HOW IT'S CHANGED: Looking west down Bulcock St from the Knox Ave intersection in 1935. The Amusu Theatre (right foreground) was built in 1935 and became known as The Strand Theatre in 1937.
HOW IT'S CHANGED: Looking west down Bulcock St from the Knox Ave intersection in 1935. The Amusu Theatre (right foreground) was built in 1935 and became known as The Strand Theatre in 1937. Picture Sunshine Coast

Pioneer's legacy found in name of popular beach

TODAY we step back in time to 1875 when Brisbane seed and produce merchant Robert Bulcock bought about 112ha and built a house he called The Homestead in 1878.

It was on a knoll, facing what became known as Bulcock Beach.

This was Robert Bulcock's retreat from Brisbane and this land included the area which is now Caloundra.

In 1893, during one of his visits to The Homestead, Mr Bulcock witnessed the beaching of the SS Dicky. As it was in an isolated area, he invited Captain Beattie to be his guest while the captain supervised the stripping of the vessel.


In appreciation of the hospitality extended to him, Captain Beattie presented Mr Bulcock with a telescope.

Mr Bulcock represented Enoggera in the Legislative Assembly from 1885-1888 and died on May 10, 1900, from peritonitis.

In 1916, some years after the death of his father, Robert Bulcock Jnr built his home in Queen St, on the corner of Maltman St, near where the Queen St water reservoir is situated.

This area was closed off to others until the first subdivision along the waterfront to Dingle Ave in August 1917.

The second subdivision, known as Caloundra Beach Estates, was in 1925 and it took in Arthur St and behind Canberra Tce towards Bingera Tce.

This included all the land from Caloundra Primary School down to Pumicestone Passage to the Golden Beach turn-off.

The wildflower-covered wallum country was burnt, cleared and developed at that time. Robert Bulcock Jnr again organised this Caloundra development.

In December 1928, Caloundra Beach Estates - the developer of Robert Bulcock's land - advertised 207 seaside allotments for sale.

Robert Bulcock Jnr was a councillor for Landborough Shire Council. He represented Division 3 for the areas of Caloundra, Mooloolah and parts of Landsborough district from 1917-1919.

Some of the original street names in Caloundra such as Dingle, Gay, Bryce and others were named after early Landsborough Shire councillors.

The Homestead was situated on what is now Latona Ave, while Bulcock St - the main street in Caloundra - is named after Robert Bulcock.

Robert Bulcock Jnr's subdivisions signalled the beginning of housing development and business growth in Caloundra.

He had hoped to see a tramway come to Caloundra and actually advertised his allotments by advising that the tramway would terminate at Hibiscus Park, now Hibiscus Caravan Park.

He was instrumental in getting the first life saving patrol established at Kings Beach.

Realising the importance of beach safety for holidaymakers and those visiting the seaside, he interviewed the secretary of the Royal Life Saving Society, Frank Venning, who was known as the "father of life saving in Queensland", resulting in a patrol being established between Christmas and New Year 1918 by the lifesavers.

Robert Bulcock Jnr died in 1924.

Some stories don't change much. In the early days, people gathered for friendship and a cup of tea or spent their morning shopping in Bulcock St - much as they do today.

The joy of children swimming and diving at Bulcock Beach continues. Today, Ithaca Royal lifesavers keep a watchful eye while patrolling Bulcock Beach and Happy Valley.

The diving boards at Bulcock Beach have gone. So have the Amusu Theatre and Comino's, but these memories all play a part in who we are today and what makes the Sunshine Coast such a great place to live and visit.

* Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council's Heritage Library officers and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.

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