As part of a recent road trip to Queensland’s northwest and central west, my husband Tony and I returned to Brisbane via the Barcoo Shire, stopping at Stonehenge, Jundah and Windorah. For Tony, our visit to Stonehenge was much anticipated, as his previous and memorable stopover at Stonehenge, as part of his schools ministry, was in 1986, 34 years ago!

This story is a sequel to Visit Outback Queensland: A virtual tour of Windorah (June 20, 2020). There, I shared much of what Tony and I saw and learnt during our visit to Windorah in October last year. You may remember I concluded the virtual tour by stating that we enjoyed our visit to Windorah so much that we planned to return this year and include Jundah and Stonehenge in our itinerary as well. And we are so glad we did!

As I will reveal, many surprises lay in store for us.

NOTE: A list of the reference material I used in preparing this story is found at the end of the post. Specific references are numbered and noted throughout the text by brackets: [X].

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Tony and I went back to the Barcoo on Thursday 30 July 2020.

We left Longreach at 9 o’clock in the morning, taking the Thomson Development Road to Stonehenge, 155 kilometres (about 1 hour 50 minutes’ drive) south of Longreach. Jundah is a further 67 kilometres by road (about 50 minutes) south of Stonehenge. The road is sealed but for the most part narrow – not wide enough for two oncoming vehicles to pass each other on the bitumen – with rough edges and gravel shoulders. Not that I am complaining. It is a lot better than gravel. Apparently, the bitumen on the road between Longreach and Stonehenge was lain as recently as 2000.

We left the Longreach Region and entered the Barcoo Shire about 50 kilometres north of Stonehenge, around 10.15 am.

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Welcome to Barcoo sign, Thomson Development Road, Longreach to Jundah. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

About the Barcoo Shire

The Barcoo Shire is a large, sparsely populated local government area in central western Queensland. While it covers an area of 61,974 square kilometres (a little less than the area of Tasmania), the shire has fewer than 300 permanent residents (267 at June 2018). Stonehenge, Jundah and Windorah are the Barcoo Shire’s three towns. [1]

The shire is named after one of its two main rivers, the Barcoo. The Thomson River (from the north) and the Barcoo River (from the east) meet south of Jundah, near Windorah, to form Cooper’s Creek. The New South Wales Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell charted the Barcoo River in 1846 and named it “Victoria”. In 1848 explorer Edmund Kennedy renamed the river “Barcoo”. Kennedy also named the Thomson River, in 1847, in honour of Sir Edward Deas Thomson, Clerk of the Queensland Executive and Legislative Councils. Both Stonehenge and Jundah are located by the Thomson River. [2, 3]

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Jundah and Stonehenge 4X4 Routes. Map source: Barcoo Shire Council. Jundah Information Centre booklet.

 

The Thomson River is over 350 kilometres long. Three north Queensland streams converge just north of Muttaburra to form the mighty Thomson River. Muttaburra is a small town about 100 kilometres as the crow flies northeast of Longreach. [4]

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View of the Thomson River at Jundah, from the road bridge. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Flooding of the Thomson River is not uncommon. After heavy rainfall over its numerous tributaries, particularly in the north, the Thomson will break its banks. At Jundah, if the river height reaches 2 metres, it’s a minor flood; at 5 metres it’s a major flood. On numerous occasions, Jundah has experienced major flooding. For example, on 1 June 1955 the river reached a height of 8.46 metres and on 31 January 1974 a height of 8.38 metres. These are just two of the record flood levels.

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1950. Thomson River in flood at Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

Today, the Barcoo Shire’s administrative centre is Jundah, but it was not always so.

The Barcoo local government area was formed in 1887. The Barcoo Divisional Board, set up under Queensland’s 1879 Divisional Boards Act, met for the first time on 21 August 1888 at John Lonergan’s Store in Stonehenge. The Local Authorities Act 1902 abolished Queensland’s divisional boards and, on 31 March 1903, the Barcoo Shire Council came into existence. [5]

The council continued to meet at Stonehenge, roughly the centre of the large shire. At the time the Barcoo Shire included Isisford at its eastern extremity. On 28 December 1907, however, with the formation of the Isisford Shire centred on Isisford, the Barcoo Shire was roughly halved. Stonehenge was no longer the geographical centre of the Barcoo Shire. [6]

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1906. Courthouse and police station building at Stonehenge, Queensland. State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

From about 1910, the Jundah Progress Association petitioned to have the shire headquarters moved from Stonehenge to Jundah. Despite bitter opposition from Stonehenge residents, the council moved its headquarters to Jundah in 1939. The council held its first meeting at Jundah in November 1939. Meacham and Leyland of Longreach constructed the new shire office building at Jundah at a cost of £2,354. [7, 8]

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Undated. Barcoo Shire Office, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Barcoo Shire Museum.

 

This building, although modified over time, continued to serve as the shire council office until 2007. Then, to make way for a new administration building, it was moved to the corner of Macrossan and Miles streets, where it now serves as the Barcoo Shire Museum.

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Barcoo Shire Museum, corner of Macrossan and Miles streets, Jundah, Queensland. This building served as the Shire Office from 1939 to 2007. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

The new Barcoo Shire Council administration building at Jundah was completed in March 2008. Next door to the administration building is the council’s Works and Services building. It was opened on 30 June 2012. Its cost, $866,000, was fully funded by the Barcoo Shire Council. [9]

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Barcoo Shire Council Works and Services building, Dickson Street, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Stonehenge

In planning our return visit to the Barcoo, Tony and I read about the “Stonehenge Address Book”, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it. Apparently, the so-called address book had its beginnings many years ago when the local mailman at the time, Johnny Weston, stranded with a broken-down truck, used stones to write “Jundah” by the roadside. [10]

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The Stonehenge Address Book is located by the Thomson Development Road, a few kilometres north of Stonehenge. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Clearly, others liked the idea, and a tradition was born. Passers-by are encouraged to use stones to “write” their names in the address book. What a great idea! But there’s one rule: You must not “erase” any other names in the book (by removing their stones): You have to find your own “writing material”. It’s not a problem, though, because there is no shortage of gibbers (stones)!

