When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Queenslander Easter Covers - Lillies, Lads and Little Shirley Temple.

 Lady and Easter Lillies

 Lad and Easter Bun

Little Miss Shirley Temple.

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dick Tracy Comic Strip - The Sunday Truth, Brisbane, 1950.

The Brisbane Truth, Sunday July 30th, 1950, Page 36.

Miss Queensland & Her Electoral Mandate - Creepy, Sexist Political Cartoon, 1929.


The Telegraph, Evening Edition. May 14th, 1949.

Labor Electoral Losses Past. Tomorrow's Headlines Today!

From the files of everything old is new again, I can't help but feel that tomorrows headlines will read much like these. A few key phrases we are sure to see are "emphatic mandate", "overwhelming victory", "government loses"and "several many Ministers defeated at Polls".


The Brisbane Telegraph
Tuesday, May 13th, 1929.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Qld State Election. Who'll Top the Polls Tonight? Mr Fourex Does It! Beer Ad, 1938.

Source: The Brisbane Telegraph, Saturday Evening Edition. April 2nd 1938. Page 3.

"Maddening Things at the Booths" - Cartoon from The Brisbane Telegraph, 1938.

Seem familiar? Long queues. wrong queues and not existing. If things get on your nerves at the booths today take a deep breath, it's just part of the 70 year tradition of polling day. Happy voting!


The Brisbane Telegraph, Saturday Evening Edition. April 2nd 1938. Page 1.

Qld State Election 2012. Calm Before the Storm. How My Election Scoop was Thwarted!

Placemats set for the radio broadcasters, tallyroom Qld State Election 2012.

What's a blogger to do? I want a 'scoop' photo of the tally board before election night, my money shot is the results for the seat of Ashgrove, with Jones and Newman on zero. I make a few phone calls to no avail and  am directed to a media enquiries email address,  so I rattle of my plight thinking that's the end of that. But no, within minutes and just long enough to be walking the dogs, I get a phone call from the Queensland Electoral Commission. Seems it's my lucky day, I'm told I have a 90 minute window of opportunity to get myself to Hall 2 at the convention centre, and a photo won't be a problem, they're about to fire up the board for a test.

The board these days is actually a large screen with four individual panels that display results from individual seats, gone are they days of the manual hoisting of results and flipping of boards by a busy team up in the scaffold behind the board. The first 3 panels left to right will show results from seats as they are updated from the electorate counts, the fourth panel is reserved for seats of interests and I'm sure the seats of Ashgrove, South Brisbane and Mt. Cootha will feature prominently on that fourth panel tomorrow evening.

The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre isn't an official venue for the tally room, being available at short notice is the major determining factor in the choice of venue from election to election. In past years the tally board has made appearances at The Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre, The Sleeman Sports Centre, the Executive Building on George street and in 1938 it was hung outdoors from buildings in Queen Street facing the G.P.O.

Tally board goes outdoor., and drew quite a crowd, hats and all, in the middle of the night. Queen Street, 1938.

View from the bleachers. The tallyroom opens to the public from 5pm Saturday.

As for my money shot, it was never to be. The data used for this afternoons rehearsal was from the 2009election and we won't see this years candidate names until they debut with their first results tomorrow night.Why so? As it was explained to me by my contact from the QEC, they didn't want to add any fuel to the punditry fire with fake election result screen shots running hot on Twitter election eve. With random bloggers in the house, who'd ever take that chance. Scoop nil, press pass, one of.

Caloundra and Burnett results from 2009.

Images from the John Oxley Library, SLQ.
Original Images by The McWhirters Project.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Queensland's Labor Government! A Tired Old Dog?

Every man and his dog. Labor supporter at Brisbane City Hall polling booths, 1938.

The polls, punditry and punters are coining 'trouncing, thumping, bloodbath', pick your favourite adjective but the consensus is that it's all over for the current Qld Labor Government, which is looking like a tired old dog. But with a week to go until Queenslanders don their best hats and cast their votes the only uncertainty is whether or not Campbell Newman "Can Do" in the seat of Ashgrove. Kate Jones has gained support in recent polls to make it neck and neck and a Greens preference deal was clinched this week. Also, the fact that Kate Jones' name appears on the top of the ballot paper in the seat of Ashgrove may be just enough to throw a hand grenade into the middle of what could be a stunning victory for the Qld conservatives. Bob Katter's Australia Party, in conjunction with a successful yet overlooked grass roots campaign by the Greens in relation to coal seam gas developments, could hand power to the conservatives by splitting that voting group enough for Katter to gain some political influence. No matter what the outcome next Saturday, I can't help but think history may repeat itself. How? A one term conservative government (eg. Rob Borbidge, Feb 1996 to June 1998)  as the conservatives once again quickly self destruct as they divvy up the spoils of political power. But that's another dog and another story.

Don your best hat! Brisbane out to vote, Qld State Election, 1938.

 Full page newspaper advertisements published on the eve of the Qld state election in 1938.

Souces: John Oxley Library, SLQ.
The Telegraph Brisbane, Friday Evening, April 1st, 1938.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Margaret Whitlam 1919-2012 - Photos from the National Archives.

Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister, and Mrs Margaret Whitlam in the grounds of the Lodge, 1973.

