is my "home town", an inner northern suburb of Brisbane (for those
readers who are unfamiliar with this part of the world, Brisbane
is the capital city of Queensland, Australia). The eastern border
of the suburb is dominated by the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital
- known as the RBWH - and this is where I and most of my siblings
were born. My mother, Eileen, would recall how my father, Michael,
didn't go to the hospital when she was having me. She said that
dad was sure that she'd deliver yet another daughter after five
previous daughters! And, she continued to describe how Dad whipped
down to the hospital as soon as he was advised that he had a son
.... me. I was born on a Saturday, and according to Dad's birthday
book, at six in the morning. Since then, I have never been an
early riser. Mum was from a family of four girls and dad had five
sisters and one brother. Girls rule the genes on both sides of
aside, Herston is significant to my family as it is where we spent
our early childhood. My nana, dad's mum, who was of German heritage
and several of my Dad's sisters and brother lived nearby. My mother's
parents and sisters were in Adelaide.
says "Herston was first settled by Europeans in the 1850s. Sir
Robert Herbert, Queensland's first premier, built a farm in the
area, and lived in the farmhouse with his friend the Attorney-General,
John Bramston. The pair named their house Herston, a combination
of their surnames, which eventually became the name of the suburb."
of Herston's streets were named after local identities of the
time. Bowen Bridge Road and Bowen Park were named after Sir George
Bowen, Queensland's first governor. Butterfield Street was named
after local schoolmaster William Butterfield. Hetherington Street
was named after coal industry identity John William Hetherington,
and Garrick Terrace got its name from James Francis Garrick, the
man who purchased Herston from Herbert and Bramston. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herston,_Queensland,
family lived along Herston Road, opposite Victoria Park.
on the southern edge of the suburb was built to accommodate
all of the logistical support for the American forces
who had started to swarm into Brisbane after the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor. The camp consisted of a large
number of prefabricated buildings which stretched from
Herston Road across the park to Gregory Terrace. The
Headquarters for the United States Army Service of Supply
(USASOS) was established at Camp Victoria Park from
August 1943 until they moved to Hollandia in September
There was a mixture of office and living quarter buildings
located in Camp Victoria Park. RAAF Command took over
the area after the US Army moved out in September 1944.
The area is now mainly taken up by the Victoria Park
Golf Links. There are at least two buildings left from
Camp Victoria Park still existing near the Energex Control
Centre. One houses the Queensland Energy Museum and
the other is currently used by the Queensland Department
of Health. The latter building had been previously used
by the Queensland Electricity Generating Board (QEGB)
as their Southern Region Office ..... Just after WW2,
the newly established Queensland Institute of Medical
Research (QIMR) moved into the "temporary"
buildings of the WW2 Camp Victoria Park opposite the
then Brisbane General Hospital..."
unemployed camps during the Depression years of the 1930s,
and civic improvements in this period included the construction
of Gilchrist Avenue through Victoria Park in 1931 and the
laying out of the municipal golf links in the same decade.
While the proposal to locate the University of Queensland
at Herston never materialised, the University's medical school
opened on a site adjacent to the hospital in 1939. Apart from
the Depression unemployed camp, Victoria Park housed temporary
structures from 1930 to 1960, including World War II Barracks,
postwar temporary accommodation and homeless housing."
recall the temporary accommodation buildings;
web page has photographs of some of the buildings. Up until the
late 1950's there were some refugees living in them including
a Hungarian family whose young girls went to St Joan of Arc's
school. The family later moved into one of my father's apartments
to the rear of our allotment. We were not permitted to go over
the road and were warned that it was dangerous in just the same
way we were warned not to talk to strangers. The Queensland Medical
Research unit was also located in the park; it was about 300 metres
away. One day my sister Annie was readying herself for school
when she put her hand into her shoe to check for stones and was
bitten by a spider. Annie went to hospital and the spider went
to the QMR unit. Ever since I have never put neither hand nor
foot into a shoe without first knowing what is inside it!
1963 I would walk through the park to get to my new school on
Gregory Terrace. I used to walk up the road away from the refugees'
housing and past QMR before proceeding through the park and
golf course. On the other side of the park just before getting
to the school there was a rail line underpass for pedestrians
which I would use. It is still there in the 21st century. One
day on the way home near Yorks Hollow (a place of aboriginal
significance and mentioned in Wikipedia)
a stranger came up to me. I neither spoke to him nor listened
to what he said and I followed my parental instructions which
had been drummed into me. I ran like a bat out of hell all the
way home - not even pausing to look back over my shoulder to
see if I was being followed! Overall it was about a mile walk
but the run made it seem much longer.
Joan of Arc was a church school, located in lower
end of Clyde Road, Herston. The church school was a modest two
story structure typical of the style of architecture for the
era in Brisbane in the early 1920's when it was constructed.
The church and one classroom was upstairs and three other classrooms
were downstairs. The brick convent for the Presentation oder
of teaching nuns was adjacent to the school.
