Photos by Cr David Pahlke and the words by the fabulous Moreton Border News 15.9.2017
COFFEE with a serve of humble pie was on the menu at Harry’s Place on Saturday morning. Cr Dave Pahlke was there to offer apologies to three long time locals and their families. Present were brothers Ces, Sel and Bing Heit. “Earlier this year the Heit family held a reunion at Spicers Hidden Vale and for some reason I put it in my diary under the wrong date. “I missed the event completely much to my embarrassment and sorrow. “To have three brothers in their 80’s with such links to the region and to the wider Ipswich community is pretty special and that is something I had planned to recognise.”
Instead Cr Pahlke organised for the family to gather at Rosewood for morning tea and a chance to present the certificates he had waiting in his office. He laughed as he admitted that the date on the certificates was just a few months off but said getting this family together in one place was no simple feat. “Matching the diaries of these three men and myself was something of a nightmare but we finally found a date that everyone could gather.” A number of other family members were also present and gently chided Cr Pahlke about his recording of event dates. But it was also an opportunity for them to again recall some of their memories of growing up on the dairy farm at Hidden Vale, the property that is now owned by the Spicers resort chain.
The brothers clearly recall attending the old Hidden Vale School and during World War II, hearing noise from the nearby Mt Mort firing range. They also met Sydney Cotton, the man who was the inspiration for the Bond novels authored by Ian Fleming. Bing explained that Sydney was a member of the Cotton family who owned the Hidden Vale property the Heit family worked on and the boys would watch his plane fly in. They also spoke of their time living at Amberley on the property jointly owned by their father Jim and his brother George. The family ran a successful piggery on the site and all three boys worked on the farm at various stages of their lives.
Sel explained the property was across from where the service station is today and was known as Heit Park Raceway. “We raced motorbikes. The track was listed as a Miniature TT Motorcycle Racetrack and was run by the Ipswich Motorcycle Club where all manner of bikes were raced. “Ces and I were the two who really raced the bikes as Bing, while he rode a motor bike, was far more interested in pushbike racing and won some impressive races in his day,” Sel recalled. The three boys were also the first of four generations of’Heit kids’ who would attend Amberley State School. As the three young boys grew into men they also became involved in the community involved. Sel is now the only one who lives locally at The Bluff. Between them they owned pubs, transport businesses, a newsagency and gas delivery business and worked in local mines.
Sel is a current member of Rosewood Lions, in fact he is both a founding member and charter president of the group. Bing has a proud history of support of the Willowbank area and in particular the old Amberley State School. Cecil said he was the Elgas delivery man in the region for 27 years and like his brothers has fond memories of growing up as one of the ‘Heit Boys’. Cr Pahlke closed the morning with a presentation to the ‘Heit boys’ of the certificates.