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Tony and I wrote our names in the Stonehenge Address Book. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

One could easily bypass Stonehenge when driving from Longreach to Jundah (or vice versa). From the north, it’s 3 kilometres off the re-routed main road, from the south 6 kilometres in. So, one might surmise: Why make the detour into Stonehenge? After all, it’s a really tiny town, with a population of just 44 at the 2016 Australian census. [11]

You may be surprised to learn that the town of Stonehenge has a modern Community Centre and Library (opened in 2010), which also serves as the Stonehenge Information Centre, a museum being developed behind the community centre, a community hall, hotel, caravan park, sports centre (cricket oval and tennis courts), children’s playground, school and airport.

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The Stonehenge Community Centre houses the town library and the Stonehenge Information Centre. Outside is the town’s war memorial (pictured). Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

What Tony was bursting to see during his return visit to Stonehenge was the airport, cricket oval and school. And they are just as he remembered them – well, almost. The most notable difference was the oval. This time it is grassed; before it was just dirt and gibbers. And now the airstrip is bitumen sealed.

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The cricket oval at Stonehenge, recently named the “Nathan Oates Memorial Oval” in honour of local man and keen cricketer, Nathan Oates, who died as a result of a road accident in 2018. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Tony with the Stonehenge airport and cricket oval in the background. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Tony reminisces…

It was early September 1986, when I joined Captains Don and Eva Hill, of the Salvation Army, at the Longreach airport. I was about to accompany Don on a day trip to Isisford, Yaraka and Stonehenge.

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1986. Captains Don and Eva Hill, of the Longreach Salvation Army, at the Longreach airport. Photo source: Salecich collection 1986.

 

Captain Hill had a pilot’s licence and flew regularly to these and other tiny towns in central western Queensland, as part of his church’s ministry to folk living in these remote towns and on isolated properties. On this trip, Don planned to visit the state schools at Isisford, Yaraka and Stonehenge, to conduct non-denominational Christian education classes at each school in turn.

So, why was I accompanying Don? At the time, I was the Central Queensland Coordinator of Scripture Union Queensland (based in Rockhampton), a former schoolteacher and a children and youth ministry specialist. Not only did Don want me to meet the staff at these tiny schools and encourage them in their work, but he wanted me to take the religious education (RE) class at each school. I felt very privileged and excited to do so.

Stonehenge was our third port of call for the day. As we boarded the plane at Yaraka, for Stonehenge, Don, knowing what lay ahead, said, “Unlike at Isisford and Yaraka, we won’t need anyone to pick us up to take us to the school at Stonehenge. But we’ll still need some time to get to the school from the airfield.” (As I was soon to discover, it was quite a distance.)

Leaving Yaraka by plane was an experience I haven’t forgotten: the red soil, a towering dark red jump up, dark green-grey vegetation, a few houses and the school. This view, along with my thoughts about the keen school staff and attentive RE students at the school, left an indelible mark.

As we approached Stonehenge, I could see the river course and the flat plain on which the town was located. Closer still, I spied the landing strip, the cricket oval, a few buildings and the wide streets.

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1986. View of Stonehenge from the air. Photo source: Salecich collection 1986.

 

Don landed the aircraft in a north-south direction and taxied back to the “gate” at the northern end of the dirt-only airstrip. After we exited the plane, he locked it and we headed on foot “cross-country” towards the school.

To get to the school, we had to walk across the cricket oval. I clearly remember the little rise, or lip, at its boundary. The oval had been graded and it sat below the lip, which was about 50 centimetres high. In the middle of the oval there was a concrete pitch covered in green mesh, but the oval had no grass, only lots of small reddish-brown round stones.

Stonehenge State School, 1986

After the oval we crossed a street, open ground then another street, before reaching the school. The staff and students were waiting for us. From their warm welcome on our arrival I concluded that they knew Captain Hill well and held him in high regard. Happily, I was to be the beneficiary of this great relationship.

There were seven children in attendance at Stonehenge State School that day. All of them participated in the lesson I conducted. The staff joined in too. The lesson was based on John’s gospel, Chapter 19. To illustrate the gospel message, I showed the children how to fold a rectangular piece of paper, make one cut with scissors and produce three crosses and the words LOVE and LIFE. They were amazed! At the end of the lesson, the children, Captain Hill and the staff posed proudly for a photograph.

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1986. Staff and children of the Stonehenge State School, and Captain Hill, pose for a photograph. Photo source: Salecich collection 1986.

 

If you were one of these children or staff 34 years ago, or know any one of them, you might like to make yourself known to me via the comments section at the end of this post.

By this time, it was getting late, and Don had to make it back to Longreach before dark. Much encouraged after spending time with this small group of enthusiastic students and staff, and ministering to them, we retraced our steps back to the airfield.

As we left Stonehenge, I reflected on how great a privilege it was to minister to these staff and children – in the middle of nowhere – at a place few folk in Queensland or Australia would even know existed. Captain Don Hill, who never said much, seemed well and truly satisfied after our day’s work.

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About Stonehenge State School

During our recent visit to Stonehenge Tony and I saw the original Stonehenge school building. Along with the former police lock-up, it forms part of the nascent town museum in the grounds of the Stonehenge Community Centre. The old Stonehenge school building was used until the end of 1975.

