MT FORBES RURAL FIRIE WINS TOP AWARD in Annual Ipswich Rotary Club Emergency Services Awards.



Ipswich City Council will provide a book which teaches children about the responsibilities of owning a pet free of charge to ratepayers. The book, Best Friends Forever, written by council education officer Nicole Grant, was officially launched last week at Ipswich Central Library by Councillors Sheila Ireland and David Pahlke. Ms Grant paired up with illustrator Pinar Cekic to inspire a book which promotes a simple message: “That a pet is your best friend forever.” Council said the book is such a great resource it decided to make it available freely to ratepayers at various locations, including the pound and animal management centre at West Ipswich.

Cr Ireland, chairperson of the Health, Security and Community Safety Committee, said Best Friends Forever, which tells of Lucy’s journey as she adopts a dog and learns the responsibilities of owing a pet, was wonderfully written and illustrated and would be a valuable new resource for council’s animal management education. “Council has developed a resource that can be used with its Pets and People Education Program (PetPEP) that is conducted in kindergartens and primary schools across the city. In addition to it being a free resource for the PetPEP program, the book is now available at various locations,” she said.

Cr Pahlke, chairperson of the Libraries and Tourism Committee, said the launch on 5 April was a great success and well attended by children and their parents and guardians. Books have been distributed to all Preppies, and kids in Grade one and 2 in my Division 10. “Best Friends Forever will be enjoyed by many children now and into the future,” he said. For more information on where to get the book, go to:


Warrill Park 2017Warrill Park Images Colour Washed


Everyone loves a good ghost story. And there are usually plenty involving the local graveyard. Ipswich Cemeteries, which operates five cemeteries in the Ipswich region, definitely has a few spooky secrets from the grave and beyond. Libraries and Tourism Committee chairman Cr David Pahlke was recently alerted to one in his division …. a very eerie image from Warrill Park Lawn Cemetery and Crematorium, off the Cunningham Highway, at Willowbank.

A photograph was taken by cemetery staff for Ipswich City Council to record flooding in the area in March last year. Council officers zoomed in on the photo to see what aberrations – or apparitions – were just opposite the Warrill Park gate. A shaft of light on the right was certainly out of the ordinary on this particular grey day. But something within the lit area attracted officers’ attention. “There is an image of a little boy sitting down with his head in his hands to the right side of the colour washed image in the light area. We see him on his left side as he is sitting,” an officer reported. “There are many images kind of superimposed on each other and every time you look at it you can see something different. Quite extraordinary really. Not everyone can see the images and others see them but don’t want to see them.” On closer inspection and magnified much further, there appears to be another child a few metres away to the left of the shaft of light, kneeling on the edge of the grass and looking back towards the water. And playing just behind him are several dogs.

Between the crop of four trees in the middle of the photograph, there is the ghostly image of an older man standing … some say with a small flock of sheep in front of him. The number 10 is clearly visible to the left of those trees. There is another child or young person in the shaft of light between the two trees to left (just below to passing truck up on the highway). Ipswich Cemeteries ground supervisor Rick Nice said he could see a boy fishing with his dogs nearby. “It is very strange. It definitely leaves a bit to the imagination,” he said.

“But a lot of weird things happen around here. It goes with the territory. I’ve seen a couple of things that seemed a bit odd. I try not to think about them too much.”

Mr Nice said he had seen flower pots which had been removed from a grave line mysteriously reappear days later. On one occasion, a mobile car port placed in the cemetery for an outdoor chapel service was turned sideways the next day. “There was no obvious explanation. Sometimes these sort of things happen in a cemetery. You don’t think about it at the time, but then start to question it a bit later,” he said. Asked what he initially saw in the photograph, Cr Pahlke said “grazing sheep”. “Whether you are a believer or disbeliever, ghostly urban myths abound in our old buildings and various cemeteries,” Cr Pahlke said. “I have personally had many dealings with “ghost hunters” and ordinary people who have a varying range of physic powers and abilities. I believe them. “There are many unexplained happenings that cannot be simply explained by rational logic.” Ipswich First photographic guru Jodie Richter said she had taken thousands of pics in her career and every now and then something unexplainable appeared in an image. “The light, the angle, they can play funny little tricks,” she said. Ms Richter said the shaft of light and reflection in the above photo provided a bit of mystery.




