Hut is now his­tory

Townsville Bulletin - - Cyclone Yasi: the aftermath - by John An­der­sen john. an­der­sen@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A CARD­WELL hut that was an im­por­tant link to the North’s pi­o­neer­ing past was erased from the face of the earth by Cy­clone Yasi.

Hub­inger’s Hut, a bush tim­ber and cor­ru­gated iron struc­ture which has stood de­fi­ant for decades in the face of cy­clones, the march of time, and armies of de­ter­mined ter­mites, fi­nally met its match on Fe­bru­ary 2.

The build­ing, which has b e e n p h o t o g r a p h e d a n d painted by thou­sands of high­way trav­ellers, has been look­ing as though it could be blown over by a ‘‘ huff and a puff’’ for the past 30 years. It fi­nally suc­cumbed to the el­e­ments and now its pieces lie scat­tered to the four winds.

Anne Meal­ing f rom t he Card­well and District His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety said the hut was orig­i­nally built at the old Five Mile Creek meat­works site just south of the sea­side town, which it­self was torn asun­der in Yasi. THEN, NOW: Card­well and District His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s Anne Meal­ing at Hub­inger’s Hut pre

Cy­clone Yasi; the ‘‘ hut’’ af­ter Yasi tore through the re­gion

Ms Meal­ing said the hut was moved to its present site at Sun­beam Creek, 4km north of Card­well, by the pi­o­neer­ing Hub­inger fam­ily early last cen­tury.

‘‘ It used to be the tongue house at the meat­works at Five Mile Creek,’’ she said.

‘ ‘ T h e y w o u l d s a l t t h e tongues of the slaugh­tered cat­tle and then hang them in the hut to cure.’’

Ms Meal­ing said that in the early part of the 1900s, North Queens­land was hit si­mul­ta­ne­ously by a long drought and a tick plague. She said cat­tle died in their thou­sands, re­sult­ing in the clo­sure of the Five Mile Creek meat­works.

M s M e a l i n g s a i d t h e Hub­inger fam­ily bought the tongue house and moved it to Sun­beam Creek, about 15km away.

The re­fusal of the Na­tional Trust of Queens­land to take some re­spon­si­bil­ity for the mai n t e n a n c e o f t h e t r a - dit i onal t i mber and i r on struc­ture is some­thing which has al­ways ran­kled those who wanted the hut re­stored.

Ms Meal­ing said the trust re­fused to take any part in its main­te­nance or restora­tion be­cause it had been moved from its orig­i­nal site.

‘ ‘ T h e N a t i o n a l T r u s t wouldn’t do any­thing with it be­cause they said it had been moved,’’ she said.

Ms Meal­ing said the his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety had man­aged to sal­vage a door and a front wall of the hut af­ter the cy­clone. She said the so­ci­ety hoped to dis­play them in its mu­seum in Card­well. She said the old tim­ber mu­seum had also fallen vic­tim to the cy­clone.

‘‘ The old hut was such a land­mark. So many peo­ple wanted to do some­thing, but it was too much for our lit­tle his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety,’’ she said.

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