According to Education Queensland records, the Stonehenge school, initially a provisional school, opened on 3 September 1900. [12] Because of a delay in starting construction of the school building (construction didn’t commence until late 1900), classes were held in the Divisional Board hall until 1 March 1901, when the new building was ready for use. [13]

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Former Stonehenge State School building, now part of the town museum. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Inside the former Stonehenge State School building, now part of the town museum. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Old school desk and seat, inside the former Stonehenge State School building, now part of the town museum. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

It seems that, during the 120 years since it first opened, the Stonehenge school has always struggled to have enough student enrolments. Due to low numbers, the school closed at the beginning of 1943. It must have opened again for a couple of years, as it closed again at the beginning of 1947. Apparently, the school did not re-open until the mid-1950s. It closed again at the beginning of the school year in 1977 and re-opened at the beginning of 1981. From that time until now, the school has remained open. [14, 15]

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1906. School building, Stonehenge, Queensland. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

For the tiny Stonehenge community, there is always the threat of numbers being too low to keep the school open. This year, reportedly, the school has thirteen students, all from surrounding properties. That is small. Nevertheless, the school Parents’ and Citizens’ Association, the principal, and the children, are determined to keep the school open.

One of their initiatives is on display for visitors to see and purchase at the Stonehenge Community Centre: brilliantly coloured plastic coasters promoting the Stonehenge State School. What is so amazing about these coasters is that the children made them with the school’s 3-D printer! Purchasing these coasters will help keep the Stonehenge State School open and viable. If you are on Facebook, you make like to take a look at the school’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StonehengeStateSchool/

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Stonehenge State School coasters, on sale at the Stonehenge Community Centre. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Stonehenge Hotel and Stonehenge War Memorial Hall

While at Stonehenge, we checked out the caravan park (we had morning tea there), hotel and community hall. Since our visit, I’ve discovered some facts about the hotel(s) and community hall at Stonehenge.

Irishman John Lonergan, who pioneered Jundah from 1879, came to Stonehenge some years later and bought Byrnes’ hotel and Haylock’s store. In 1884, he built the Stonehenge Hotel. He then moved the building housing Haylock’s store to a site next door to the hotel and had the store renovated and enlarged. This became “Lonergan’s Store”. The business passed through several hands, until the store closed in 1937. The building was sold and removed to Bogewong Station, between Stonehenge and Longreach. The Stonehenge Hotel building stood until March 1966, when it was destroyed by fire. [16]

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Undated. Stonehenge Hotel, Stonehenge, Queensland. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

After the fire of 1966, Stonehenge was left without a hotel. The locals believed the hotel played an important part in keeping the town alive and people connected, so they petitioned the Barcoo Shire Council to rebuild it. In 1969, the council agreed to rebuild the Stonehenge Hotel and employ managers to run it. [17]

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Stonehenge Hotel, Stratford Street, Stonehenge, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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The bar, inside the Stonehenge Hotel, Stonehenge, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

At one time, in the early 1900s, Stonehenge had two hotels, the Stonehenge Hotel and the Royal Mail Hotel. The Royal Mail Hotel closed in late 1908. The licensee of the Stonehenge Hotel bought the building and used it for his hotel’s overflow accommodation. The former Royal Mail Hotel was located approximately on the site occupied by the Stonehenge community hall today. [18]

The Barcoo Divisional Hall (later the Shire Hall) was built at Stonehenge in 1891, following the formation of the Barcoo Division. (Remember, at that time, Stonehenge was the administrative centre of the division.) The community used the hall regularly for dances and other gatherings. In 1936, the building was enlarged and a new floor laid. Unfortunately, in 1948, a windstorm caused extensive damage to the old hall. It had come to the end of its useful life. [19]

The Stonehenge community decided to build a War Memorial Hall to replace the old Shire Hall. Mr A C S Hall, Esq, of “Valetta”, Stonehenge, laid the building’s foundation stone on 25 April 1959 and the Stonehenge Memorial Hall was officially opened on 6 June 1959. This well-maintained hall remains one of the town’s main features. Inside, there are two Roll of Honour boards listing the men and women of Stonehenge and district who served in the two world wars. One board is dated 1948; the other (with an updated list) is dated 1960.

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Stonehenge War Memorial Hall, corner of Stratford and Salisbury streets, Stonehenge, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

There is (and was) no church building at Stonehenge. However, over the years, the Stonehenge War Memorial Hall, and the former Shire Hall, have hosted church services by visiting clergy. The Anglican Church based at Longreach, for example, has long included Stonehenge (and Jundah) in its field of ministry, conducting services here every couple of months or so. [20, 21, 22]

I believe this is also the case for the Catholic Church. Other Christian denominations have also endeavoured, although spasmodically, to minister to the people of Stonehenge.

Thomson River, XXXX Hill and Swanvale Jump Up

Our time in Stonehenge was nearly over. Last of all, we took Warbreccan Road to the Thomson River, to see where the locals enjoy water sports and fishing.

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One of the channels of the Thomson River at Stonehenge. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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We couldn’t help but smile at this traffic sign, on the Warbreccan Road entry to Stonehenge. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Before heading south to Jundah, Tony and I returned to the main road north of Stonehenge. We wanted to see XXXX Hill and the nearby rock holes, which we missed before. Although we didn’t have time to explore the rock holes, we walked to the top of XXXX Hill, where we had a breathtaking 360 degrees view of the Thomson River flood plains and the surrounding Johnstone Range. (This small range runs from the north of the Barcoo Shire to the Barcoo River in the south.)

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View from the top of XXXX Hill, near Stonehenge, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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View from the top of XXXX Hill, near Stonehenge, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

About 30 kilometres south of Stonehenge, we came to the Swanvale Jump Up. Here we stopped to take in the view from the visitors’ lookout. While most of the countryside in Queensland’s outback is flat, “jump ups” such as this one come as a surprise, breaking the monotony of the often-treeless open plains, from which they arise. From the top of these rock formations, which have survived due to their unusually hard rock capping, one can see far below and into the distance.

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View from the Swanvale Jump Up Lookout. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

About 5 minutes’ drive south of Swanvale Jump Up, we stopped to view a native well. The well is located about 50 metres off the main road. In days gone by, during more favourable seasons, the local indigenous people (the Kuungkari) used wells such as this as a water source. This well (pictured) is apparently a small one, as they range in size from around 30 centimetres to a couple of metres in diameter. At the time of our visit, the well was completely dry.

