stage that the surfacing of the runways was so near completion that there was not sufficient work now offering for employment of all, he regretted to say that a further five men and two trucks have to cease work.
The Department had advised Mr Francis that there was the utmost satisfaction with the progress of the work and that the report of all men had been entirely satisfactory.
Mr Francis said he had discussed with the Commonwealth Minister for Works Senator Foll the question of the expenditure of the erection of further buildings on the aerodrome at Amberley, so that the men discharged might apply to the successful contractor for employment when the works commenced.
These contracts contained a clause providing for preference to returned soldiers in the work carried out by the contractor.
Good news came to Ipswich in 1873 when J Hempsted & Co Manufacturers of all kinds of aerated waters released their Patent Stoppered Bottles of drinks. The firm claimed that their product was drunk in all the best hotels in England and America. They advertised that these bottles would be found to be far superior to the old style.
Ginger beer, lemonade, soda water, sarsaparilla and all other drinks were sold at 2 shillings per dozen, syphons holding a quart, 6 shillings per dozen.
Their manufactory was in Brisbane Street, Ipswich.
Major-General John Fletcher Owen.