Lady Chelmsford Hospital on Walker St, Bundaberg. Photo courtesy Rod Savidge Photo Contributed
Lady Chelmsford Hospital on Walker St, Bundaberg. Photo courtesy Rod Savidge Photo Contributed Rod Savidge

BETTY'S VIEW: Sweet memories of my grandparents

MY MATERNAL grandparents met when Grandma was a lady's maid at one of the wealthy residences in Brisbane.

Grandad, we called him Pop, was an apprentice butcher who delivered meat orders to the same address.

Years later they married, and Pop had to give up his job as a butcher because they had a disabled daughter, who had to have daily salt water swims.

So, in the early 1900s they bought a property that backed onto a river.

They called it Woodlands. Pop's niece Ethel and her husband Sam were also in the butchery business.

They owned Hursthouse's butcher shop near Bundaberg Hospital in the 1940s.

The only things on Woodlands were four mango trees and a poinciana, bauhemia (butterfly) and a jacaranda tree.
Pop rented a house for the family while he and oldest surviving son, Walter (Wally), built their home from timber cut from the property.

Although roughly constructed, the house never had damage or lost its roof throughout all those years of cyclones.

The mango trees that had become huge and may have sheltered it.

They were a family of four boys and four girls, the oldest son died age 4.

Pop made all of their furniture, including a big dresser for Grandma to keep her few precious possessions in.

He decorated it with fretwork, which was his hobby.

He also made nests of photo frames and large ones for the cigarette cards of birds and sportsmen, all in fretwork.

It was a hard life, but with good water from a well and a natural spring at the bottom of the hill, they turned Woodlands into a sugar cane farm.

All the produce they needed was grown on the farm.

Pop gave Grandma a plot of her own to grow things for pocket money.

I have already written about her famous cotton crop. All the heavy work was done by two clydesdale horses, until in later years they were able to afford a small tractor.

Grandma was often called upon to deliver babies, sometimes mothers didn't have time to get to Bundaberg Lady Chelmsford maternity hospital.

In early years, Grandma had to deliver some of her own children when help was not available.

That was how she gained knowledge in that field.

So, she kept a small port of necessary items ready to go.

She delivered my second eldest brother, Des, at Woodlands.

The man, now deceased, who bought Woodlands from my grandparents, bulldozed the mango, flowering trees, house and the outbuildings, all over the side of the hill.

I was in a state of shock the first time I saw the devastation many years later.

Today, Woodlands is owned by someone who has been a life-long friend.

I am happy now to know that wonderful haven from my past is in such good hands.



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