The Williams’ family was local to the Redlands area for many years. In 1955 my father, John McGinnis Williams, bought a house on the Esplanade at Redland Bay opposite the barge ramp (next to the house that had a rounded nautical front). He also had a boat shed down on Weinam Creek on Auster Street. As a child I remember someone putting up the sign “Ruster Street”, named after Rusters (fishermen) who also had a boat shed beside the creek. But something happened to the “R” and it became “A”.
When my father died the shed was sold and bought years ago by Roger Moore. In 2009 I went to the Redland Bay State School Reunion and visited Roger and Cheryl at their house on the Esplanade. Roger produced some large photos of speedboats (from my father’s races in 1925) that he had found in the roof of the shed. Apparently, my father had stored them up there and forgotten about them. A bit of red soil on them after 80 years but still in good nick! I have included these images on my website: www.tropikkal.com
I have many good memories of my childhood at the Bay. Vaguely remember a paddle steamer going past Redland Bay – must have been just after 1955. My father had quite a few boats in Weinam Creek. He employed Ricky Watts as his labourer. Poor Ricky had the job of working in the mud digging out new slips (dad usually had about 3 boats on the slips or in the creek at a time). Ricky was very good with boats. His father, the corpulent (as I remember) Dick Watts was very good on propellers. My father was very keen that I was a good boatie as early as possible. I still remember the cheers from the other boat-shed owners as I rowed a dinghy solo to the mouth of Weinam Creek when I was about 7 years old. High tide of course. On low tide you had to get out in the middle of the creek and push the dinghy over the mud banks. Yuk. Thank goodness I was a “tomboy” and didn’t mind getting dirty.
Around 1960 my father bought a property at Victoria Point. Stretching from Colburn Avenue to the water, there were two houses. The top house had been originally owned by Dr. Ernest Sandford Jackson. History. The bottom huts were haunted by a little black boy. But that’s another story….
(Extract from Peter Ludlow’s book ‘Moreton Bay People 2012’ (now out of print)
Editor’s note: Here is a photo of a section of Rusters’ boat yard taken by myself in about 1990. I had been interviewing Eric Reye from whose vessel, this photo was taken: