Last year I discovered images of a Moura café in my late father’s slide collection. These images date from the early 1970s. The collection also includes images of several other sites in and around Moura.

1970s. The Moura Post Office Café. Photo source: My late father’s slide collection.

 

1970s. The Moura Post Office Café. Photo source: My late father’s slide collection.

 

As I reflected on that time (early 1970s), I recalled that my father and mother visited Moura a number of times, but the reason for these visits eluded me. I asked myself: Why did my father take photographs of this building? What was his interest in this site? What was special about it? To find answers to my questions, I decided to investigate. This story reveals how I went about my investigation and what I discovered.

But first, here’s a little about Moura and my family connection to the district.

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

•    •    •

About Moura

Moura is a small town in the Banana Shire of Central Queensland, 171 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton and 186 kilometres west south-west of Gladstone. At the 2016 Australian census, Moura had a population of 1,786. [1] Today, the town exists to serve the pastoral and mining industries.

Of the many small towns and communities in the Banana Shire, Moura’s the “youngest”. [2] The Moura railway siding opened on 21 June 1926, but there was no township. At the time, “Moura” (named after a large property in the area) was simply one stop on the Dawson Valley railway line south from Rannes, between Baralaba and Nipan. [3]

The town was surveyed in 1936. From 1937 Moura developed to service new settlers who were taking up small pastoral holdings under a Queensland Government “Closer Settlement” Scheme. [4] In the following photograph, taken in the 1950s, the building in my father’s slide collection is just visible behind the grader (or tractor) at left.

1950s. Early Moura, showing a number of shops in Gillespie Street. The building in my late father’s slide collection is just visible behind the grader (or tractor) at left. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

From 1961 the town grew again as it began to service the district’s coal mining activities. In fact, in the five years between 1961 and 1966, the population of Moura grew from 213 to 1093. [5] By 1968, Moura had become the fastest growing town in Queensland, with its population doubling over the two years 1967-68. [2] By 1976, Moura’s population had reached 2694. [5]

This is the period (1970s) during which my father visited Moura and took his slide shots.

This incredible growth was due primarily to coal mining. The first Moura mine, which commenced operations in July 1961, was located alongside the Dawson Highway, 9.6 kilometres (6 miles) east of Moura. The mine was operated by Thiess Peabody Mitsui Coal Pty. Ltd., formed by Thiess Bros. Pty. Ltd., of Queensland, Australia, Peabody Coal Company of the United States of America, and Mitsui and Co., of Japan. It produced a high grade coking coal which was exported to Japan for use in the manufacture of steel. At that time, the coal was extracted by both open cut and underground methods. [6]

1970s. Dragline, Moura Mine. My father’s white Holden sedan is parked nearby. Photo source: My late father’s slide collection.

 

1970s. Dragline, Moura Mine. Photo source: My late father’s slide collection.

 

One other advancement contributed to Moura’s growth during the period 1962-1978. It was the Fitzroy Basin Brigalow Development Scheme, the biggest land development scheme ever undertaken by the Queensland Government. It brought new landholders into the district and opened up new agricultural and grazing land. [2]

Without doubt, however, since the 1960s, it is coal mining and a number of mining tragedies that have come to define Moura. Between 1961 and 2015 fifty men died in accidents on the local coalfields. This number includes 13, 12 and 11 fatalities as a result of major incidents in 1975, 1986 and 1994 respectively. This enormous loss of life has had a huge impact on the small, close-knit community.

In November last year (2018), after years of planning and fund-raising, the community gathered for the opening of the Moura Miners’ Memorial. The memorial is a large innovative and multi-faceted monument that demands one’s attention, a fitting tribute to the men who died, their families, friends and workmates. It’s located right in the heart of the town, on the corner of the Dawson Highway and Gillespie Street. You can’t miss it.

2018. The Moura Miners’ Memorial. Photo source: Private collection.

 

2018. The Moura Miners’ Memorial. Photo source: Private collection.

 

My maternal ancestors were among the early European settlers of the Banana Shire.

