Three Generations of Auctioneers – 1 – James Love

Compiled from family history material supplied by Judy Noble (nee Love)

In October 1889, James Love, then a clerk with the Queensland National Bank, was spending the weekend with his friend James Thomas Isles (of Finney Isles and Co). Both were dissatisfied with their prospects so James suggested that they both resign and go into partnership as Auctioneers. This they did and with each aged 23, they formed the firm of Isles Love and Co. The business prospered and was soon joined by James Isles’ brother, F.A.J. Isles. 

James Love was known to his family and close friends as Skipper, but in wider business and sporting circles as ‘Jic’. Described as a prince of good fellows, ‘The Skipper’ became a leader in his profession and in commercial circles in Brisbane. He was President of the Lawn Tennis Association in 1905; a founding member of the Brisbane Club in 1903, becoming President in 1921; Commodore of the Royal Queensland Yacht Club in 1923; President of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland and Australian in 1925 and a member of the Board of Advice of the Queensland National Bank, retiring as Chairman in 1941.

In 1899 following an interstate tennis match at rather unsatisfactory temporary tennis courts at the Brisbane Cricket Grounds, James Love, in the course of his auctioneering business, came in touch with the Dunmore estate at Auchenflower, part of which he became convinced would make an admirable tennis site. It was mainly through his efforts and those of Mr R.J.Cottell Jnr that this site was purchased and established as a centre for the Lawn Tennis Association by 1905.

James Love became the proud owner of the auxiliary ketch “Sweetheart” which was built for him by J.H.Whereat at Bulimba in 1911. 

“The Queenslander” of September 2, 1911 describes “Sweetheart” as follows: “Sweetheart” is 52 foot over all, by 10 foot 8 ½ inch beam, 4 foot 8 inch deep, and has a registered tonnage of 17.92 tons.

“She is built of full inch mountain pine planking, with yellow-wood ribs, and ironbark keel. The deckhouse is all of polished silky oak, with arctic glass windows, to each alternate one of which is fitted a moveable mosquito frame of brass gauze….

“Upon entering the saloon, which is 16 foot long, one is struck first by the beauty of the Queensland silky oak with which it is fitted throughout, and secondly by the excellent arrangements for comfort and convenience. There are four bunks, each with wire mattresses, velvet cushions, and cabinet chest of drawers beneath. There are two sideboards, an ice chest, a cabinet table with three drawers, and an airtight breadbox. The floors are covered with dark green inlaid linoleum, and the stairs are in maple, with corrugated brass treads. There is a handsome silky oak toilet cabinet against the bulkhead, similar to those in the large overseas steamers, fitted with washbasin, mirror, medicine cabinet, and cupboards. The doors are all of silky oak with satinwood panels, and on the sideboards are glass and bottle racks, and the usual fittings surrounded by a pediment of silky oak pillars….

“The engine is 45 horse-power, by Brooke, of Lowestorft, England, and is almost noiseless in action. … The lighting of the ship generally is by acetylene gas from a copper generator in the cockpit, but the engine-room is, for safety’s sake, fitted with shell electric lights, which are operated by electric batteries and accumulators….”

With his family and friends, he was to spend many happy times ‘down the Bay’. Photographic history of early days aboard “Sweetheart” show Myora anchorage and the many fine catches of fish taken from the Rainbow Channel. It was said that if you couldn’t fish you had better be able to play Bridge as ‘The Skipper’ was adept at both.

With the advent of radio telephony, “Sweetheart” became the first privately owned yacht in Australia to be equipped for transmission of voice. James’ son, Nim, operated Radio Station VK4JL from 1928 until 1939 when “Sweetheart” was requisitioned for the War effort.

James Love aboard Sweetheart off Stradbroke. (Photo courtesy Antony Love)

(Extract from ‘Moreton Bay Letters’ Peter Ludlow 2003)

A Diggers Life at Nudgee Beach

Reg Fleming writes…

Just before the war in 1939, a meeting was held in connection with electricity for Nudgee Beach. The authorities demanded each house owner deposit £1 as a guarantee that they would have power connected. After holding this money for about four years, it was returned. The council claimed that, because of the war, the work could not go ahead.

