Early German Immigrants to the Moreton Bay Settlement – 8 – At Maryborough (27)

Early German Immigrants to the Moreton Bay Settlement – 8 – At Maryborough 27

The earliest Germans in the Maryborough district were possibly some of the shepherds on John Eales run at Tiaro, south of what is now Maryborough. Shepherds and timber getters were traversing the Mary River and coastal vessels were arriving before George Furber built his Woolstore and Inn on the south bank of the river in 1847.

After the site now known as the Old Township was settled in 1848 on the northern bank of the river, coastal vessels were landing passengers on his wharf. 

Many Germans employed in the Wide Bay and Burnett districts in sheep and cattle runs had overlanded from Sydney, Brisbane, or surrounding Those who came direct by sailing vessel, or those who came to Maryborough by coastal steamer, would take their belongings in drays, ride horses, or walk to their destinations.

“Messrs Raff and Co have offered to forward a vessel from Hamburgh to this port direct provided they could obtain orders for no less than one hundred German immigrants.

“The immigrants will be engaged at the uniform rate of £10 per annum. Our informant believes that no premium is required but that employers will have to pay £18 for the passage of each immigrant on arrival…” 28

View of the Mary River and Maryborough wharves from the Post Office tower, Maryborough, 1874 (photo courtesy Fraser Coast Regional Libraries)

Queensland Becomes a Separate State

During the late 1840’s the “Northern Districts of New South Wales” began to agitate for separation from New South Wales; and, in 1851, a petition was sent to the Queen, urging the right of Moreton Bay to receive the same concession as had, in that year, been made to Port Phillip. On this occasion their request was not granted; but, on being renewed about three years later, it was met with a favourable reception; and, in the following year and Act was passed by the Imperial Parliament giving to the British Government power to constitute a new colony. Again, as in the case of Port Phillip, delays occurred; and, in 1856, a change of ministry caused the matter to be almost forgotten. It was not until 1859 that the territory to the north of the 29th parallel of latitude was proclaimed a separate colony, under the title of Queensland.

In December of that year, Sir George F. Bowen, the first governor, arrived; and the little town of Brisbane, with its 7,000 inhabitants, was raised to the dignity of being a capital, the seat of Government of a territory containing more than 670,000 square miles, though inhabited by only 25,000 people. A few months later, Queensland received its constitution, which differed but little from that of New South Wales. There were established two Houses of Legislature, one consisting of members nominated by the Governor, and the other elected by the people. 29


27 Gassan, Kay; Where The Eagle Nested.

28 Maryborough Chronicle, October 10, 1861.

29 http://www.historyofaustraliaonline.com/Separation_of_Queensland.html