Important Topics of the Times


A fundraising concert in aid of funds for the school library was held in 1893 with much gaiety and musical accomplishment but also comedy (although extremely inappropriate by today’s standards) and a ‘stump speech’ on ‘Women’s Rights’ by a Mr J Orr.  It’s not clear from this article however whether his argument was for greater recognition of women’s contribution and potential, or indeed against.


31 August 1893 (Thursday)

A concert in aid of the library funds of the State school, North Pine, was held on Monday evening, which was largely attended. The proceedings opened with a piano overture, “Qui Vive”, played in capital style by Miss Cooper. The school children sang several songs, “Lightly Go”, “Away to Rio”, “Indian Warrior’s Grave”, “The Cobbler”, “Away we go”, and “We part to meet again”, which were appreciated by the audience, and showed evidence of careful training by the head teacher (Mr F W Smith) and his assistants. Miss A Petrie contributed two songs, “The Garden of Sleep” and “Love’s Old Sweet Song,” in a very pleasing manner, her efforts being greeted with hearty applause. Other acceptable items on the programme consisted of comic song by Mr F Smith, “I Did It,” and stump speech by Mr J Orr on “Woman’s Rights”. The concert concluded with a negro farce, “Fast and Slow”, well played by Messrs’ J Orr, J A Hayes, and O Hale. The children of the North Pine School gave an exhibition of physical drill. Mr J Duffield acted as chairman, ‘and called on those present to record a vote of thanks to those who had assisted to make the concert a success’.

Source: 1893 ‘DISEASES IN CATTLE.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 31 August, p. 6, viewed 13 December, 2013,


In 1911 a successful Christmas entertainment by the North Pine State School at the local school of arts showed much variety.

Women’s issues were mentioned again:


“”The Suffragettes”, by Miss Rowe and a party of girls, created much amusement.”


The name suggests that there was some empowerment to be gained by these young women contemplating the worldwide movement to gain women voting rights.  However as it “created much amusement” it could be debatable as to its intended social-political position on the topic (or how it was received by the audience), though it is easy to believe that Miss Rowe was pioneering in nurturing a new generation of girls with a voice. (Note: Sadly Miss [Jessie Corrie] Rowe passed away not long after this concert while in her early 20s.  Read More About Plaques, Memorials and Visual Markers)


11 December 1911 (Monday)


A successful entertainment by the North Pine State School children, followed by the distribution of prizes and a Christmas tree, was held in the local School of Arts on Friday night (writes our North Pine correspondent) Mr James Forsyth, M.L A., who was accompanied by Mrs Forsyth, occupied the chair, and the hall was crowded. The bright entertainment commenced with a recitation, “Our School Greets You”, by nine boys. Then followed action songs and recitations by lands of boys and girls. A musical sketch by Master Nock, and six boys was very amusing, and “Tom’s Practical Joke”, by Master Houghton and Misses Lear and Baldwin was loudly applauded. The song, “The Soldier and His Child”, by Mrs Hunter and Miss Baldwin, was much enjoyed. “The Suffragettes”, by Miss Rowe and a party of girls, created much amusement. All the children acquitted themselves well, and the entertainment reflected credit on Mr and Mrs Hunter and Miss Rowe. During the evening a presentation of a silver tea service was made to Mr Hunter (head master). The prizes were distributed by Mr Forsyth, who had a few words to each recipient. Two Christmas trees were laden with toys. Mr Bray acted as “Father Christmas”, and distributed the gifts. Handsome prizes were donated by Mr and Mrs Forsyth, Mrs Petrie, and Mr Eaves. Those present included Mrs and the Misses Petrie (2), Mrs and Miss Pinnock, Mrs and the Misses Joyner (2), Mrs Highfield, Mrs and Miss O’Loan, Mr, Mrs, and the Miss Stacey (3), Mrs Mackenzie (2), Mr and Mrs Bulgin, Mrs Dorsay, Mr and Mrs W Leis, Mr and Mrs Saunders, Miss and Mr Saunders, Mr and Mrs Baldwin, Mr and Mrs Connors, Mr and Mrs Bray, Mr and Mrs Young, Mr and Mrs Lear, Mr and Mrs Osborne, Miss Osborne, Miss Gee, Miss Eldred, Miss Winnie Hunter, Mr and Mrs Walters, Mr C Bright, Mrs Armstrong, Miss Armstrong, Miss Rowe, Misses Armstrong (2), Mr, Mrs, and Miss Taylor, Mrs and Miss Thomas, Mrs Barbour, Mr and Mrs Bennett and family, Mr and Mrs Ebert, Rev and Mrs Whitehouse, Rev T and Mrs Nock, Misses Nock (2), Mr and Mrs Campbell, Mrs and the Misses Patterson, Mr and Mrs Gudopp, Master and Miss Holmes, Mr and Mrs Davis, Mr and Mrs Robinson and family, Mr and Mrs Macpherson, Mr and Mrs Hawkins and family, Mr and Mrs S J Johnson and family, Mrs and Miss Cullimore, Mr and Mrs Mactaggart, Mrs and Miss McMullin, Mr and Mrs Brass, Mr and Mrs King, Mr and Mrs Fryar, Mr and Mrs Houghton, Mr and Mrs Brewer, Mr and Mrs Casey, Mrs Coulthard, Mr and Mrs Allom, Messrs 0 and G Tanner, Mr and Mrs Carson (2), Mr and Miss Raymont, Mr Macartney, Mr and Mrs Street, Mr R Leis, Mr C Leis, Mr T Leis, Misses Leis (3), Messrs Norman and Eric Wyllie, White (2), Mr and Mrs Skinner, Mr and Mrs Slater, Mr and Mrs Sargeant, Mr and Mrs Geiss, and Mr and Mrs Clay.