When war was declared, many answered the call. One (resident) still remains in New Guinea and will never return. During the war, the School of Arts was taken over by the Australian Army Searchlight Division, and had about four batteries along the foreshore. Mrs Hough’s residence was used as a school. After the war was finished, the Army left and the school was returned to the School of Arts.

Building materials were scarce after the war, and the QATB building was sold and demolished, as was a pavilion on the reserve, which was used for Progress meetings. The kiosk, built in 1930, was burnt down. This was the beginning of the end for buildings on the reserve.

I was made Trustee for the School of Arts in about 1946, and held that position until the building was demolished. After the School of Arts was condemned and demolished, only the shelter shed, which was one of the first buildings on the reserve, and the toilet block were left.

The School of Arts was built in 1926 and was used for many purposes including dancing, school, voting, meetings, church, concerts, library, wedding receptions, and many other functions.

From the early 1930s until just after the war, Nudgee Beach was like Cribb Island, that is, a very close community with everyone knowing each other by their first name. About half of the population were permanent residents, and there was a percentage of “floating” population. During this time, we had cricket matches on the reserve every Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer and tennis was played all the year round. We had social evenings and dances to raise money for our clubs. Euchre tournaments were held in the School of Arts every Friday night. Table tennis was organised by the Progress Association with the proceeds going to the upkeep of the School of Arts, books for the library, and the maintenance of the buildings on the reserve. On Sunday nights, social evenings were held in private homes, where bingo and euchre were played. Profits went to the Sports Club. 

The School of Arts was taken over by the Australian Army for the duration of the war years, and the Sunday night social evenings continued throughout the war years. When the boys returned from war service (only one soldier, Harris Knight, was killed in action in New Guinea) a big Welcome Home party was arranged by the social committee and held in the School of Arts.

In 1942, I was home on leave, and Jack Cahill asked me to go net fishing at 2:30 the next morning. It was low tide with a strong northeast wind blowing; the net was about 180 yards long. Jack said that when the net was out, he would hold up the lantern. By this time, the wind had blown the lantern out, and I told my mate that we had better head for the shore. We managed to get little more than half the net out, and when we dragged the net in, the wings were loaded with big whiting. When we reached the back of the net, we found four huge sharks that were of the man-eating variety. By the time we bagged our fish and cleared the sharks out of the net, it was daylight. We put the net out again, this time the whole length of it. The same thing happened again with the whiting in the wings. But, when we reached the back of the net, the sharks had gone right through.

I have seen fishermen standing waist-deep in water, fishing for whiting, and sharks with their fins exposed swimming nearby in the channel between them and the shore. Oddly, during the time I have lived at Nudgee Beach, I can’t remember any cases of shark attack!

Nudgee Beach today has sealed roads, a reasonable bus service, a postman, water, electricity, sewerage, one shop, and some nice homes. Pre-war, we had a kiosk, School of Arts, Ambulance shed, toilets and dressing sheds, three shops, a Progress Association building, a school, a cricket ground and tennis court, a fair bus service, and butcher and baker daily deliveries.

Nudgee Beach today

(Extract from ‘Moreton Bay Letters’ Peter Ludlow 2003)

Frank Day – Man of Moreton 

Evelyn Jarvis(nee Day) writes…

Frank Day married Sylvia Campbell (daughter of Robert Perkins Campbell) on May 6, 1914. They started their married life together on Bribie Island. I, Evelyn, was their first born of four children. Dad worked for Colin Clark. He was manager over the Kanakas who worked the oyster banks at Toorbul Point. They then shifted to Amity Point where he went fishing with his brother-in-law, Bob Campbell when the sea mullet were in season. Owing to ill health he took on oystering on Moreton Island in the 1920s from which he sold cultured oysters until World War II broke out and Moreton Island was closed to everything except military operations. For four years he worked with the Water Transport Board. Dad had a forty foot boat, the “Valiant” and it was commissioned by the army to carry all their food, ammunition, and supplies which had arrived at Amity Point from Brisbane aboard the “Mirimar” to ship them across the South Passage Bar into Day’s Gutter. The Army called it Day’s Gutter because that was where he lived when they took over.  His boat was also used for towing large target boards out over the South Passage Bar for practice shooting. The boards did a lot of tossing through the rough waves.

Mum and dad’s home became the Army Hospital and it was declared an official hospital the day the first sick soldier was brought in. The telephone had been installed before the war at dad’s home and a line connected to the lighthouse at Cape Moreton, so he was given the job of Post Master of Moreton Island, as all the calls had to come through him.