In 1863 my great-great-grandparents, English immigrants Alfred and Emma Beaumont, settled at Dundee, where Alfred purchased a couple of blocks of land. Dundee (later renamed Deeford) was located on the banks of the Dee River, 5 kilometres (3 miles) south-east of Wowan. Wowan, located at the northern end of the Banana Shire and 80 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton, did not exist at the time.

In 1912, Alfred’s and Emma’s oldest son, Thomas Bloomfield (my great-grandfather), and one of Thomas’ sons (Donald, my grandfather), purchased land outside of Rannes, on the Rannes-Banana Road. I have written previously about them, and the houses they built on their respective properties, in Mons: Whose house is that? (November 27, 2016).

c. 1920. “Mons”, Rannes. Home of Thomas and Elizabeth Beaumont, my maternal great-grandparents. Photo source: Beaumont Family collection.

 

These properties remained in the Beaumont Family for the next 70 years or so. As a child I spent many a school holiday visiting my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins at Rannes. I knew the district well. Today a ghost town, Rannes is located 66 km north north-east of Moura.

•    •    •

THE INVESTIGATION: Stage 1

I began by visiting Moura and the site.

In December 2018 my husband Tony and I included a stay at Moura during a visit to Central Queensland and the Banana Shire. I wanted to see firsthand the building pictured in my father’s slides (assuming the building still stands). As a photography enthusiast, I intended to take photographs of the building and compare these with the images my father captured nearly 50 years ago. In addition, I wanted to find out more about the café, the building and its history.

Little was I prepared for what I discovered.

The building pictured in my late father’s slides is still there. It’s located in Moura’s main street, at 31 Gillespie Street. It’s over the road from the former Moura railway station, not far from the town clock at the end of Gillespie Street and the new Moura Miners’ Memorial at the corner of Gillespie Street and the Dawson Highway.

2018. The Culture Shack, 31 Gillespie Street, Moura. Photo source: Private collection.

 

2018. The Culture Shack, 31 Gillespie Street, Moura. Photo source: Private collection.

 

Today the building is the “Culture Shack”. The café has long gone. In the 1970s, according to my father’s images, the building was occupied by I R & D M Oliver, trading as the Post Office Café. Then, the building was white; now, it’s purple! Now it’s the “Culture Shack”. I took photographs of the building, from various angles, then ventured inside. “Culture Shack” is a retail clothing store. Here you can purchase family fashion items, handbags, accessories, footwear, workwear, school uniforms, Manchester and haberdashery.

2018. The Culture Shack, 31 Gillespie Street, Moura. Photo source: Private collection.

 

2018. The Culture Shack, 31 Gillespie Street, Moura. Photo source: Private collection.

 

Tony and I met the owner. We chatted about Moura and her business. I asked about the building’s previous occupants, but her knowledge was limited. She showed us the plaque on the footpath outside the building. The plaque is part of a “Memory Trail” throughout Moura’s business district. She suggested we buy Moura: Down Memory Lane. The First Business Centre 1937-2017, a booklet she had on sale for $10. The booklet, produced for Moura’s 80th anniversary celebrations in 2017, is the work of Poppy Hayden and The Moura Coal and Country Historical Society Inc. [7] And, yes, I bought a copy.

2018. Inside the Culture Shack, we chatted with the owner. Photo source: Private collection.

 

I learnt that the building dates from 1937 and housed Moura’s first café.