Mrs Margaret Whitlam with Miss World, Lexie Brockwell and Miss Washington, Leslie Mays. United states of America, 1974. 

Mrs Margaret Whitlam with two women at conference in Canberra for International Women's Year 1975.

Gough Whitlam and Margaret Whitlam with the Emperor and Empress of Japan, 1973.

Gough Whitlam and Margaret Whitlam with the Crown Prince of Japan and his wife, 1973.

Mr Gough Whitlam and Mrs Margaret Whitlam at the opening of the Sydney Opera House, with Mrs Imelda Marcos of the Philippines, 1973.

 National Archives of Australia

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In Search of The Truth! Brisbane's Infamous Scandal Sheet Newspaper.

The Truth Newspaper, Sunday, October 18th, 1936.

I set out in search of the truth one Saturday morning.Off to the State Library of Queensland in search of the The Truth newspaper Brisbane's most salacious, tabloid newspaper, scandal sheet, rag sheet. The Truth's archives are not digitised but can be from microfilm held at the SLQ. In it's time, The Truth had one of the highest circulations of any newspaper in Australia, in the early 1960's it was re-branded as The Sun and ceased publishing in 1991.

The Truth Newspaper, Sunday, October 25th, 1936.

The Truth Newspaper, Sunday, February 7th, 1937

From the SLQ

Don't Be Fooled! - Candidates Make Final Appeals. Cartoon, 1938.

The Labour Party launches it's official campaign Sunday and Campbell Newman promises to divest himself of business interests if elected to the seat of Ashgrove. What to think? This cartoon from The Brisbane Telegraph does the job nicely.

The Brisbane Telegraph. Friday April 1st, 1938. Page 2.
From the SLQ.

Saturday Night Speedway! - Brisbane Telegraph Newspaper for March 10th, 1945

Masthead for Saturday March 10th, 1945.

The  McWhirters Project is proud to announce the inclusion of the Brisbane's The Telegraph archive to the blog, The Telegraph is not part of the Trove newspapers database and it's off to State Library of Qld for this latest project which requires the scanning of microfilms and some old-skool collection fishing.

Front Page, Saturday March 10th, 1945.

Of course once you've finished reading the late edition, it's off to Saturday Night Speedway at Davies Park for some of those hair raising thrills! Vroom!

The Brisbane Telegraph. Saturday March 10th, 1945. Page 1.
The Brisbane Telegraph. Friday Novemebr 1st, 1929. Page 10.
From the SLQ.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Women to Vote for First Time in Queensland State Election, 1907 - A Photo History!

Women were not always part of the democratic process in Australia and were not able to vote in Federal elections until 1905 and the first Queensland state election in May 1907. Many of Queensland's suffragettes were active members of the Labour Party and Mrs Lillian Locke-Burns was described as "The Brilliant Organizer and Propagandist" in a caption of a photo tribute to "Leading Labour Women" that was published in an edition of The Worker, in June 1907.

A letter publised in the The Worker a week prior to the election of the 25th of May 1907 leaves no doubt that Lilian's reputation seemed well-earned, with a powerful and passionate plea for women to find time to vote.

A Woman's Appeal to Women.

Awake ! Thou that Sleepest !

This should be the clarion call to the Labour women of Queensland in the coming elections. It was the boast of the Tories in the last Federal elections that it was the women who put them at the head of the poll. Unconsciously, to a great extent, the women (who should be in the very forefront as fighters in the great cause of Humanity), helped thesemen in their efforts to put back the hands of the clock of progress. Gulled by stories of the Labour party's intentions to ultimately undermine the purity of home life,etc., they were led into the trap and voted against their own, against their husbands, and against their children's most vital interests.

In some of the States many of them were utterly blind as to the far-reaching importance of their part in the political fight, and were utterly absorbed in the carrying out of trivial domestic arrangements on election day. 

Some of them stoutly refused to make any effort to get to the poll, even when importuned by earnest Labour canvassers. They had no time to help save sweated workers : no time to save white hairs from a pauper's grave ; no time to save one child from starvation ; no time to help the great, seething mass of humanity in their!struggle to get standing room on God's earth. No time—because they were too busy washing blankets!

 Let every earnest woman rise tothe occasion, and wipe off the stigma of the last election. Humanity calls to Woman the Humanitarian. It calls from every sweater's hell; it calls from every deadly slum; it calls from every foodless house; from tear-stained eyes of worn-out mothers it makes its mute appeal. Sooner or later it must touch the heart of Queensland's women.


The women of Queensland did take an opportunity to vote in 1907 and studio photographer Poul Poulson was on the streets of Brisbane to record the event. The images of this historic day clearly show women taking their place inside city polling enclosures. International Women's Day was celebrated this week and the 2012 state election marks the 105th anniversary of women taking their rightful place in Queensland's democratic process.

Women take their place inside the polling enclosure for the first time. Brisbane North polling place, 1907.

Hats for all! Queen Street, Brisbane.Election day, 1907.

Women voters consulting notes outside the polling place, 1907.

Photo Images: John Oxley Library, State Library of Qld.
Press Clipping From Trove Australia:1907 'A Woman's Appeal to Women.', Worker (Brisbane, Qld. : 1890 - 1955),
18 May, p. 10.