Horses were used to build the Pialba Oval (now Seafront Oval) in 1927.
Horses were used to build the Pialba Oval (now Seafront Oval) in 1927.

STAYING HOME: Bay history shows we have an easy job to do

Written by John Andersen

John is a volunteer at the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum and is a Hervey Bay historian.

IN APRIL 2020, nobody in their wildest dreams could have foreseen the events that would change the world so dramatically and in such a short space of time.

COVID-19 – such a small virus that can only be seen under a microscope, but able to cause so much devastation, has changed the world as we knew it.

As hard as circumstances are at present, compared with most of our pioneering families, we are extremely fortunate.

Here are just a few examples of what some of our forefathers endured.

Go back to the 1880s and a Dundowran man made a wooden wheelbarrow as a wedding present for his brother.

That brother made weekly trips to Maryborough, through the bush pushing his wheelbarrow full of fresh eggs from his farm to sell in Maryborough.

He returned home, still pushing his barrow, now filled with provisions for his family, often arriving late at night!

Imagine your home today without electricity, refrigerator, tap water, no glass windows, dirt floors, basic homemade furniture, no bathroom and certainly no air-conditioning.

These were the living conditions of tens of thousands of our pioneer who cheerfully reared maybe 14 or 15 offspring, providing food from their own farm.

No such luxury as being able to go to Coles, Woolies or even the corner store!

In the days before motor transport, horses were the means of transport as well as being the ‘engines’ that did some of the hard work.

Manual labour was the norm and sheer hard work and sweat tilled the soil, built the roads and railways, cut the sugar cane and erected new homes. Even the Pialba Oval was made using horses!

In more recent times, we were asked to go to War, often on distant shores.

Today, we are asked to stay at home to help prevent the COVID-19 spread and some still complain.

Even into the 1950s, times were tough. Food, clothing, tobacco and petrol was rationed and ration tickets were issued to enable you to buy necessities.

In the 1950s, food, clothing, tobacco and petrol was rationed with ration tickets.
In the 1950s, food, clothing, tobacco and petrol was rationed with ration tickets.

You had to pay a Licence annually just to listen to the radio.

Every receipt that was issued had to have a duty stamped attached. The photographs show some of these ration tickets and coupons.

Many of these relics of the past are on display at the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum.



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