According to the plaque on the footpath, the building at 31 Gillespie Street housed Moura’s first café, opened by Charlie and Alma Clarke in 1937. Apparently, in addition to running the café, the Clarkes offered accommodation for travellers. [2, 7] The Moura café changed hands a number of times over the years. In the mid-1960s Ian and Dot Oliver took over the café (trading as the Post Office Café) from the Metten Family. [7]

2018. No. 31 Gillespie Street, Moura. Photo source: Private collection.

 

For a time, the building accommodated Moura’s unofficial Post Office. In 1955, Moura’s unofficial Post Office relocated from Mick and Sylvia Clarke’s “Post Office Store” at the corner of Gillespie Street and the Dawson Highway to the building at 31 Gillespie Street (a few doors down the street). The owners at the time, Norman and Patricia Duffy, extended the building to accommodate the Post Office and Telephone Exchange. Between 1955 and 1967, Moura’s unofficial Post Office was located in the annex of the building at 31 Gillespie Street. [2]

Miss Gwen Metten was the unofficial Post Mistress from January 1962 until April 1967. [2] In 1967 the Post Office was upgraded to official status and moved from 31 Gillespie Street to a new shop on the Dawson Highway. Russell Bennett was the first official Postmaster. [2] The Post Office today is located at 39 Young Street, on the corner of Young Street and the Dawson Highway.

2018. The Moura Post Office, corner of Young Street and Dawson Highway. Photo source: Private collection.

 

The building at 31 Gillespie Street housed Moura’s first restaurant. With the closure of Moura’s unofficial Post Office, the Olivers converted the annex of the building at 31 Gillespie Street into a restaurant. “Oliver’s” café and restaurant served the people of Moura and district for more than a decade, until 1977 (or thereabouts).[6]

1971 Advertisement: I R & D M Oliver “Good Food” Restaurant and Post Office Café. [6]

 

The old building has led many lives since the late 1970s. For a time in the 1980s it housed a Retravision showroom. [7] It’s been a gift shop and a ballet studio. Today it’s a clothing store.

The main thing I learnt during my visit to Moura

The café and building depicted in my late father’s slide collection is one of Moura’s treasures. It’s the only building in the town’s original business centre that dates from Moura’s earliest days. All the other old buildings have gone. Apart from the Moura railway station, which is no longer used by Queensland Rail, this is the oldest building in Moura! It’s still standing – and being used – after more than 80 years!

1937. Moura’s first general store, corner of Gillespie Street and Dawson Highway. This building has long gone. Photo source: State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

 

2018. Former Moura Railway Station. This building still stands. Photo source: Private collection.

 

In the little booklet I purchased [7], on pages 28-30, I found many names associated with the café and the building at 31 Gillespie Street between 1937 and 2017, including the names “Ian and Dot Oliver”. This information was most helpful.

However, what I did not find there was any reference to my father (or mother). By now I was determined to solve this family history puzzle.

•    •    •

THE INVESTIGATION: Stage 2

I followed up a couple of leads.

During my visit to Moura I collected quite a lot of information about the building and café located at 31 Gillespie Street, but I still had no idea why my father was interested in this site.

Furthermore, I hadn’t learnt much about the Olivers, who owned the café between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s. However, the owner of the “Culture Shack” told my husband and me how to contact Stephen Oliver, one of the sons of Ian and Dot Oliver. This was my first lead.

Stephen Oliver was more than happy to help me find answers to my questions. He recounted some of his childhood memories of Moura and of his parents’ café and restaurant. He remembered the time when Miss Gwen Metten ran the Post Office in the annex of the building. He told me that the Metten Family lived in the accommodation at the back of the building. The Oliver Family lived elsewhere in the town.

I asked Stephen if he remembered my father. Happily, he did. Stephen recalled my father visiting his parents and the Moura café on a number of occasions during the 1970s (which confirmed my own recollections of that time). However, Stephen didn’t know why he came and what connection my father had to his parents.

My father took the following photograph of the Moura Hotel Motel in the early 1970s. He would have stayed there overnight during his visits to Moura. The Minister for Mines, Mr Ern Evans, officially opened this modern air-conditioned hotel-motel at the end of 1962, around the same time electricity arrived at Moura. [2]

1970s. Moura Hotel Motel. Photo source: My late father’s slide collection.

 

I had one more lead to follow up.