Source: 1911 ‘NORTH PINE STATE SCHOOL.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 11 December, p. 9, viewed 13 December, 2013,




The Patriotic Fund possibly began to aid the soldiers fighting in the Boar War and continued when World War I began:


On 8 January 1900, various patriotic funds were amalgamated into one general fund under the name of “The Queensland Patriotic Fund”. This Fund was given statutory recognition under “The Queensland Patriotic Fund Act of 1910”. On 5 October 1939, under the “Patriotic Funds Administration Act Amendment Act 1939”, the Fund was re-established as “The Patriotic Fund of Queensland”.
The Fund was responsible for raising funds and fund administration to provide financial and other assistance to serving or former military personnel, originally those who served in the Boer War. The Fund’s assistance was extended to non-combatants who suffered loss as the result of war and the dependants of service personnel, and the Fund managers were also responsible for the promotion and formation of institutions, societies, clubs, etc. of benefit to its clients.
The Fund’s operations were administered by management committees with Trustees responsible for the funds raised. From the passing of “The Patriotic Funds Administration Act of 1916”, the Chief Secretary / Premier had overall responsibility for the Acts administered by Patriotic Funds.
Chief Secretary 28 Jan 1916 – 22 Oct 1919
Premier and Chief Secretary 22 Oct 1919 – 26 Sep 1963
Premier 26 Sep 1963 – 17 Mar 1988
On 17 March 1988 the funds of the Patriotic Fund of Queensland were transferred equally to the Returned Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch) and the Legacy Fund of Brisbane. The “Patriotic Funds Act Repeal Act and other Acts Amendment Act 1988” was proclaimed on 1 February 1989.

Source: Queensland State Archives Agency ID2381, Patriotic Fund of Queensland,




4 June (Monday)


The following detailed lists are given of amounts already acknowledged in these columns: —

Schools: NorthPineStateSchool, 5 pounds 2 shillings 8 pennies;

Source: 1900 ‘NORTH PINE COMMITTEE.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 4 June, p. 3, viewed 13 December, 2013,


“I remember during the war (1914-1918) when Mr Hunter (then the headmaster) MABEL HART (NEE SKINNER) & MR HARTand his wife would hold Patriotic Concerts at Petrie.  Mrs Hunter would play the piano and the children would sing and act plays and such like.

There was always a lot of excitement when some of the soldiers came home from the war.  All the children at the school would be waiting at the railway station to meet them and we would welcome them with songs and cheers.  We would then escort them to their homes.