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Native well, located by the road between Stonehenge and Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Jundah

On our arrival at Jundah, two things immediately stood out. One was the road grid and associated barrier fence surrounding the town common. (That’s to keep out the kangaroos.) The other was the “Welcome to Jundah” sign and information board on a replica Jundah store front.

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“Welcome to Jundah” sign, information board and replica store front, at the Longreach-Jundah road entrance to Jundah. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

This “Welcome to Jundah” sign is one of four such signs, information boards and replica store fronts, as there’s one at each of the four road entrances to the town. Each one displays different historical or geographical information about Jundah and the Barcoo Shire (we know – because we drove around the town and stopped to photograph and read the information on each one). We found these unique 2009 additions to the town most interesting and educative. For example, we learnt that “Jundah” is a local aboriginal word for “woman”.

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Welcome to Jundah sign, Jundah-Windorah Road entrance (via Thomson River), Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Barrier fence and grid, The River Road (to Windorah) entrance, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

On this return visit to the Barcoo, Stonehenge was the place Tony longed to see (again); for me, it was Jundah.

I had read much about Jundah’s history, including the work of the Longreach-based Bush Brotherhood of St Andrew in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so I wanted to see the town for myself. Like Stonehenge, Jundah is a tiny town, with a population (at the 2016 Australian census) of just 106. [23]

To begin our visit to Jundah, Tony and I called in to the Jundah Information Centre. It’s located at 11 Dickson Street (the main street). Here we met Courtney, a delightful young woman, who provided us with brochures and answered many of our questions about the town and district.

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Jundah Information Centre, Dickson Street, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Jundah’s mail service(s)

Jundah’s Rural Transaction Centre, Information Centre and Library opened in this building in 2005. The building also houses the shire’s post office. The post office facilities include Commonwealth Bank agency, EFTPOS, Epos, online banking, twice weekly mail service to/from Yaraka, twice weekly mail service to/from Longreach.

Surprisingly, Jundah’s mail services commenced before a town reserve was set aside and seven years before Jundah was gazetted as a township. A receiving office opened at the Jundah Police Barracks on 1 August 1876. The service was elevated to a post office on 26 June 1877. The Jundah town reserve was proclaimed on 30 October 1878 on land resumed from a portion of a pastoral run called “Jundah”. In 1883, Jundah was gazetted as a township, after it was surveyed by Mr G L Weale. [24]

A post office building was constructed in 1884. A telegraph office opened on 21 April 1885 and a combined post and telegraph office was formed on 8 May 1885. The Jundah Post Office was made official in 1893, transferred to the Commonwealth on 1 March 1900, and made unofficial on 1 March 1970. [25]

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1906. The mail coach from Longreach arriving at Jundah Post Office. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

By the time Tony and I left the Jundah Information Centre, it was lunchtime (actually, it was quite late, and we were hungry). We found a vacant picnic table in the shade of large trees in Dickson Street (the main street), just outside the Barcoo Shire War Memorial Park. Here we paused and enjoyed our basket lunch.

Barcoo Shire War Memorial Park

After lunch, we wandered through the Barcoo Shire War Memorial Park. The Hon W A R Rae, MLA, Member for Gregory, officially opened the park on 25 April 1961. The park and its facilities are contemporary and well-maintained – a credit to the Barcoo Shire Council – and, at the time of our visit, despite it being wintertime, the lawn was lush and green. Apart from the intermittent, pleasant chattering of birds in the trees, the space was very peaceful. The town swimming pool is located behind and adjacent to the park.

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Barcoo Shire War Memorial Park entrance, Dickson Street, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Barcoo Shire War Memorial Park, Dickson Street, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

The war memorial is situated in the centre of the park, at the end of a concrete path leading from the park’s rather grand entrance gates. Tony and I noted (and I photographed) the shire’s honour roll. We were amazed by the number of men and women from the shire who served in the two world wars. Given the Barcoo Shire’s population at the time, that 65 men volunteered for service in World War I, and 79 volunteered for service in World War II, this was an incredible sacrifice on the part of the people of the shire. Having examined Australian census data from 1921, 1933 and 1947, I estimate that 40-50% of eligible males of the shire volunteered for war service in 1914-1918 and in 1939-1945.

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Barcoo Shire Council War Memorial, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Barcoo Shire Council Roll of Honour, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

If you’d like to learn more about men and women of the Barcoo Shire who served our country in times of war, Peter and Sheila Forrest have dedicated a whole chapter (Chapter 15: “We Salute Them”) to this topic in their book Their Promised Land: A History of the People and Places of the Barcoo Shire, Western Queensland. I commend it to you.

Jundah Police Station and Jundah Hall

The Jundah Police Station is located next door to the park, in Dickson Street. The town’s first police station was built in 1890.

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Jundah Police Station today. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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1906. Police Station at Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

The Jundah Hall is located over the road from the park. It dates from 1937. Jundah’s first hall, which opened in 1902, was replaced in 1926 by a hall built by a local man, Dave Eyre. Within a few years, however, members of the Jundah community wanted a new hall, citing that Eyre’s hall was too small and the dance floor had worn out. The people asked the council to build the hall, but the council declined. Nevertheless, the council gave its blessing for the community to take on the project. Under the auspices of the Jundah Hall Management Committee, the new hall was built, and it opened on 4 December 1937. [26, 27]

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The Jundah Hall is located in Dickson Street, over the road from the Barcoo Shire War Memorial Park. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Jundah’s store(s) and pub

One couldn’t help but notice the quaint little “Jundah Store” and residence over the road from the Barcoo Shire War Memorial Park. Clearly the store was closed.