Presentation Sisters ran the school with primary classes from
grade one to grade eight with a strictness to behold. The nun's
would not hesitate to use a ruler over the knuckles or a cane
for discipline. They were not known for their tolerance of excuses
and rarely gave a child the opportunity to explain what happened
before meting out punishment for any perceived breach of rules
or discipline. This was not unusual for the era.
children of Michael Christian Daly and
his wife Eileen Gertrude Green attended the school in the 1950's
until their move to Adelaide in 1963. The school and staff levels
were small and the nuns used a composite class structure (grade
1 and 2 were combined, 3 and 4 combined etc.). There were about
40 children per teacher in each composite class. Grade 1/2 was
upstairs in an long room (like an enclosed verandah) adjacent
to right of the church. Grades 3/4 were in the room immediately
beneath grades 1/2. Grades 5/6 and 7/8 were directly under the
church with the older classes in the room closest to the road
and the other classes at the back of it. The latter two classes
were separated by thin wall which could be folded up to make one
big room although I cannot remember this ever being done even
for school performances which were performed in a nearby local
hall. Noise would easily travel from one room to the other. I
remember the some of the names of the nuns: jolly Sister Francis,
friendly St Mark, Mother Angela (who taught grades 7/8 and was
the principal) and strict Sister Cyprian.
Presewntation Nuns - an illustration of their habit only
and not of any particular person mentioned here.
year in the early 1960's there was a school production and I was
selected to be a bee. I was very young. I can't remember the name
of the play but I took my role seriously and was a very enthusiastic
bee. Deep in my memory I think that the performance was at Windsor
Hall in Lutwyche Road. When the big night came there I was, dressed
in my bright yellow and black bee suit, practising my buzzing
and stinging, moving from actor to actor pinching them and giving
them imaginary stings.
assembly and calisthenics were done prior to classes commencing
each morning. The principal, Mother Angela, would stand on an
elevated lawn area between the school and convent and survey and
instruct her brood. She'd be wearing a ankle length black habit,
rosary beads hanging from her thick leather belt into which her
large crucifix was inserted. To complete the outfit there was
a starched bonnet covered by a veil and a starched bib under her
chin. The nuns appeared very imposing. I was astounded when I
heard the school rumour that the nuns actually shaved their heads!
children would have to swing their arms and march sequentially
with their class group into school. The local Kelvin Grove public
school was not far away. Children from each school would taunt
each other when meeting on their way to their homes. These taunts,
by both groups, often had religious overtones and the Catholic
/ Protestant rivalry would come to the fore. Fortunately I hope
we are becoming a more tolerant and caring society with respect
for all, by all.
younger classes would learn their tables and spelling by rote
- frequently going outside to the big fig tree and singing our
lessons as we went round and around the tree. I guess this way
we got some fresh air into our lungs which was particularly invigorating
on a winter's morning and we didn't disturb the senior classes
with all our noise in our weatherboard classrooms.
particularly liked Sister Saint Mark. She was young and loved
to tell stories. One in particular was about her swimming in the
net behind a boat when she was on holidays in the Torres Strait
in Far North Queensland. I was so innocent and was amazed that
nuns had had another life before they joined the convent - going
out, swimming, getting sunburnt and the rest.
understand that the system of composite classes was at the forefront
of educational philosophy in the late 20th century. Obviously
the school was well ahead of its time! Lucky kids ..... Perhaps
sadly, the old church and school no longer exist but our memories
do. The statute (in the picture on the right below) used to be
located at the top of the garden steps which were at the front
of the church. We were taught our catechism by rote question and
answer technique and after being assessed by the nuns on this
we then "took" our first communion which was in Grade
2 - the girls dressed in white and the boys black shorts and bow
tie. Afterwards there would be group photos on the steps. My father
has old 16mm film footage of his children's first communions.
Sundays the family as a unit would attend 10.00 o'clock mass at
St Joan of Arcs. The mass was in Latin. This was the preferred
time as it made the compulsory fasting three hours before communion
easier and you didn't have to eat your breakfast so early if you
had to when going to the earlier service. Later the church changed
the fasting period to one hour. Sometimes the routine was changed
and instead we went to the Cathedral in the city or the "new"
church run by the Carmelite order on Gregory Terrace. After mass
(we'd never call it church) we were homeward bound to change out
of our good clothes and to have the hot roast dinner, even in
the summers, which mum would always prepare. Michael was great
friends with parish priest and often they would go together for
picnics and other outings including motoring upto Mt Coot-tha.
1963 I became an altar boy at St Joan of Arc. My training included
early morning starts for the 6.00 o'clock morning mass during
the week before I was permitted to serve on a Sunday. I had to
learn the Latin phrases and responses such as dominus vobiscum,
et cum spiritu tu tuo; never mind learning what it all meant,
it was going to be a few years before English was introduced as
the linga franca for church services. Altar boys had to arrive
early putting on their black cassock under white surplices, lighting
the candles and pouring the wine and water into glass cruits and
taking them out to the altar. Upon moving to Adelaide I had to
get a red cassock which was the preference for the local church,
St Peter Clavers in Dulwich.
the priest blessed the wine the altar boys would pour it over
his fingers into the chalice. If you didn't add enough the priest
would hold you hand in place to keep pouring. Some priests had
just a drop of wine and so lot would be left over which was normally
poured back into the supply bottle at the end of the service.
Until..... I was serving with a boy named Arthur, a year older
than me. I went to pour the leftover wine back into the bottle
but he took it from me and drank it. He explained this is what
you did with the leftovers. I wonder if he developed a drink problem
in later life.
was abound with the Daly family. We were on Herston Road, Uncle
Herb was at the top of Parkhurst Avenue and Nana and Auntie Kathleen
in Scott Road and Aunty Mona lived just up the road from the church
in Clyde Road.
the early 1960s I was receiving one shilling pocket money each
week for which I had to do chores. After I was paid on Saturday
morning I would proceed to the corner store with my two brothers
and buy three icecreams for ourselves. The shop was on the corner
of Butterfield and Aberleigh. We were not allowed to cross the
road and go to the shop opposite. At the corner store, where mum
would buy all her groceries their was a display case on the counter
for all the lollies which could be individually purchased. The
storekeeper had a large chair in front of it so the little kids
could stand on it and see and make their selection.
from the ABC about life and the school in the same era and Margie
has recorded her recollections below:
We all went to the local Catholic primary school run by the
Presentation nuns. It was called St Joan of Arc. I made my
first communion in Grade 2. Dressed in my white dress and
veil, I felt very special and the breakfast in the church
hall afterwards was such a banquet of delicious food prepared
by the parents.
Lessons Our mother decided that we would all learn the
piano. Our beautiful piano, inherited from our Nana, stood
in the main entrance of our house in Herston and we all had
to endure Sister Cyprian's piano lessons when we were at the
right age. I think Rosemary was the only musical one among
us who pursued it.
Sister St Mark was very tall and thin. Very stern but
spoke in a soft gentle voice. It was her task to teach us
all to read, write and do arithmetic. She also taught us to
sing the scales - doh-rai-mei-lah-tii-doh. Up and down the
scales we went.
learnt the names of all the major towns and rivers in Queensland.
At lunch time when we went out into the yard to play we ate
our lunch under an enormous Moreton Bay fig tree. The nuns
lived next door in a long brick building - the convent. I
never went in there.
dreaded sports day. We had class races and I always came last.
I did enjoy our marching classes. We would march around the
oval to the tune of a marching band. On Saints Days we also
marched to hymns and a chosen "leader" would carry
the religious banner. I was always disappointed that I was
never chosen to carry the banner.
the end of the school year we had a concert. We would go up
to the stage in front of our parents and each class would
sing a couple of songs. Always being the smallest in the class
I was always standing in the front which I hated. We were
under strict instruction from the teachers not to fiddle.
In grade 7, my last year in primary school, I had a teacher
called Sister Gemma. She was the first teacher I liked and
felt she showed an interest in me. I remember I enjoyed that
year at school. I enjoyed primary school but I loved going
The Jubilee Catholic Parish has prepared an interesting and comprehensive
short history of St Joan of Arc church. The original may be sourced
through the reference below. St Joan of Arc would always enter
a float in the annual Corpus Christi procession in the streets
of Brisbane. Cassmob captures the fervor of the processions in
the 1950's in her blog.
The adjacent photo is of a "Lady
Queen of Virgins" float in a Corpus Christi procession
going through the city streets in the 1950's before ending up
in the Exhibition Grounds in Herston. This shot was extracted
from a home movie taken by Michael Christian Daly (1917-1988).
Joan of Arc Herston History - Milestones from 1920 to 2000
Herston Parish is started. William McGoldrick parish priest.
Original St Joan of Arc Church opened in December.
McGoldrick begins missionary work in China. Bartholomew
Gorman parish priest.
sisters convent established. School opened in July c.1933
Fr James O'Connor parish priest.
of parish entrusted to the Norbertine fathers.
Gerard Nicol is parish priest.
Brian McMullen parish priest. Michael Daly finishes at this
school and starts at Terrace.
church opened. Margie, Greg and Anthony Daly finish at this
school upon the family's move to Adelaide.
John Gerry is parish priest.
Casey is parish priest.
George Ainslie is parish priest.
Tom Brady is parish priest.
Patrick Tynan is Administrator.
Tynan is appointed Administrator of Newmarket also.
George Ainslie died.
Clem Hodge is parish priest and appointed administrator
of Herston and Newmarket, and later that year parish priest
of Ashgrove also.
Daly, February 2018
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research on the Daly Family of Herston. © MWJ Daly