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Raby Bay is that area of water in Moreton Bay between Cleveland Point and Ormiston. It was named by the surveyor James Warner on 1 July 1841, after the Duke of Cleveland who was also known as Baron Raby. In 1885, there was a land sale to the south of Raby Bay known as the Raby Bay Estate.

Raby Bay Estate

Raby Bay Estate

Merv Hazell:

“An Easter tradition was the 10 foot Sharpie races at Cleveland Point.  The race was conducted from Cleveland Jetty and was three times round a triangular course in Raby Bay.  The prize of £5 was presented to the winner at the Cleveland picture show that night. Incidentally £5 pounds ($10) was a substantial sum in comparison to the usual racing prizes of 2/6 or 5/- (25 or 50 cents.)” (a)

Ralph Munro:

“When I joined Queensland Cement I was dredging coral from Raby Bay. We had our own private island that was formed from ironstone pumped up while we were dredging. We closed it down for years, but when they built the Gateway Bridge, we opened it up again. All the coral sent up river to make the cement used in the Gateway Bridge came from Raby Bay.” (b)

Coral Dredge in Raby Bay (photo courtesy Ralph Munro)

Coral Dredge in Raby Bay (photo courtesy Ralph Munro)

Price Family:

“Norm Price is remembered for his vision as a fine diplomat and farmer, introducing the first  crude  channel irrigation system to the Redlands on his Cleveland farm, developing Shires roadways from dirt tracks to gazetted main roads and for his  farsighted proposal in the 1950’s to relocate the showgrounds from Shore  Street North (opposite the Grandview Hotel near the present day Raby Bay development) to its present location.” (c)

Kate Millar:

“Of an afternoon, I used to have to go up on my pushbike to Raby Bay train station, which was situated down a little dirt road that went down towards the water from where the Sands Hotel is now. I used to meet the rail motor from Manly, which used to get in about 5.15 in the afternoon, and pick up the bundle of “Telegraph” newspapers. Then I’d have to do a paper run on my bike to deliver them. One of my first deliveries was to the Sands Hotel, which at that stage was under Thurhect’s management. I used to take the paper in to the hotel and front up to the bar for a ‘double sars’. After I’d had my drink at the bar, I’d get on my bike and do the paper run which went all around the Raby Bay area, then down Middle Street, Oyster Point, and then along Cleveland Point. I’d always end the run in the darkness of night. All I had for a light was a battery operated torch that fitted in a holder between the handlebars. On one occasion, near the Police Station that was then situated near the Cenotaph, I was riding up towards Oyster Point and passed a beautiful old Queenslander home that belonged to the Ramsey family. The house was next door to the bakery of G.W.Walters – where all our bread came from. Actually all the houses in that area were owned by G.W.Walters and were used by the employees of his bakery. In those days, Cleveland was owned by virtually just a couple of people.” (d)

Peter Ludlow:

In June 1979 the Queensland Government approved a canal estate development in Raby Bay and construction commenced in 1983. The first stage was officially opened on 23 November 1984 with 158 blocks to be sold at prices between $53,000 to $96,000 each. By 1997 the final stage (Stage 15) of the Raby Bay canal development was completed, with the last canal flooded in December. (e)

Raby Bay Harbour before flooding

Raby Bay Harbour before flooding

Albert Benfer:

“Well the canal development at Raby Bay was one that I did agonise over for long time. I voted for it despite some of my friends who were vehemently against it and I’m pleased to say that we’re still friends, but I did vote for that, and today I do feel that it was a wonderful project for the Redlands. I feel that it made the Cleveland area quite a paradise, I feel that it made an impression on the Shire and I felt that you either have a massive big yacht marine centre or you have to canals where people can live and tie their boats up. I felt it was better to have people living there and their homes, spending their money in the centre, general economic development was much better for that to happen rather than a massive yacht squadron down at Manly, I never did like that kind of development. Even today, with the antifouling paints, there is massive pollution, heavy metals from that style of congregation of boats and I feel that this kind of Canal development is a better proposition.” (f)

55 - Raby Bay sunset

Raby Bay sunset Sunset on Raby Bay harbour

References:

  1. (a) Peter Ludlow – Moreton Bay People – The Complete Collection 
  2. (b) Peter Ludlow – The Port of Brisbane, Its People and Its Personalities
  3. (c) Peter Ludlow – WW1 Heroes of the Redlands (still to be published)
  4. (d) Peter Ludlow – Moreton Bay People 2012
  5. (e) Peter Ludlow – Raby Quays Newsletter
  6. (f) Redland Shire Council Oral History Project