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The “Jundah Store”, located in Dickson Street over the road from the Barcoo Shire War Memorial Park, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Curious, I went next door to the Jundah Roadhouse to ask about the store. The young woman behind the counter told me the store closed last September (2019), when the service station opened. I discovered that the service station (Jundah Roadhouse) also incorporates a store and cafe. The young woman explained that the Barcoo Shire Council, which owned (or owns) the former store and petrol outlet, had the new facility built in its place. “My husband and I are managing the business for the council”, she said.

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The Jundah Roadhouse, which opened in 2019, serves the community as a store, cafe and petrol outlet. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

The Jundah Hotel is located in Dickson Street between Macrossan and McIllwraith streets. Unfortunately, it was closed the afternoon we visited, so we didn’t get to see inside. A sign on the door read: “BACK AT Approx. 4.00 pm”. The Jundah Caravan Park is located next door to the pub.

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The Jundah Hotel is located in Dickson Street, between Macrossan and McIllwraith streets, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Over the road from the hotel, in Dickson Street, we discovered one of Jundah’s early buildings. Today, it’s a private home. Notably, it’s the façade of this building that is replicated in the “Welcome to Jundah” signs at the four entrances to town. The building, once a general store, dates from 1925.  

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Historic 1925 store, Dickson Street, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Another view of the historic 1925 store, Dickson Street, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

In its early days, Jundah had two or three stores. For example, in 1901, according to Pugh’s Almanac, Jundah had two hotels and three stores (Williamson & Co, C E Rayment and Bromley & Co). [28] In 1902 or 1903, Charles Cartwright came to Jundah to run the Williamson & Co store. Cartwright was one of the major shareholders in Williamson & Co following the death of William Williamson in 1899. Cartwright continued to manage the store for Williamson & Co until 1910, when his own company, Cartwright’s Limited, took it over. From then on, the store became known as Cartwright’s General Store. [29]

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c. 1913. Wagon in front of Mr Cartwright’s store, the former Williamson & Co store, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

Unfortunately, the original 1899 Williamson & Co building that housed Mr Cartwright’s store burnt down in February 1925. Mr Cartwright rebuilt the store on the same site, and the new building opened for business in July 1925. [30, 31]

I’m not sure how many times the store changed hands, but in later years Alf Armstrong, and then his son Ken, owned the store. Armstrong’s General Store is remembered as one of Jundah’s institutions.

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This cash register (which I photographed at the Barcoo Shire Museum) was donated to the museum by brothers Ken and Stan Armstrong. The cash register was purchased by Alf Armstrong (their father) when he owned the business. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Jundah’s churches

Earlier in the day, as Tony and I drove into town, we spotted St Peter’s Catholic Church. It’s located at 1 Dickson Street. Services are held here once every two months. From the outside, the building appears to be well-looked after. Unfortunately, we did not see inside.

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St Peter’s Catholic Church, 1 Dickson Street, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

But where was the century-old Anglican Church I had read so much about? That was the one building at Jundah I was bursting to see. I knew its story well, and its connection with the Bush Brotherhood of St Andrew based at Longreach over a century ago.

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The Bush Brotherhood of St Andrew: Stonehenge and Jundah

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, members of the Anglican Bush Brotherhood of St Andrew, based at Longreach, were among those keen to enlist. Rev Frederick Hulton-Sams, at home in England on leave at the time, was one of the Brothers who enlisted. He planned to return to Queensland and his work with the Brotherhood of St Andrew after the war. However, this was not to be. Hulton-Sams was killed in action at Hooge, Flanders, on 31 July 1915. [32] His premature death was a sore loss to the Bush Brotherhood and the fledgling church in central western Queensland. Rayner, in his thesis The History of the Church of England in Queensland, put it this way:

The Bush Brotherhood on the whole became extremely popular and brought a great fund of goodwill towards the church in the bush. … Some of [the brothers] became almost legendary … such as Frederick Hulton-Sams of the Brotherhood of St Andrew, whose loving spirit, bored with officialdom but full of Christian joy, brought a bond of sympathy with the informal layman of the bush. [33]

For 5½ years, from late 1908 to April 1914, Rev Hulton-Sams ministered to folk throughout central western and south western Queensland. His field of ministry included Stonehenge and Jundah, where his visits, such as this one in May 1911, were always well-received:

The Rev Hulton-Sams paid us a visit [at Jundah] last Saturday. He held a service in the hall on Sunday night, which was well attended. Mr Sams delivered a very interesting sermon, which was much appreciated by those present. [34]

During his travels, Rev Hulton-Sams called in to the district’s station homesteads and shearing sheds, conducting services and afterwards engaging any man who fancied himself with the gloves. Besides being a clergyman, Hulton-Sams was a champion boxer, and he taught many of the bush men “the noble art”. Not surprisingly, he became known far and wide as “The Fighting Parson”. It was well known that, along with his vestments and service books, he always carried two pairs of boxing gloves! [35]

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Rev Frederick Hulton-Sams (left) was known as “The Fighting Parson”. Photo source: Webb (1978) [36]. Public domain.

 

The indomitable Hulton-Sams undertook several extensive tours of central western and south western Queensland, from Longreach as far south as the South Australian border (and back). On one of these trips, in 1912, he travelled a total of 1500 miles (2400+ kilometres) over a period of 15 weeks, unaccompanied, and by means of two ponies. In many places he visited, he was the first clergyman the people had met:

The Rev F Hulton Sams is expected back this week from a trip to Jundah, Windorah, Betoota, Birdsville, Bedourie, Boulia, and places en route. By the time he returns Mr Sams will have travelled 1500 miles, and he has certainly covered fresh ground, having been where no clergyman was ever seen previously. [37]

During his 5½ years of ministry as a Bush Brother, Hulton-Sams touched the lives of many people of the west and those who knew him loved him. No wonder, after his untimely death in 1915, the people whom he had served so enthusiastically and selflessly sought to honour him with a suitable memorial.