Underground Coal mining was an ultra-important industry to the Marburg/Rosewood area from the late 1800s to the 1970’s . Most of the mines were small operations. Especially in the days prior to mechanisation, so many men were employed in the industry. They often went straight into the mines on finishing primary school/ Grade 8/10. There is a wonderful historical book “Winning the Coal” Published by Bob Hampson and Wendye Gratton from the Rosewood Scrub Historical Society in 2010. The publication featured “Coal Miners Stories from the Rosewood Scrub.

The impetus for this Book was the need to record some of their stories before it was too late. Histories can be written long after the event. But as we know personal stories mostly pass, when those who experience them, leave this world. The Book is not meant to be a history of mining but records some of the human stories of the men who worked in the coal mines, and of those who waited for them to return from work each day. The main source of information was interviews which we conducted with the old miners. Their recollections are of their experiences during the 1950s and 1960s. This book is principally a compilation of recollections of men who worked in the coal mines of the Marburg and Rosewood district, an area often referred to as “The Rosewood Shrub”. The book costs only $15 and you can purchase copies from my office. Part 2 next week


Underground Coal mining was an ultra-important industry to the Marburg/Rosewood area from the late 1800s to the 1970’s . Most of the mines were small family based operations. A fabulous book called “Winning the Coal” was Published in 2010 by the Rosewood Scrub Historical Society. This book is principally a compilation of recollections of many men and families, who worked in the coal mines of the Marburg and Rosewood district in the 1950s and 1960s.

Local identities were willing to tell their stories – Allan Berlin, Clive Claus, Gary Rohl, John Verrenkamp, Pat Lenihan, Beven Wendt, Vern Berlin, Des Hatcher and Digger Murphy were all coal miner fabulous stories. Vern’s wife Erica told of being a coal miner’s wife. Rob Krause told us of his experiences of having a coal mine on his dairy farm. Allan Berlin was particularly helpful throughout the project. As well as having been a coal miner all his working life, Allan has a keen interest in coal mining history and is actively involved in the coal mining collection with the Ipswich Historical Society. His willing assistance in various ways to this project was acknowledged in the book.

Others supplied photographs, documents and written information. The book acknowledges the input of Jesse Drysdale, Lester Schreiweis, Alan Brims, Marie White, Jim Nicholson, Brian Smith, Rob Krause and Trevor Wilkes. Photographs of items from the Ipswich Historical Society Inc. were allowed to be used. Similarly the Rosewood Scrub Historical Society, Marburg had many photographs, records and documents which were useful to the project. The book is for sale at my office for $15 Why am I talking about the History of Rosewood and District Coal Mining . The answer is in next week’s column – Part 3


Underground Coal mining was an ultra-important industry to the Marburg/Rosewood area from the late 1800s to the 1970’s. A wonderful publication by the Rosewood Scrub Historical Society is available at my office for $15 – “Winning the Coal” I have always wanted to have a pictorial mapping History of Mining in the Rosewood area displayed somewhere. Not a Museum, but maps and details of the various mine locations and pictures and even possibly a Coal Mining Statue. I have viewed a really interesting map showing all the Coal Mining Sites around the Rosewood/Walloon area. I lost count at about 80 or so. So many sites. So many little mines. So much History from our past. If you would like a copy of that map just contact my office.

Recognise any of these Mining names, or do you know where these mines were located: Clarefield 1920-1946, Duckenfield 1925-28, Caledonian 1889 to 1960s, Glencoe 1005-1962, Lanefield 1916 to 1945, Malabar 1929 – 1960, Moorelands 1870s, Smithfield 1930s – 1940s, Thagoona 1940s, Westfalen 1930s, Westvale 1916-1931. At the time of writing this column I am planning a morning tea gathering of former Miners with Rosewood Coal in their “blood” at Harrys Coffee Shop next to my office.

It has been a dream of mine to place some sort of Mining History Display in Rosewood paying homage to our Coal Mining Past. I was involved with the committee for the construction of the Ipswich Rosewood Coal Mining Memorial in Ipswich, where proudly the name Rosewood stands in Central Ippie. The obvious place is the Cobb and Co Park. Keep Reading the MBNews for updates

PINE MOUNTAIN WaterCress Olive Festival

I attended the Annual Water Cress Olive Festival on Bryces Road PINE MOUNTAIN. I had to queue for a while to get in and it certainly was a hive of activity with cars coming and going. The organizers felt it was a record crowd this year for what they tell me is WaterCress Olive Festival Nr. 10. It was a fun event with Pterodactyl Helicopter Rides, Wood Carving, The fabulous Elite Brass Ensemble, Historical Displays, Olive Tours, and of course Wine and Olives, and food and drinks. A fun day – congratulations to everyone.