On Moreton Island – Frank Day’s bottle collection with his house in the background (photo Carolyn Riley)

The Red Cross ship “Centaur” was sunk by a small Japanese sub. Only one person, a nurse, survived.  She swam to the beach on Moreton Island. Mum and dad were then told to be prepared in case they had to leave the island. One small house was made into a shop where the Army would buy cigarettes and tinned goods, and the soldiers were not allowed to go further North than our place. Dad’s house was named “Whimberel”, the proper name for the Curlew.

Fred Eager (of Eagers Car Sales) was a regular visitor to Moreton Island, coming over in his boat “Tangalooma”.  He had a truck parked in a shed next to the house, which they would drive to the outside beach to go fishing. Once, while they were out there, the “Tangalooma” started to drag anchor, and Bobby my brother went out to secure her from running aground, for which Fred Eager gave him a watch in appreciation. He also gave dad a double-barrelled shotgun, which became his pride and joy.

I can remember dad telling me that there was a beacon marking the entrance to Day’s Gutter where he has seen the clear water turn pink from so many Schnapper swimming around it.  After the war, the oyster banks died out from not being worked, so he set about to restock them, but with declining prices for oysters it was not worth the effort, so he sold up and moved to Southport where he managed the oyster banks for the Moreton Bay Oyster Company, coming back to Moreton Island in later years to live there until his death on May 15, 1976.

On Moreton Island – Kooringal’s Gutter Bar – with photos of Ray,Frank,and John Day (photo Kathy Brinckman)

Evelyn Jarvis, June 2002

(Extract from Moreton Bay Letters Peter Ludlow 2003)

People of Peel Island – 7 – Doris Isobel Gabriel

Doris Isobel Gabriel was always known to her friends as Jonnie, a nick-name given to her by her father, and one she retained throughout her life. It was so typical of the person whose unaffected nature and readiness to help out where needed endeared her to so many. Jonnie revelled in helping out; whether it was on the Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Women’s Auxilliary, Ignatian’s Musical Society, the Qld Light Opera Company, the Qld Conservatorium of Music, Savoyards or the Art’s Theatre. She was always there when needed.

When I first began my researches into the history of Peel Island’s Lazaret (way back in 1986) Jonnie Gabriel was the first person I interviewed. Jonnie, a former Theatre Sister had been married to the Late Doctor Morgan Gabriel, the Lazaret’s last Resident Medical Officer from 1951 until 1959. As such, she had lived on Peel in the doctor’s house during that time, and the couple raised their two children, Ruth and Bill, there, thus dispelling the myth that children could never remain on the island after birth because they were considered at risk of contracting the disease.

Doris Gabriel and Eric Reye revisiting the lazaret’s doctor’s quarters in 1993 (photo Peter Ludlow)

The Gabriel’s were always passionate about dispelling the stigma of leprosy and of leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) patients. To their credit, they were always prepared to lead by their own example.

Jonny remembers her near decade on Peel with her husband and young family as a time of great personal happiness and contentment. Dr Gabriel worked strict business hours, with an hour off for lunch, during which time he would often take his wife and children for a picnic at Horseshoe Bay. At other times, while he attended the hospital surgery, Jonny Gabriel would attend to the housework or take her children on walks through the bush to collect wild flowers. (She always carried a bill-hook, though, in case she chanced upon a snake). 

The diesel generators were switched on at dusk and operated until ten o’clock producing electricity for the settlement. On ‘non picture’ nights, Mrs Gabriel would spend her time catching up on her family’s ironing. However, she was always ready to join in any parties at the recreation hall, and one ex-patient still has a chuckle at the memory of a very pregnant Johnny Gabriel kicking balloons around the floor of the rec hall during a pre-Christmas wing-ding! 

During their time at the Lazaret until its closure Jonnie and her husband amassed a great collection of memorabilia: photos, memories, stories, other contact people, and artifacts. All of these Jonnie was more than happy to share, not just with me, but also with the Friends of Peel Island, and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Much of the fine collection we have today is due to the generosity of Jonnie and Morgan Gabriel.

For this I am grateful, but most of all I am grateful for her friendship.

Peter Ludlow


(Extract from ‘Peel Island History – A Personal Quest‘)