The people agreed to raise £40 to put a memorial brass tablet in each of the church buildings where Hulton-Sams had ministered (Longreach, Barcaldine, Winton and Aramac). As a further token of their love and appreciation for the work of Rev Hulton-Sams, the people proposed that the church planned for Jundah, when built, be dedicated to his memory. [38]

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Hulton-Sams memorial tablet, Church of the Incarnation, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

The inscription on each brass tablet reads: “To the Glory of God, and in the memory of Frederick E B Hulton-Sams. Priest, one time member of the St Andrew’s Bush Brotherhood. Lieutenant D.C.L.I. Aged 33 Years. Killed in action – 31st July 1915, at Hooge, Flanders, bringing water to the wounded. St Matt. XXV. 40.” Note: D.C.L.I. stands for the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, which was a light infantry regiment of the British Army between 1881 and 1959.

For more about the work of the Bush Brotherhood of St Andrew, read Easter at St George’s Church Aramac (1889, 1913), a story I published on my blog earlier this year (April 11, 2020).

Jundah’s Church of the Incarnation

The Church of the Incarnation at Jundah was built in 1916 and, by July that year, was ready for dedication. However, rain made the roads impassable, so the Anglican Bishop of Rockhampton, the Right Reverend George Halford (himself a former Bush Brother) was unable to come to Jundah to perform the dedication. The people of Jundah had to wait for a year for the dedication of their new church, which took place on 14 October 1917. As planned, the building was dedicated to the glory of God and in memory of the late Rev Frederick Hulton-Sams. [39]

The Jundah church was a simple corrugated iron structure, neither lined nor ceiled, with plain square-headed windows and doors. As a memorial to Rev Hulton-Sams, the building was considered by some to be less than suitable. Worse still, it was not always looked after. During a visit to Jundah in July 1927, Rev J H Brown-Beresford, of Longreach, noted 16 broken or cracked windows, forced entry through the vestry door and broken locks. He organised the local policeman to keep a check on the building, to prevent future vandalism. He wrote:

One cannot help wishing that a more fitting memorial to that good priest, officer, and gallant gentleman were extant. A fine concrete brick church here in Longreach, which was the centre of his ministrations, should in time be a fitting witness to the life of one whose name will never be forgotten in Central Queensland. There is a beautiful beaten silver chalice, studded with opals and a paten given by his relations. I cannot help feeling, with Mr. Chandler, that neglect and desecration of this building is as bad as destroying his tombstone. [40]

By the late 1940s, the church was sadly neglected and badly in need of repair. According to a visitor to Jundah in 1948, the people of Jundah could not be proud of the state of the building. “There is not a sound window left and the shire clerk has taken possession of the cross and dedicatory tablet for safe keeping”, he wrote. [41]

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c. 1950. Church of the Incarnation, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

In 1952, the Anglican Church moved Jundah’s memorial Church of the Incarnation from its original site to its present site, a block of land donated to the church at the corner of Macrossan and Garrick streets. After the move and extensive repairs to the building, the Anglican Bishop of Rockhampton, the Right Rev J A G Housden, consecrated the site and re-opened the memorial church on Tuesday 21 October 1952. [42]

●   ●   ●

I was overcome with emotion when I spotted Jundah’s iconic Church of the Incarnation. It is all I expected it to be – and more!

Today, the tiny church is well cared for. It stands proudly in the middle of a large almost bare corner block (which makes the building appear even smaller than it is). Its corrugated iron exterior has been painted and all the windows and doors are intact. There is an awning over the entrance. Tony and I had completed a circuit of the building, and I was taking photographs, when a lady across the road from the church called out to us: “It’s open. You can go inside if you like.”

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Church of the Incarnation, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Church of the Incarnation, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

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Church of the Incarnation, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Inside, the décor is equally plain, simple and basic. The walls and ceiling are lined. The walls are painted in a cool pastel green shade and the ceiling is off-white. Patterned linoleum covers the floor and a dark green carpet runner extends the length of the centre aisle. The furnishings include a timber altar and altar rails, well-kept timber pews, a lectern and several timber stands. A small brass standard cross and two brass candlesticks adorn the altar. On the wall behind the altar, there are two beautiful quilted fabric wall hangings. The Hulton-Sams memorial brass tablet, two framed photographs of Rev Hulton-Sams and one framed notice about the history of church hang on the left-hand side wall (as one faces the altar).

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Interior, Church of the Incarnation, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

It was evident that a funeral had been held here recently. A sheet-covered bier stood in the aisle at the end of the nave. Tony found a service brochure on one of the pews, which revealed that Rev Susan Liersch (St Andrew’s Anglican Parish, Longreach) and Pastor Steve Cavill (Longreach Baptist Church) conducted the funeral service for lifelong Jundah resident, the late Ivy Rayment, on 6 June 2020. Clearly, Jundah’s Church of the Incarnation is still in use today.

After seeing the Jundah church for myself, and knowing Rev Hulton-Sams’ story, I believe it is a most fitting memorial. Its corrugated iron exterior reminds me of a shearer’s shed, or a simple pioneer’s hut, in keeping with the kind of buildings Hulton-Sams would have come across on his travels. Also, given Hulton-Sams’ down-to-earth approach to life and his humble servant-like ministry, this building, as a memorial, is just perfect. A grand, bricks-and-mortar building would be quite inappropriate as a tribute to such a man. Besides, this iconic building is a wonderful reminder of Jundah’s early history and the pioneering clergymen who brought the Christian gospel to the bush.

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1950. Simple dwelling on the outskirts of Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

Our last two stops at Jundah

After leaving the church, Tony and I visited the Barcoo Shire Museum. It is situated across the road and in the next block, at the corner of Macrossan and Miles streets. Here, in the unattended building and grounds, it was easy to while away our time. We began by wandering through the building, reading the many “Facts about Jundah” and viewing the various shop-window type displays. Then we ventured outside, to view the two gigantic wagons and many and various appliances and implements from days long gone.

