Traveller falls in love with North
Corporal Ronald Charles ( Ron) Cooper and his brother Warrant Officer Thomas Cowie ( Tom) Cooper both died in World War II. Ron was killed in action at El Alamein, Egypt, in August, 1942, while serving with the 2/ 15th Battalion. He played rugby league for Queensland in 1935, and had enlisted in the AIF in Ingham in July, 1940, aged 29. Tom, a public servant, enlisted in Townsville a month earlier, aged 27, joined the 2/ 10th Field Regiment, was taken a prisoner of war in Singapore in 1942 and died in 1944. Both grew up in South Townsville, sons of John and Agnes Cooper. Waterside worker Cornelius Kenealy enlisted in the AIF in April, 1917, aged 37, having previously served two years in the militia with the Kennedy Regiment. He joined the 52nd Battalion in France in March, 1918, and was awarded the Military Medal for courage and devotion to duty while a stretcherbearer at Dernancourt a month later. His son, Cornelius ( Con) Kenealy enlisted in the 2nd AIF in Townsville in 1940, aged 26. Council later named this street in his honour of the younger Kenealy.
Then aged 87, she was interviewed after giving $ 4000 towards the construction of a gazebo and playground in Soroptimist Park, Rowes Bay.
In 1973, Mrs Heselton was a founding member of Soroptimist International Townsville, drawing on her UK experience with the worldwide women’s organisation. Two more Soroptimist clubs were established in the city, Townsville West and Townsville Breakwater, and the park established at Rowes Bay in 1985 was a joint project, catering to adults and children with disabilities.
The adventure playground and footpaths were designed for easy wheelchair access.
“I could not think of a better cause,” Mrs Heselton said.
In 1988, the local Soroptimists received a $ 10,000 grant from the Bicentennial Authority for an 8m sculpture in steel, copper, timber and rock celebrating the environment.
The work on the edge of Rowes Bay was created by three leading Australian sculptors, Bert Flugelman, Peter Blizzard and Anthony Pryor.
Townsville City Council also chipped in with funding.
Described later by Mr Pryor as a representation of a jetty or pier, with Magnetic Island and surrounding mountain ranges on the horizon, the work took him and his colleagues a week to complete.
Mr Pryor, whose bestknown work, The Legend, stands outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, told the Townsville Bulletin in 1988 that they had tried to “capture the essence of North Queensland” and inspire the imagination of young viewers.
Mr Pryor died of leukaemia in 1991, aged 40.
Another of his creations can be found in Townsville’s Perfumed Gardens.
The city council spent $ 14,000 in 2006 on cleaning and repainting the sculpture and replacing corroded components which had rusted beyond repair. Last week five indentured labourers under the sugarworkers’ agreement arrived at Townsville, on the way to Geraldton, to the employ of Mr Dempsey. The men came out by the Omrah from England, were met on arrival here by Mr J B Hammond, of the Government Labor Bureau, and sent on to their destination. It is understood arrangements are being made by some Queensland pastoralists to indent labour under somewhat similar conditions. Writing to his mother, under date May 27 [ from the Dardanelles], George Walker, of Bell St, South Townsville, says, “I suppose you have come to the conclusion ere this that something had happened to me when you had not received any word from me. Ere this you have had an account in the papers concerning our landing, so I will not ask you to go through the torture of listening to it over again. Sufficient to say that I contend Australia made a name for itself ... Enclosed find identity disc for Eddie Cahill, which please ask Frank to hand over to his relatives. He worked at J N Parkes’s, so he will be able to give him any assistance he wants. He was found in front of our trenches the day we buried the dead, so must have fallen on the first day, Sunday, 25th April. Tom Watson is missing. I am the only Townsville representative left in the 1st Contingent.’’
I could not think of a better cause
The Shaw, Savlll and Albion steamer Matakana, which sailed for New Zealand on Wednesday evening, has carried from Glasgow on the round trip, 150 casks of whisky for the purpose of giving it maturity. The Matakana also loaded a quantity of wine at Capetown which will be discharged at Auckland, New Zealand.
Soroptimists Lorna Mead, Judy Robertson, Cr John Robertson, Coral Dews and Judy Hunter in front of the sculptures at Soroptimist Park at Rowes Bay. INSET: Joyce Heselton.
July 22, 1908
Townsville Daily Bulletin
July 22, 1915