Mr Hunter was a very popular man and when anyone in the area needed first aid they always went to him.  I suppose you could say he was the first Ambulance service in Petrie.  During my years at Petrie School I remember celebrating Wattle Day with a sprig of wattle flower attached to a badge.  On Arbour Day Mr Baldwin sent to the school a large tin of boiled sweets.  I believe Arbour Day is still practiced at Petrie School today.  Breaking up days were a big event – not only for the children but for their parents also.”

Source: Centenary Petrie State School 1874-1974: History of Petrie State School Formerly North Pine State School




The North Pine State School Honour Board remembered those who served in World War I.  By 1916 the school (and in fact many Australian institutions) felt there was a great need to personally honour the local men who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force to fight in the deadly pursuit of freedom in lands far away.



Mr J Connor, the chairman of the School Committee at this time, proposed that members collect financial subscriptions from the community to finance an honour board.  This was to contain the names of all the past pupils who had gone to the war.

The proposal was made at the end of February 1916 and by July it had been made and was presented to the committee members.


25 February 1916


NORTH PINE February 25

At the last meeting of the State School committee, Mr J Connor presiding, it was unanimously agreed that as quite a large number of past pupils of the local school had enlisted an honour board be erected in the school building.  All the members of the committee were provided with subscriptions lists to provide funds for the purpose.

Source: 1916 ‘NORTH PINE HONOUR BOARD.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 26 February, p. 5, viewed 5 January, 2014,


23 July 1916



At a meeting of the State School committee held on Thursday evening, Mr J Connors in the chair, a handsome honour board was on view, containing 41 names of past scholars of the school. The date for the unveiling ceremony was fixed for September 2. It was decided to invite the Minister and Under Secretary for Public Instruction and the member for the district to take part.

Source: 1916 ‘A SCHOOL HONOUR BOARD.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 26 July, p. 7, viewed 5 January, 2014,


31 August 1916


An honour board of the North Pine State School will be unveiled in the School of Arts, North Pine, next Saturday, at 3 o’clock. On this board are inscribed the names 43 in all, of all old boys of the school who have enlisted. The ceremony will be performed by the Under Secretary (Mr J D Story), who will be accompanied by Mr J Forsyth, MLA.

Source: 1916 ‘HONOUR BOARDS UNVEILED.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 31 August, p. 7, viewed 5 January, 2014,


This grand occasion and major patriotic event was to be marked with a concert at the North Pine School of Arts on Saturday 2nd of December. It was attended by state government dignitaries and included singing and solemn remembrance.  The gathering was not an opportunity missed for fundraising either, as patriots raised more than three pounds in aid of the General Hospital:


5 September 1916


NORTH PINE, September 4

A roll of honour, bearing the names of 44 past pupils of the North Pine State School who enlisted was unveiled at the School of Arts on Saturday afternoon by Mr J D Story (Under Secretary, Department of Public Instruction).  Not-withstanding the unfavourable weather a large gathering assembled, and great enthusiasm was shown.  Mr J Connors (chairman of the committee) presided.  Stirring patriotic speeches were delivered by Messrs J D Story, Jas Forsyth, M.L.A., R D Hunter, and Revs I Bennett and W S Laurie.  The school children, under the direction of Mrs Hunter, rendered patriotic songs, and Miss Gladys Hunter, in costume, sang “The Red Cross Nurse”.  A Mr Story unveiled the board the whole school stood at the salute and sang “God Save Our Splendid Men”.  The board, which was much admired, is of polished silky oak.  A collection in aid of the General Hospital amounted to 3 pounds/2/6.  The names appearing on the board are: – J Feakin (killed), R D Hunter, W R Hunter, L Bright, A White, F White, W White, J White, A Gordon, I C Gordon, N Wyllie, L Tanner, O Tanner, A Tanner, J D Campbell, Captain D Campbell, A smiley, W Smiley, J Fraser, J Walker, A Slater, T Slater, H Gilbert, G Gilbert, S Gilbert, W Herman, F Herman, V Houghton, J Ramsbotham, E Guddopp, N G Hatton, L Warneminde, Corporal C Warneminde, H Warneminde, F Sheehan, R Hosier, W Johnston, S Buckby, H Collings, W Sargent, A Murphy, Driver L Oxenham, Captain H Oxenham (Royal Flying Corps), J Young.

Source: 1916 ‘HONOUR BOARDS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 5 September, p. 8, viewed 5 January, 2014,


Courtesy Moreton Bay Regional Council Local History Library, Strathpine.



Evidently, this honour board was originally kept in the School house for many years.  Perhaps due to the many renovations and changes that were happening at Petrie State School 71 years later that Peter Boge (Principal 1983-1990) decided to pass the honour board in good faith to the Pine Rivers RSL in Kallangur.  It was presented to the RSL by the school captains of that year.

This move was documented by Peter Boge in his memories of Petrie in 1999:


“School Captains Craig Hargraves and Hayley Perel presented the old North Pine State School Roll of Honour to Pine Rivers RSL, Kallangur on 11 November 1987.”

– Peter J Boge, 1999 – Principal, 1 Jan 1983 – 31 Dec 1990.

Source: Commemorating 125 Years of Service: Petrie State School 1874-1999, pp46-49.


This move is documented at Monument Australia:


North Pine State School Honour Board

North Pine State School Honour Board honours those who served in World War One.


Address:  1347 ANZAC Avenue, Pine Rivers RSL & Services Memorial Club, Kallangur, QLD, 4503


Actual Monument Dedication Date:  Saturday 2nd September, 1916.

11 November 1987



In 2014, it was disappointing to discover that on investigation with the Returned Services League that the North Pine School Honour Board is at this stage unable to be located.  The only remnant of what it looked like is a poorly taken photograph which was kindly supplied to us by the RSL Sub-Branch.



We hypothesise that at some time in the history of the RSL re-structuring from having suburban branches to much larger divisional branches that it’s possible that the Honour Board went missing when the Petrie Office amalgamated with Kallangur.

We do however live in hope that it could be recovered at some point.  The RSL have expressed their sincere and unreserved apology over the loss.





The Belgian Relief Fund was an initiative of the British during the Great War to gather supplies and aid for the war effort but particularly the European refugees and soldiers that were on the Belgian Front.

In 1915 the children of North Pine State School presented a concert in aid of the ‘Courier’ Belgian Fund at the School of Arts Hall.  They raised between 80 and 90 pounds, which when added to a previous concert they had presented would add to around 150 pounds towards the relief effort.  This was a very big amount of money to have been raised by a small rural community.




5 May 1915 (Wednesday)

A very successful concert was given by the children of the North Pine State school on Friday afternoon in aid of the “Courier” Belgian Fund. Notwithstanding the fact of a wet evening the School of Arts Hall was filled to overflowing, and the results are expected to reach between 80 pounds and 90 pounds. This will mean that with a previous concert given by this school the results will amount to 150 pounds, for which all responsible must be complimented. The children were trained by Mr and Mrs R D Hunter, and the committee who assisted them in working hard for the success included Mr and Mrs Affleck, Mrs, Mr and the Misses Gordon, Mrs Williams, Mrs Bray, Misses Petrie (3), Mrs Allen, Misses Elder, Costello, Gill, Holmes, and Mr Connors. Mr Gold worked the limelight effects. The accompaniments were effectively played by Mrs Hunter and Miss Nettle Tait, and the dance music by Miss Maggie Campbell. The programmes were unique, being bordered with the Belgian colours. The first item, a prologue, was by Master H Carstens. Two beautiful tableaux were given, the first — “We’ll Fight for Our Australia”, by the school children; the second, “The Field of Glory’ (Belgium), by Misses Nell Williams, Gladys Hunter, and Doris Baldwin. A dying soldier (Lang Armour) was shown, while Nell Williams, as an angel held over him a laurel wreath and the two little girls, Gladys Hunter and Doris Baldwin, dressed as angels, hovered round him. “Tipperary” was sung by a group of school children in green skirts and red blouses. Other successful items by the school children included an action song, “The Gleaners”, “Joe, the Railway Porter”, “Joe” being taken by Master J Boyland, “It’s no Joke to be a Baby’ – the little boys class, “The Little Witches”, little girls class, “This Part of the World Belongs to Us”, Kazoo band. The tea party in character was amusingly given by Misses L Taylor, D Bickle, E Jones, S Davis, G Hunter. Other successful items contributed by the pupils and several friends from town included recitations by Master F Skinner (“Kitchener’s Recruits”), Mr R Carson (“How Belgium put the Kybosh on “the Kaiser”), Masters T Petrie, T Twible, F Jones, D Collins, J Brewer, J Casey, F Schwartz (“When I’m a Man”), duet by Messrs J Skerman and F M LcLennan, comic songs by Mr W F Kenny, songs by Mrs, R D Hunter, Mr J D Abraham, Mr J Skerman, song and tableau, Mr F McLennan (“Australia’s Call to Arms”), song and tableau (“Britannia’s School”), Mrs R D Hunter, Miss D Taylor (Britannia). Miss N Williams (England), Miss B Holmes (Scotland), Miss Alice Leis (Ireland), a musical monologue by Miss Keid, and a Spanish dance in costume by Mrs Morton. Two little girls, Misses M Baldwin and Gladys Hunter, sang “Tho Absent Minded Beggar” and secured a satisfactory response in coins. Cheers were given for the King at the conclusion of the concert, followed by cheers for Mr and Mrs Hunter. The audience joined in singing the National Anthem.