I recalled that Roger B, a long-time family friend, worked at Moura during the early 1970s. Roger was Moura’s first permanent Clerk of the Court, a position he held for two years. In January 1971 a Magistrates’ Court opened at Moura, one of four towns in the newly designated “Leith Hay District” of regional Magistrates’ Courts.

1971. Magistrates Courts to be held at Moura. [8]

 

The “Leith Hay” name was chosen to commemorate the first white settlers in the Dawson Valley, the family Leith Hay. The Leith Hay brothers were also Justices of the Peace, and as Magistrates sat on the Bench of the first Courts of Petty Sessions at Rannes. [8]

2018. Leith Hay Brothers Memorial Cairn, Rannes. Photo source: Private collection.

 

2018. Leith Hay Brothers Memorial Cairn, Rannes (close-up view). Photo source: Private collection.

 

I contacted Roger to find out what he knew about my father’s connection with the property at 31 Gillespie Street. I asked him if he recalled my father visiting Moura during his time there. He did. Roger said, “Whenever your father was in Moura, he would drop into the courthouse to see me.” When I asked Roger about my father’s interest in the property at 31 Gillespie Street, he confirmed my suspicion. “I think your father owned a block of land there.”

1970s. My father William (Bill) Proposch at The Hub Travel Centre, a business he operated at the Northside Plaza, North Rockhampton. Photo source: Private collection.

 

1974. The Hub Travel Centre, Northside Plaza, North Rockhampton. Photo source: Private collection.

 

I was now almost certain that my father had a business interest at Moura in the 1970s, specifically the property at 31 Gillespie Street. But I had no evidence. In the next stage of my investigation I set out to find that evidence.

•    •    •

THE INVESTIGATION: Stage 3

To begin, I contacted the Queensland Government State Titles Registry.

As my query concerned a historical title search (prior to 1994), I was unable to use the Queensland Government State Title Registry’s online search facility. Thus, on 2 January I phoned the Brisbane office of the State Titles Registry to inquire about 31 Gillespie Street, Moura.

Karen, the officer who answered my call, checked the property details. She informed me that the address in question was leasehold (State-owned) land prior to 1979. According to the 1936 Moura Town Plan, its title was Perpetual Town Lease (PTL) Number 57 Theodore District, Allotment 3, Section II. Given the property lies in the Banana Shire, Karen advised me to email the Central Region (Rockhampton) Office of the State Titles Registry, as the records of the property’s leaseholders should be kept there. I did as Karen suggested.

On 4 January I received an email reply from a Land Officer of the Central Region Office. The officer informed me that she was unable to locate PTL No. 57 in any of the departmental databases and that the lot in question may also have been designated ATP No. 57. Further to this, she discovered that ATP No. 57 file is now located at Queensland State Archives (Item ID 163943).

Reply letter from the State Titles Registry, Central Region Office.

 

In addition to the attached letter, the Land Officer of the State Titles Registry (Central Region Office) sent me the following copy of the Moura Town Plan. It dates from around 1967.

c. 1967. Moura Town Plan (showing main business district).

 

My communication with the State Titles Registry revealed that until 1979 the property at 31 Gillespie Street was leasehold land. Therefore, prior to 1979, its so-called “owners” were in fact leaseholders.

Next, I visited the Queensland State Archives (QSA).

Here I accessed ATP (or PTL) No. 57 “Theo” and found the evidence I was looking for. While it confirmed my suspicion that my father owned (no, leased) the Moura property during the 1970s, my search revealed some surprises.

First, two names associated with the property from its earliest days were missing. I could not find the names Charlie and Alma Clarke (the couple who it is reported opened Moura’s first café) on any lease documents. I came to the conclusion that the café at 31 Gillespie Street was owned and operated on a sub-lease basis. In accord with this assumption, I found one sub-lease agreement, dated 6 February 1970, between Gwendoline Elizabeth Johns (nee Metten) and Ian Robert Oliver and Dorothy May Oliver.

