Unearthing Nambour history under lino of Brisbane home
WHEN Ken Pascoe ripped up some old lino in his sister's Brisbane home recently, the last thing he expected to do was unearth a piece of Nambour history.
But the floor of the Carindale home had been lined with old copies of the Nambour Chronicle and as more lino was removed, Mr Pascoe found himself peeling away layers of Nambour's past.
The newspapers dated back to 1953 and one in particular caught Mr Pascoe's eye.
It carried a cartoon featuring caricatures of some of the town's leading citizens of the time, captured by artist Dudley Gordon.
It seems Mr Gordon dropped into the Nambour Bowling Club during a visit to the town and the regulars made him so welcome, he put pen to paper to capture them.
Little is known of Mr Gordon, although it appears he came from Perth and worked as a political and sporting cartoonist and caricaturist with several newspapers.
Mr Pascoe, who grew up in Nambour and returned there after an absence of several years, said every one of the men featured was well known in the community but all had since passed away.
There's the bespectacled Reg Hammond, who worked on the local radio station for many years.
Reg was a keen bowler and won several club championships around the time the cartoon was drawn but the Chronicle of April 1954 reported he had suffered his "worst defeat" at the hands of Jim Lanham in that year's singles championship.
James "Jimmy" Lanham, who also features in the cartoon, owned Lanham's service station in Currie St and the same Chronicle report claimed he was "so machine-like" in his demolition of the former champ that he would have beaten even the Australian champion on the day.
Despite having only one leg, Mr Hammond and partner, a W Donald, had reached the semi-final of the Country Pairs competition the previous year.
That partner was most likely Bill Donald, who had an electrical contracting business in Currie St and also appears in the cartoon.
Club vice-president Bill Parsons is also featured. He was a local farmer and also a shire councillor at one stage.
There's Eddie Hamilton, a prominent insurance agent and secretary of the bowls club at the time, along with Bli Bli cane farmer Edwin Burne.
Bob Christopherson was the town's fire chief for many years and A.S.C. Grimes was a dairy farmer who later worked in Swans Garage selling Morris vehicles.
Skeet Lanham was described by Mr Pascoe as "a devoted bowler" but had also made a name for himself as one of eight Nambour men who stood their ground against overwhelming Japanese forces in Bougainville in May 1945.
Retiring club president Alan Foreman was the manager of the National Bank while Dr Short, the club patron, had arrived in town in 1919 as one of the area's first doctors and went on to serve the community for 49 years.
Alex Foreman, who was boss of the local SEQ depot, was a life member of the club while Butch Hamilton had a used equipment sales office on the bottom end of Currie St.
Bill Donald was an electrical contractor, also based in Currie St.
On the bottom right of the cartoon is Mike Azar, who was drawn with a small keg in his hands because he was publican at the Commercial Hotel at the time.
Only Tom Sigley, captured in the bottom left of the drawing, is a bit of a mystery.
A Google search revealed a bank manager by the name of T Sigley was farewelled by the Nambour community in August 1959.
Mr Pascoe said his brother-in-law Don Foreman, who owned the house, was also a Nambour boy who would have taken copies of the local paper with him when he went to live in Brisbane.
A former Nambour High student who went on to be president of the Sunshine Coast Show Society and later the Queensland and Australian shows societies, he said it felt exciting to uncover the piece of history in such an unlikely place.
"It was like stepping back in time," he said. "I was excited because I knew just about everyone there."
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