December News

Changed Meeting Date, Time & Place for December
St David’s Support for CPHG & Dutch House Cafe
Cowper’s Convict Camp Investigation Update
Camp Colombia WWII Dutch Historian Visit

This December newsletter contains updates on continuing stories and some developments that could prove to be a game-changer for our group. Can you spot the update in our map above? See below for the answer.

St David’s Neighbourhood Centre Collaboration

SDNC reached out to us and is offering us to work jointly to create more interest and involvement in our history group. The Neighbourhood Centre supports our older residents (among others), many of whom have deep roots in Coopers Plains. These connections can be a treasure trove as well as a great way for people to connect and reminisce. Our next committee meeting will be at the Centre on Friday 15th (see below) to discuss our plans. Everyone is welcome to join us and learn about how we’ll be working together next year.

Dutch Houses

The Stories Collection Initiative will launch sometime in February next year. Elizabeth Blombert is these stories. Archiving information gathered is core work of any history group and it is a quite a task. St David’s can auspice a grant to pay someone with the skills and interest to do this. The state government is buying back 9 Macdevitt Street, Coopers Plains and word has it that the house will be renovated and rented out. Although a heritage listing application has failed because the house is post-war, it is a very original example and has great potential as a place to showcase Dutch migrant and Brisbane public housing history. It would make a great neighbourhood hub, cafe and community orchard too. St David’s Neighbourhood Centre could help make this a reality. All that is needed is volunteers from the community.

The addition to the map on our homepage is the (approximate location of) the convict camp.

Cowper’s Convict Camp Investigation update

November saw considerable effort to identify and locate the legendary convict camp Dr Cowper regularly visited on his way to Limestone Hill (Ipswich). Dr Neville Buch recruited the georeferencing and mapping skills of Adrian O’Connor and also spent 4 hours at the Mitchell Library in Sydney researching the early history of the Cowper’s Plains crossroad. A picture is emerging of a changing government presence over a large area intersected by the old convict-built trails between Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich (Limestone) and Cleveland. Attention has focussed on a “Hut” marked at the top right corner of this 1839 map “Acacia Ridge, Stapylton M10765”. The Hut is referred to in an 1846 report in The Moreton Bay Courier as a “hut on the Government station at Cowper’s Plains”. With Adrian’s skills the Hut has been overlayed onto modern maps and located – we think – at 98 Kerry Road, Archerfield. There are said to have been government stables in the area from which Stable Swamp Creek got its name. Dr Buch has drafted a paper summarizing this work for presentation and publication in an appropriate journal. Watch this space for an event showcasing this research. In recognition of this work, A Coopers Plains History Group Research Fund will be set up and either a grant applied for or donations called for in a crowd-funding campaign.

Queensland Bicentenary and BCC Centenary Commemoration Planning

CPHG and Brisbane Southside History Network convened a meeting with other history groups to draft a letter to the Premier, asking what commemoration plans were in the pipeline. We are awaiting Royal Historical Society of Queensland feedback on the letter before sending it in. CPHG will meet with Brisbane History Group this month to discuss the Brisbane City Council’s plans. My application to address Council in chambers was postponed until after the election.

Camp Colombia

Camp Columbia Heritage Association organised a successful event at the ANZAC Square & Memorial Galleries, Brisbane. Together with the Galleries CCHA hosted Dutch WWII historian Bas Kreuger. There was a full house with 60 delegates.

At this event, Paul Budde mentioned Dr Simpson’s:

Wolston Farm House – Dr Simpson’s

Two days after the Camp Colombia event, Wolston House was open to the public and we were treated to a guided tour. Dr Simpson’s 1850s homestead is marked on our homepage map.

Redlands Memorial Library – History Nook

Did you know the Redlands Library has a corner set aside for history? It has dedicated computers, table and chairs and hours set aside for researchers. I spent an hour there researching the Cowper’s Camp and came away with some interesting results.

Our city libraries are very supportive of local history work. Coopers Plains Library houses our history group’s archives, and the staff are very helpful. There are two shelves in the library dedicated to local history.

History on Google Maps – Arthur Lewis Place

Did you know you can educate people about local history places by sharing information on Google Maps? I added Joan (nee Lewis) Manthey’s story of her family – the Lewis Family – to Arthur Lewis Place on the corner of Musgrave and Orange Grove Roads. Barbara Black Ravenswood of Moorooka History Group gave me a copy of the Queensland Family Historian journal when she visited our monthly meeting. Check the story online – it’s about Lewis Hill, or Orange Grove Estate, as it is more usually referred to historically.


St David’s Community Christmas Party

Come along and meet fellow local history enthusiasts as CPHG tags onto St David’s annual Xmas party.
Let them know you’re with CPHG when you RSVP.
Friday 15 December, 11am to 1pm
Harmony Room, Cnr Rookwood Ave & Orange Grove Road
RSVP by 13th December 3274 3240

Brisbane Motor Museum

Look out for the Coopers Plains History Group visit to this brand new museum in Banyo.

Cooper Plains History Group Monthly Meeting

December Friday 15th 3pm
St David’s Neighbourhood Centre
The Green Room, Cnr Rookwood Ave & Orange Grove Road
Join by Zoom by clicking here just before the meeting!
Meeting ID: 766 9631 4047 Passcode: 5q1P0v

All welcome. Please RSVP by text to 0405587988 or by commenting below (you may have to click the post’s heading to bring the comment field up). Thanks to the friendly and helpful staff of the Coopers Plains Library for printing out these newsletters and offering them to anyone who wants to keep in touch without going online. The Coopers Plains Library Meeting Room is booked every 3rd Saturday at 4pm for us to meet – except this month it’ll be on Friday 15th at 3pm at St David’s.