Second, my parents William Edwin PROPOSCH and Evelyn Maud PROPOSCH were joint tenants of the property at 31 Gillespie Street. Not only my father, but also my mother, was a leaseholder. I shouldn’t be surprised, though, because throughout their long marriage, my parents were equal partners in business as in life.

Third, my parents’ acquisition of the property at 31 Gillespie Street commenced early in 1971. In February 1971, a Transfer of Sale was negotiated between Mrs Gwendoline (“Gwen”) Elizabeth Johns (nee Metten) and my parents. All monies concerning the sale were paid into a Trust Account held by Johnson, McSweeney & Co, Solicitors, of Biloela.

Following the death in 1966 of Mr John Richard Metten, who had been a joint tenant with his daughter Gwen, the property at 31 Gillespie Street Moura was managed by the Biloela-based solicitors. Gwen, still single at the time of her father’s death, married local carrier Alfred Alan Johns on 13 January 1968.

At the time my parents were seeking to purchase the lease of the property, Ian and Dot Oliver were running their successful food service business in the building.

The late Ian and Dot Oliver, of Moura. Photo kindly supplied by Stephen Oliver.

 

Finally, I discovered that it took nearly 6 years for the Transfer of Sale to be finalized! The QSA file contains a number of solicitors’ letters (on behalf of my parents, Mrs Johns and the executors of the late Mr Metten’s will) and various Queensland Government letters and reports documenting the long drawn-out transfer process that ensued. For almost 6 years, transfer of the lease of 31 Gillespie Street was held up pending agreement of the beneficiaries of the late Mr Metten’s estate.

Given the time it took for the transfer to be finalized, I’ve concluded that acquisition of the lease of this property must have caused my parents much frustration and angst. And I had no idea!

Here is a list of the owners (and transfers) of Perpetual Town Lease Number 57 Theodore District Allotment 3 Section II (31 Gillespie Street) of the Moura Town Plan.

John Anthony (“Jack”) HALBERSTATER

John Henry PULFORD (transfer registered 24 January 1941)

Daisy Annie Jane DICKSON, wife of William Vincent DICKSON (transfer registered 2 August 1945)

Edgar James LUHRS (transfer registered 2 September 1947)

Sidney John TUCKER and Auriel Ina TUCKER as joint tenants (transfer registered 18 July 1951)

Norman DUFFY and Constance Patricia DUFFY as joint tenants (transfer registered 5 April 1955)

John Richard METTEN and Gwendoline Elizabeth METTEN as joint tenants (transfer registered 12 February 1962)

John Albert METTEN and Gwendoline Elizabeth METTEN as executors of the will of the late John Richard Metten (transfer of the interest of John Richard Metten, registered 19 March 1968)

William Edwin PROPOSCH and Evelyn Maud PROPOSCH as joint tenants (transfer registered 28 May 1976)

Brian GILES (transfer registered 9 November 1977)

Note that the first leaseholder was Mr John Anthony (“Jack”) Halberstater. He purchased the lease in late 1936 or early 1937 and held the lease for 4 years, until its transfer to Mr John Henry Pulford in late 1940 (transfer registered in January 1941). Jack Halberstater was Moura’s first butcher, his shop located next door to the allotment in question. However, in September or October 1937, Halberstater sold his butcher shop to John Pulford. [9]

In April 1979, Mr Brian Giles successfully applied to have the lease on the property at 31 Gillespie Street Moura converted to freehold. During the 1980s Mr Giles turned the café into a Retravision showroom, and leased the annex to other short-term businesses. [7]

•    •    •

WHAT I LEARNT FROM THIS INVESTIGATION

About the Moura café and the building at 31 Gillespie Street

The café and building depicted in my late father’s slide collection is one of Moura’s treasures. It’s the only building in the town’s original business centre that dates from Moura’s earliest days. All the other old buildings have gone. Apart from the Moura railway station, which is no longer used by Queensland Rail, this is the oldest building in Moura! It’s still standing – and being used – after more than 80 years!

