Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 24 November 1998
Page: 564

Mrs ELSON (10:51 PM) —I would like to place on record tonight my thanks to the Beaudesert Shire Council for sponsoring a historic event that took place in my electorate on Saturday, 14 November. Some 700 people attended this event to celebrate the first white settlers to the district and to unveil the plaques dedicated to two great pioneering men, Henry Franklin and Hugh Mahoney. Henry Franklin Family Park was named in honour of the pioneering family of Henry Franklin, his wife, Jane, and their six children in recognition of the major contributions they made to the community and to local government over a very long period of time. This plaque was unveiled by Henry's and James' great-grandchildren, Evelyn Schultz and Gwen Smith, to perpetuate the name of the pioneering family who arrived on the creek at Fenwyke, Boyland in 1870. Mary Hart and Cyril Mahoney unveiled the plaque in the Hugh Mahoney Reserve on the grave site of Hugh Mahoney, who first settled here at `Corburg' in 1867, having sailed into Moreton Bay on the ship America on 10 June 1853.

Our pioneering families were very special people. After all, they were the first people with the good taste and foresight to recognise the wonderful place that Beaudesert shire is to live. They forged our local towns and communities, often in the face of great adversity and hardship. I commend the Beaudesert Shire Council for their ongoing programs of recognising our pioneering families and individuals. I am a strong believer in ensuring our local history is passed on to future generations. History is part of what continues to bind us as a community. It is a great lesson for our schoolchildren. It develops an appreciation of our heritage, culture and environment. We can learn about a way of life very different to that which we enjoy today but from which we have borrowed and gained enormously.

I consider it a very special privilege to represent this unique part of Queensland. I think we are lucky to have the benefits of the convenience of modern living but we also have a close-knit community bond and a more relaxed rural lifestyle. That is a unique combination—something we must work towards preserving and something I am sure our forefathers would have wanted for us when they first settled their farms, roads, local schools and community facilities.

Others on the day talked about the strength and tenacity of both Hugh Mahoney and Henry Franklin. They were men who stood out at a time when there were many who were bravely determined to create opportunities for their families and build strong local communities. It is very fitting that the Beaudesert Council installed these plaques as lasting memories of their contributions. Now is a good time to reflect on how fortunate we are today and to remember the debt of gratitude we owe to these pioneering men and women.

Of course, the best and most fitting tribute we can make to their memory—especially for those of us in public office—is to continue to work hard to make our local area an even better place to live, to build on the community ties that bind us and to preserve our lifestyle and unique environment and ensure that today's families have access to the community facilities and services they deserve.

I would also like to place on record and acknowledge the tremendous work contributed by Councillor Garth Carey, who initiated the dedication to the Mahoney and Franklin families, and also Sheila Ventz, Public Relations Manager of the Beaudesert Shire Council, whose organising ability added to the success of the day. I thank Stuart Franklin, who spent many years researching the family history, for giving us the opportunity to share in his forebears proud history. The same gratitude must be extended to our local historian, Joyce Libke, who researched both families and gave an extensive report on both the Mahoney and Franklin families. To Mary Hart, Cyril Mahoney, Don Franklin, Ray Mahoney, Fred Franklin, Hazel Hart, Daisy Musch, Harvey Mahoney, Evelyn Shultz and Gwenda Smith—thank you sincerely for the part you played in making this a very special day for the 700 people who gathered to celebrate a very special time in history. Don Franklin's closing remarks stated that his ancestors would have been tickled pink to see this permanent footprint that indicates that the Franklin family passed this way.