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Old wagons, Barcoo Shire Museum, Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

Finally, at 4.15 pm, before leaving Jundah and heading to Windorah (where we planned to stay overnight), we stopped to find several trees featured in Settlers’ Nature Drive. The drive, which begins at the Thomson River, takes the visitor along the riverbank then a loop behind the town, with 38 different plants/trees to spot on the way.

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Tony admires this magnificent River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) by the Thomson River at Jundah, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

●   ●   ●

“Back to the Barcoo”: Epilogue

About 90 kilometres east-southeast of Jundah, a couple of kilometres north of the Jundah-Yaraka Road, one can inspect the ruins of the Welford Lagoon Hotel. Also known as The Shanty Pub or “Magee’s Shanty”, the hotel was built around 1883. Not far from the Barcoo River, it was a popular stop for drovers, teamsters, travellers and locals. Unfortunately, Tony and I didn’t have time on this trip to visit the site.

You may be interested to learn that “Magee’s Shanty” is (allegedly) the setting for Andrew Barton (“Banjo”) Paterson’s famous poem A Bush Christening. Paterson’s poem, a comical account of the christening of a young boy called Michael (“Maginnis”) Magee, was first published in The Bulletin on 16 December 1893. You might like to read the poem for yourself. It’s very funny. This is how it begins:

On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross’d ‘cept by folk that are lost
One Michael Magee had a shanty. [43]

Indeed, Rev C S Newham, of the Church of England, was the first Protestant clergyman to visit these parts. He came to Jundah (and I assume Stonehenge) for the first time in July 1894 (seven months after Paterson’s poem was published). Rev Newham’s visit coincided with a visit by a representative of the Roman Catholic Church, Rev Father Bowen, and both men conducted church services and (I hasten to add) a “christening” or two:

June 19th was remarkable for the arrival of a representative of each of the two great Episcopalian Churches. The Rev C S Newham (of the Church of England) was the first to arrive and was followed in forty minutes by the Rev Bowen (of the Roman Catholic Church). The first-named gentleman held two services on Sunday June 24th and the Rev Bowen held mass on the morning of the 31st. The services of both gentlemen were called into requisition to perform what I think is called christening. … As a matter of local history I ought to say that the services held by the Rev C S Newham were the first Protestant ones held in Jundah. [44]

While Tony and I were staying at Winton’s North Gregory Hotel, several days before our recent visit to Stonehenge and Jundah, we were fortunate enough to hear a contemporary bush poet, Gregory North, recite Paterson’s “A Bush Christening”. How timely is that?

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Bush poet Gregory North recites A B Paterson’s “A Bush Christening” at Winton, Queensland. Photo source: Salecich collection 2020.

 

As my story has revealed, in this remote part of Queensland, there are not many churches and so-called “men and women of religion”. In this respect, not much has changed since Banjo Paterson’s day.

I guess it is not surprising, though, because not many people live out here. At the last count, the entire Barcoo Shire had fewer than 300 permanent residents, spread over a huge area, a little less than that of the whole of Tasmania, and concentrated in three small towns: Stonehenge, Jundah and Windorah.

Our recent visit to the Barcoo was my second and Tony’s third visit to this remote yet fascinating part of Queensland.

Will we go back again? Yes, definitely. God willing. There is still so much more to see and learn. And, once again, we’ll have the pleasure of meeting some of the locals.

 

REFERENCES

Click here for details of references I used in preparing this story.

 

GENERAL REFERENCES

Barcoo Shire Council. (Undated, current). Visit Barcoo: Jundah. Tourist Information & Mud Maps. (Jundah Information Centre booklet). Barcoo Shire Council.

Barcoo Shire Council. (Undated, current). A biography of Stonehenge. (Stonehenge Information Centre information sheet compiled by Mr Peter Forrest). Barcoo Shire Council.

Barcoo Shire Council. (Undated, current). Tour around Stonehenge. (Stonehenge Information Centre information sheet). Barcoo Shire Council.

Barcoo Shire Council. (Undated, current). Heart of the Channel Country: Jundah, Stonehenge, Windorah. (Promotional booklet). Barcoo Shire Council.

 