As a researcher (or investigator) it’s important to go to the source of one’s inquiry. To gain a proper understanding of the context of the former café and the building that housed it, I needed to visit the site. Once there I picked up quite a lot of clues that guided me in the next stages of my investigation.

About family history and my parents

Family history, and history in general, is complicated and many details get lost (or distorted) over time. It’s important to find evidence for one’s assumptions or beliefs, as far as it is possible. Systematic research can be laborious, but this investigation shows that it is well worth the time and effort. By outlining the process by which I solved this particular family history puzzle, I hope I’ve inspired other family history researchers who have similar problems to solve.

I thought I knew a lot about my parents’ lives, but clearly there is much I don’t know. For example, I didn’t know (or I had completely forgotten) about the Moura property and the circumstances surrounding its acquisition. At the time (early to mid-1970s), I had left home and was busy making a life for myself (studying, becoming a teacher, getting married and, with my husband, buying a house and beginning a family). So, why would my parents bother me with their business dealings and worries?

I have more respect for my late parents’ business acumen, patience and tenacity. The Moura leasehold property turned out to be the first of several commercial properties my parents bought in the 1970s and 1980s in what my father knew to be Queensland’s fastest growing towns and cities. He was ever the entrepreneur! I am immensely proud of what he achieved as a businessman.

Last of all, I do have one regret in relation to my late parents. It’s that I didn’t inquire more about their lives while I had the opportunity. I have so many questions I could put to them now. But it’s too late.
 

MOURA TODAY: PHOTO GALLERY


 

REFERENCES

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

 
  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Census 2016 QuickStats: Moura.
  2. Perry, Betty & Banana (Qld.). Council (2005). Two valleys – one destiny: A history of Banana, ‘Shire of Opportunity’. Banana Shire Council, Biloela, Qld.
  3. Wikipedia (website). ‘Dawson Valley (Theodore) Railway Line’.
  4. National Library of Australia (Trove). ‘Progress on the Dawson’. In Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 – 1954), Saturday 28 November 1936, page 5.
  5. The University of Queensland & Centre for the Government of Queensland (2018). Queensland Places: Moura.
  6. Universal Business Directories (Aust.) Pty Ltd (1971). Universal business directory: combined north-central Queensland business and trade directory. Section 10: Moura. Universal Business Directories (Aust.) Pty Ltd, Brisbane.
  7. Hayden, Poppy & Moura Coal and Country Historical Society Inc. (2017). Down Memory Lane. The first business centre 1937-2017. Moura Coal and Country Historical Society Inc., Moura, Queensland.
  8. ‘Magistrates courts to be held at Moura’. In The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), 9 January 1971, page 16.
  9. National Library of Australia (Trove). ‘Moura’. In Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1930 – 1956), Thursday 7 October 1937, page 49.

 

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20 comments on “The Moura Café and a Family History Puzzle”

  1. Judy You certainly did some work on this issue and as you said we didn’t talk to our Parents enough

    • Thanks, Maurie. I’m glad you read my story – right to the end – and agree with my final comment. I appreciate your feedback. Many blessings, Judy.

  2. This is absolutely fascinating. I haven’t been in Moura for many years but I visited it a number of times in the 70s and knew at least a couple of families there in that time. The ad for the cafe brought back many memories because I was a PMG telephone technician in the 1970s and most of the Dawson Callide region was still manual switching with switchboards in country Post Offices. I still vividly remember visiting the busy little exchange in Theodore on one trip. Keep your stories coming I love your blogs!!!

    • Dave, My Father Laurie Seeney helped lay most of the phone cable through Moura Bauhniaand further West in the ’60’s.He was even lucky enough to get a speeding ticket going through Banana. He never lived it down.He was killed in a work accident in March ’78.I worked at Moura Mine from ’74 till 2012.still live in Moura it’s a Great little town.