THE 2018 Ipswich Poetry Feast was launched recently with the annual Poet’s Breakfast at the Henry Lawson Bicentennial Park at Walloon. “This was the 16th year that the Poetry Feast has been going, it originated as part of a celebration of the 1891 Henry Lawson poem, The Babies of Walloon, and the rejuvenation of the Henry Lawson Bicentennial Park, Walloon, project,” said Cr Dave Pahlke, the chair of the Ipswich Poetry Feast Committee.

“The competition began with a National focus but has developed an International aspect due to overseas interest. The Ipswich Poetry Feast continues to gain in strength and prestige.” More than 2,600 people took part in events within the 2017 Ipswich Poetry Feast program, including online poetry workshops, poetry writing in local schools, special poetry events and the awards presentation. “The Ipswich Poetry Feast encourages and rewards excellence in the literary arts,” Cr Pahlke said.

“It offers aspiring poets of all ing new visitors to the region.” “This year’s competition will conclude at the annual IPF Awards Presentation evening on Friday, October 26.” ages the opportunity to gain experience and skills in poetry writing and performance, to showcase their talents and have their work published.


Story courtesy of Tanya Smith

Since the official opening of the Brassall – Wanora section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) in November 2016, Friends of Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Inc have been active in pursuing beautification works to improve the visual aesthetic & overall interest in this section for Trail users. A community grant was sought from Ipswich City Council in early 2017 to assist with establishing a native plant garden at the Borallon site along the Trail & Cr David Pahlke, through whose Division the Borallon section of the Trail runs, facilitated & assisted the group with applying for the grant.

There were two primary motives for establishing the native plant garden at Borallon along the Trail. Back in the days of the former Brisbane Valley Railway Line, the corridor of which the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail now follows, Borallon once hosted beautiful gardens, tended to by the Station Mistress & the railway fettlers. Old railway fishplates had originally been used as borders for the gardens along the Railway Line at Borallon & railway fishplates dug up from along the Trail through Pine Mountain have now been incorporated in to the new garden design as features at Borallon, bolted on to the railway sleeper border that now encircles the garden. This garden is primarily a nod to the former railway fishplate gardens that once took pride of place at old Borallon Station back in its hey-day.

A secondary motivation for creating the native plant garden along the Trail at Borallon was to encourage strong native plant growth along the Trail, in keeping with the Trail being an incidental linear conservation corridor. Species planted include grevilleas, eremophila, plunkett mallee, acacia & banksia, which will not only provide a haven for insects & create a local microbiome, but also provide an essential food source for the many birds & bees that have made the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail their home. Plants were sourced from Pete’s Hobby Nursery in Lowood. Pete Bevan, the Nursery owner, has actively cultivated native plant gardens along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail through Lowood & the group sought advice & the plants direct, from Pete for the garden at Borallon.

The railway sleepers used for the garden’s border, were an in-kind donation from Mr Peter Kleis, the TMR BVRT Ranger. Initial landscaping & fill/mulch was provided by Chris Stephens of Jista Landscaping in Pine Mountain. Friends of Brisbane Valley Rail Trail wishes to thank Cr David Pahlke – Ipswich City Council Division 10 – for assisting with the group’s application for the community grant to construct the garden, Dept of Transport & Main Roads – for their support for construction of the garden, Mr Peter Kleis – TMR BVRT Ranger – for his in-kind donation of the railway sleepers & QGR axlebox cover plate which will be installed as an added feature within the garden, Mr Peter Bevan of Pete’s Hobby Nursery – for his advice & provision of plants for the project, Mr Chris Stephens of Jista Landscaping in Pine Mountain – for his exception work in preparing the site for the garden, fill & mulch & to all volunteers associated with the Friends of Brisbane Valley Rail Trail community group, for actualising the garden project. This is just one step of many Beautification/improvement projects that the group is seeking to carry out along the southern end of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. ”