SPECIFIC REFERENCES

  1. Visit Barcoo. Barcoo Shire Council. (Website). Online: Retrieved on 13 August 2020.
  2. Barcoo River. (Website). Online: Retrieved on 13 August 2020.
  3. Thomson River (Queensland). (Website). Online: Retrieved on 13 August 2020.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Shire of Barcoo. (Website). Online: Retrieved on 13 August 2020.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Tender Accepted. New Council Chambers at Jundah. Barcoo Shire Council. (1939). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Saturday 24 June, page 28. Online: Retrieved on 5 October 2020.
  8. New Council Chambers. Barcoo Shire Office Now At Jundah. (1939). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Saturday 18 November, page 23. Online: Retrieved on 5 October 2020.
  9. Forrest, P., Forrest, Sheila, & Barcoo Shire Council issuing body. (2014).Their Promised Land : A History of the People and Places of the Barcoo Shire, Western Queensland / Peter and Sheila Forrest.
  10. Visit Barcoo: Things to do in Stonehenge. (Website). Online: Retrieved on 5 October 2020.
  11. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2016 QuickStats: Stonehenge (Barcoo – Qld). Online: Retrieved on 13 August 2020.
  12. Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools. Queensland Government: Department of Education. Online: Retrieved on 17 October 2020.
  13. Forrest, P., Forrest, Sheila, & Barcoo Shire Council issuing body. (2014).Their Promised Land : A History of the People and Places of the Barcoo Shire, Western Queensland / Peter and Sheila Forrest.
  14. Stonehenge School Closed. (1943). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Saturday 6 March, page 11. Online: Retrieved on 17 October 2020.
  15. Stonehenge School Closed. Not One Pupil. (1947). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Friday 14 February, page 15. Online: Retrieved on 17 October 2020.
  16. Forrest, P., Forrest, Sheila, & Barcoo Shire Council issuing body. (2014).Their Promised Land : A History of the People and Places of the Barcoo Shire, Western Queensland / Peter and Sheila Forrest.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Bishop Halford’s Western Tour. (1913). Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 – 1922), Saturday 6 September, page 11. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  21. Church of England. Annual Meeting of Parishioners. (1930). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Friday 10 January, page 24. Online: Retrieved on 17 October 2020.
  22. Church Services St Andrew’s Church of England. Longreach. (1953). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Friday 13 November, page 24. Online: Retrieved on 17 October 2020.
  23. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2016 QuickStats: Jundah. Online: Retrieved on 13 August 2020.
  24. Shire of Barcoo. (Website). Online: Retrieved on 13 August 2020.
  25. Frew, J. (1981).Queensland Post Offices 1842-1980 and Receiving Offices 1869-1927 / Joan Frew. Online: Retrieved on 18 June 2020.
  26. Forrest, P., Forrest, Sheila, & Barcoo Shire Council issuing body. (2014).Their Promised Land : A History of the People and Places of the Barcoo Shire, Western Queensland / Peter and Sheila Forrest.
  27. (1937). Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1930 – 1956), Thursday 23 December, page 50. Online: Retrieved on 17 October 2020.
  28. Pugh’s Almanac. Text Queensland. (Website). Online: Retrieved on 5 October 2020.
  29. Forrest, P., Forrest, Sheila, & Barcoo Shire Council issuing body. (2014).Their Promised Land : A History of the People and Places of the Barcoo Shire, Western Queensland / Peter and Sheila Forrest.
  30. Cartwright’s Store Completely Destroyed. Railway Hotel Narrowly Escapes. Jundah, 12-3-25. (1925). Evening News (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1924 – 1941), Friday 13 March, page 4. Online: Retrieved on 18 October 2020.
  31. Jundah Notes. (1925). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Friday 3 July, page 25. Online: Retrieved on 18 October 2020.
  32. How Hulton-Sams Died. (1915). Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 – 1922), Saturday 9 October, page 12. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  33. Rayner, Keith & The University of Queensland. (1962). The History of the Church of England in Queensland. (Thesis). Keith Rayner, pp. 364-365.
  34. Jundah Items. (1911). Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 – 1922), Saturday 20 May, page 10. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  35. The Rev Hulton-Sams. Queensland’s Fighting Parson. (1912). Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 – 1915), Saturday 30 March, page 6. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  36. Webb, R. (1978). Brothers in the Sun : A History of the Bush Brotherhood Movement in the Outback of Australia. R.A.F. Webb (Brother Paul).
  37. The Churches. (1912). Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 – 1954), Saturday 30 November, page 8. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  38. The Fighting Parson. (1915). Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), Monday 13 September, page 8. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  39. Anglican Synod. Opening Session. (1918). Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 – 1929), Saturday 6 July, page 30. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  40. A Visit to Jundah. (By the Rev. J. H. Brown-Beresford). (1927). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Friday 15 July, page 27. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  41. On Western Trail. Down The River. (1948). Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 – 1954), Monday 27 September, page 6. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  42. Rev Hulton Sams Church Being Re-opened. (1952). Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954), Friday 17 October, page 1. Online: Retrieved on 20 October 2020.
  43. Paterson, A. B. (1893). ‘Bush Christening’. In The Bulletin (Xmas edition), Vol. 13, No. 722, 16 December 1893, p. 16.
  44. Jundah Jottings. By Nemo. (1894). Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 – 1922), Tuesday 17 July, page 6. Online: Retrieved on 23 October 2020.

 

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Back to the Barcoo: Stonehenge and Jundah via @jsalecich
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8 Comments on Back to the Barcoo: Stonehenge and Jundah

  1. Thank you for a delightful, as was interesting read. Given it is fifty years since I wandered around that over all region of Queensland, I have come to look forward to your essays…enjoying the updated perspective.

    • Dear Graham. I’m so pleased you are finding my stories interesting and enjoyable, giving you an update on the places you knew so long ago. Thanks for sharing your response with me and my readers. Many blessings, Judy.

  2. Thank you Judy for this most interesting report of your travels through outback Queensland. I haven’t been to these places so it was all new to me. I did notice a mention of Muttaburra where I went after we were married.

  3. Thank you for a wonderful story.
    A few years ago, we went from Longreach to Stonehenge and the onto Jundah. We camped beside the hotel and met up with folk from Stawell in Victoria who we knew quite well.
    Later that day, we went into the store which was owned by Kath, her husband had died previously and my husband,s sister had met Kath when both husbands were sick in Charleville hospital., and had an interesting talk with Kath. On the Saturday morning we were invited with about 20 others to have morning tea across the road with another Kath, the old home still had the dentist shop next to the house. I heard last year that Kath who we had morning tea with had died.
    We had a great time in Jundah and did some fishing in the river.

    • Dear Rae. What wonderful memories you and your husband made during your visit to Jundah! Thank you for sharing them with me/us. The two ladies called “Kath” were clearly very hospitable. So sorry to read that one of these ladies died recently. Kind regards, Judy.

  4. Judy you are at it again!! these outback places have such stories to tell.
    We are amused by the name Church of the Incarnation. Never heard of that
    one. I see some green grass too and how do they manage that in such dry
    places. My friend Norma who lives at at the Sunshine coast lived in Charters
    Towers for a time when her father was the police magistrate there before they
    came to Rockhampton. The people that live in these towns probably would not
    live anywhere else. I guess many people in the big cities have no idea of these
    towns or what they are about. Thank you Judy for the information you have
    provided and the time taken to do so.
    Margaret and Neville

    t

    • Dear Margaret and Neville. You are right – these outback places have so many stories waiting to be told. And I feel so privileged to visit such places, to learn a little of their story (or stories) and share what I’ve learnt with others. There’s no doubt that the people who live in these rural or remote places love where they live. And I agree with you – many people in the big cities have no idea about these towns and communities. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my latest travel chronicle! Many blessings to you both, Judy. xx

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