    • Dear Dave. How fascinating it is for me to read your comments, to learn about your work and your connection to Moura and the Dawson Callide region in the 1970s. I’m not surprised that you found this story of great interest. Its setting is that very time you spent as a PMG telephone technician in the district (that’s a job that’s long gone!). And I really appreciate your encouraging comments re my stories. Yes, I do hope to keep them coming. I think there’s a lot of other folk like me who love finding out about our local history. There’s so much we can learn. Kind regards, Judy.

  3. An absolutely fascinating read. Your dogged and detailed research is incredible. Thank you so much for sharing

  4. Moura meaning Melon Hole which I grew up remembering. My grandparents come into the area from NSW and won a ballot for land along the Moura – Baralaba rail line 3 miles out of town. My grandparents ended up owning which they called in those days the top end of Moura and the other end was the bottom end. My grandparents ended up retiring in the house which grandma had right beside the post office. They both had all the shops up that end till grandma had to sell her cafe just to have a bathroom and toilet inside the farm house before they retired but grandfather still used the old thunderbox down the back and bathed in a round tub. Just great hearing some history Judith from the old town. Thank you for your story

    • Dear Leanne. Wow! You should write a story yourself, considering this family history associated with Moura. Thanks so much for telling us about it. Kind regards, Judy.

  5. Lol I’m not much of a writer like yourself you’ve covered stuff that I have forgotten about.
    If anything it would be wonderful to find out through my Uncle Jim who is one of my grandparents oldest child who is still living and is around 83-84 years. My Auntie Col is his wife had worked in the post office at the top end of Moura on the old plug in phone line exchange. She said you could get some stories off that some days but she wasn’t a gossiper. I can remember having to answer the old phones putting this thing to my ears and ever since then I think it made me fear phones it was very weird in those days lol.

  6. I truly enjoyed reading this. I grew up in Moura from birth (1968) till 1983.
    My Mum, Pat Manthey, worked at the cafe with Dot Oliver and were good friends. I remember going to bbq’s at the Oliver’s place. One time, I fell and split my knee open on the metal strip joining lino flooring in their house. I still have the scar.

    • Dear Kim. Thank you for your lovely feedback. How wonderful to read about your Mum, Pat Manthey – that she worked with Dot Oliver and that they were good friends. You certainly have a permanent reminder of your family’s close connection with the Olivers. Best wishes, Judy.

  7. What a great story and excellent description of your search trail. The comments also add even more interest and detail to the Moura story.

  8. Hi Judy,
    Your story brought back many memories as I was in Moura during early part of 1969. I was sent out by Social Security in a delivery truck from Rocky to Moura to do bar work at the Moura Hotel Motel. The job was a challenge! The bar would be full at knock off time and you could cut the air with a knife, there was so much smoke. It was very busy and loud. We girls had shared accommodation in motel rooms and ate at the kitchen. Many nights after work we went down to the Dawson River and sat around a campfire in the riverbed. No TV for entertainment or phone to keep in contact with family..
    Thanks for sharing your stories.
    Cheers
    Kay

    • Wow, Kay! That is amazing to read. What one does not know about one’s friends’ lives! Perhaps it’s just like our parents – we thought we knew a lot. Thanks so much for sharing your experience of your days at Moura with me and my readers. Love, Judy. xx

    • Dear Chris. Thanks for your positive response to my story. It’s good to hear that my story interested your husband as well, given his (and your) connection to Moura. Kind regards, Judy.

  9. Like your story , was wondering are you any relation to Alf Proposch that use to have the picture theatre at Oakey . They had a daughter Delmay and son Raymond

  10. Edward, it’s great to receive your feedback. Yes, an Alfred (Alf) Proposch, of Oakey, was my grandfather Charles’ first cousin. Their grandparents were Christian and Elizabeth Proposch (nee Borack), who immigrated to Australia from Babow (Germany) – they were Wendish – in 1854. I wonder if this is the same person you remember. Kind regards, Judy.

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