A century of animals making headlines in Bundy
A CUTE quoll arrived in Bundy this month but 100 years ago additions to the city's zoo weren't quite as exotic.
The Daily Mail, one of the forerunners of the NewsMail, reported that two residents, Mr C.C. Zahn of Gooburrum and Mr Davidson of Gin Gin, had donated a young emu and kangaroo to the zoo.
The Mayor, Alderman Martin Dunn, gratefully accepted the gifts.
Another animal making news 100 years ago was a cow that made its way into the Oxford Boarding House on Barolin St.
It first rifled through the kitchen and knocked over a flower box, before barging into a room where the occupant was in bed reading.
It finally ventured into the dining room where a guest from the Isis, Miss Richmond, dispatched the beast from the hotel.
The really big news of 1919 was the outbreak of the dreaded Spanish flu.
Millions around the world had been infected, and by May it had reached Bundaberg.
Four doctors at a hastily set up inoculation depot spent four days vaccinating 173 people.
On May 30, so many staff had taken ill the Daily Mail, the paper, was delivered after a considerable delay - and when it was, it had bad news, including the death of a nurse at Gin Gin and a mother of five in Bundaberg.
A second wave of the flu would hit in June. The Mail on July 12 was reduced from 12 to eight pages because of the number of staff who had again taken ill.
As well as vaccinations, local schools were closed, enclosed places of amusement were banned and sick people were ordered to not attend church until the epidemic was brought under control.
The region was also in the grips of a drought one hundred years ago.
One electrical storm brought such little rain that a journalist lamented it was "barely sufficient to wet a silk coat”.
The price of butter and bacon increased, and potatoes were "practically unprocurable” with consumers willing to pay big prices for the humble spud.
That wasn't the only shortage.
Salt had been scarce for some time before the steamer Flinders arrived laden with 80 tons for local merchants.
From one weather extreme to another, a hailstorm at Mount Perry in 1919 left the city covered in hail storms 30cm-45cm deep. They remained for two days.
In a sign of how tough times were, the health inspector was forced to crack down on the unhygienic practice of retrieving glass bottles and tins from the rubbish depot, cleaning them and then reselling them for using them for the storage of soft drink and honey.