Sunday, April 29, 2012

From battleship to tinny beside the bay

The Rocky Point Sugar Mill gets a mention in this article (image courtesy The Heck Group).

WAY back in the post-war years when Cleveland was "just a sleepy little village", a dairy farming family joined its community to help an elderly couple in need.
John Brownlie Henderson had retired some years earlier from his highly ranked position as Queensland Government Analyst and Chief Inspector of Explosives and was living with his wife Susan in Cross Lane.
When Mr Henderson had health problems, his son and daughter-in-law, Ian and Trixie, decided to move from their Pimpama dairy farm to Cleveland to support the elderly couple.
This meant a big change for Ian and Trixie's children – their son, also named Ian, and their daughter, Sonia.

IAN junior, then about 10 years old, now recalls he was a little nervous on his first day at Cleveland Primary School in 1950 because the town, even with farming right in what is now the CBD, was quite a contrast with Pimpama's vast spread of canefields – supplying the Heck's Rocky Point mill for generations – and the lush green pastures dotted with dairy cattle.
Young Ian later joined the Navy and served as a naval airman until 1961. Most of his service was aboard the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. He is thankful to have left the Navy before the disaster of 1964 when the Melbourne and the destroyer HMAS Voyager collided off the NSW South Coast.

BY then, Ian was on a new path in life. He had married a Redland-born girl, Florence Stacey, in 1963 and early in the marriage they headed to New Guinea, where Ian managed native co-operatives until the mid-1970s.
The couple returned to live in a new house that they had built on the site of a fibro shack behind his grandparents' retirement home.
Ian worked for many years with the paint company Dulux, then ran his own business selling and servicing airless spray equipment.

IAN and Florence still live the same home. For about 10 years, a classic tinny, a 12ft Clarke, has been parked beside it.
The boat probably won't be there much longer after Ian advertised it for sale – complete with a late model 15hp Mariner outboard, trailer and rego to December – for $3000.
Ian says the tinny has served his family well around the bay; most recently, a grandson has enjoyed loading it with camping gear and heading with his mates to Straddie.
Even though it doesn't have quite the grandeur of a battleship, Ian has made much use of the tinny, too!

Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

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