Source: 1915 ‘BELGIAN FUND CONCERT.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 5 May, p. 10, viewed 14 December, 2013,




As the war came to an end in 1918, it seemed that the community were considerably ‘war weary’ despite victory and attentions were turned to supporting the community of returned soldiers and their welfare when returning to ‘normal life’.

Perhaps it was to aid this process that an elderly Mrs Petrie and her daughters entertained the children of North Pine State School with a Christmas tree laden with gifts made entirely by returned soldiers.

The gifts consisted of baskets, fancy boxes, leather purses, serviette rings and various kinds of wooden toys.


20 December 1918 (Friday)

NORTH PINE, December 18.  Last Thursday afternoon the children of the North Pine Sate School were entertained by Mrs Tom Petrie at a Christmas tree, laden with gifts made entirely by returned soldiers.  The gifts comprised baskets, fancy boxes, leather purses, serviette rings, and various kinds of wooden toys.  Each of the 112 children received a present.  Misses Ida and Jessie Petrie were heartily cheered by the children for the excellent manner in which they carried out their mother’s desire to give them a happy time.  Last Friday the committee of the school entertained the children at a picnic, and a very pleasant time was spent.  An attractive sports programme was gone through, and the children were regaled with refreshments.  At night a dance was held, and was largely attended, Miss Campbell supplying the music and Mr Connors supervising the dancing.

Source: 1918 ‘OTHER SCHOOLS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 20 December, p. 8, viewed 14 December, 2013,




After the war ended in 1918 the feelings of loss and consequence was still raw years later.

The British and its empire allies collected artillery and other remnants of World War I and distributed them throughout the dominion nations who fought in the Great War.

The best relics were kept for war museums and consequently Australia, alongside other British Imperial Force countries, received the rest.  These pieces of history were then distributed to the local towns and cities where the loss was felt keenly across a generation of families.


“Allocation of surplus trophies occurred in 1921 and 1922, and many towns acquired additional items for display. Once the trophy committees were disbanded the disposal of items became the responsibility of towns and the trustees.”



War trophies collected during World War II.  Courtesy the Australian War Memorial.
Trophies captured by the Australian troops during the battle of Hamel
AWM E02743



The Railway Station at Petrie was the original home of the war trophy allocated to the township:


“The trophy is a machine gun captured by the 9th Battalion (Queenslanders), A.I.F., and it’s now permanent emplacement is in the waiting room of the Petrie railway station.  It is enclosed in a square formed by old trace chains which at one time formed part of the equipment of a famous bullock team owned by the late Mr Tom Petrie.”

Source:  1921 ‘LOVE OF COUNTRY.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 9 September, p. 8, viewed 14 December, 2013,



A patriotic ceremony was held at the train station, which had been gloriously decorated for the occasion with the dressing of the overhead bridge.

His Excellency the Governor unveiled the trophy and the National Anthem (God Save The King) was sung by the pupils of North Pine State School.  After a stirring nationalistic speech by the Governor to the assembly, the school children also sang “The Doxology” (a hymn sung in many Christian church services).


9 September 1921 (Friday)



Petrie was en fete yesterday afternoon on the occasion of the unveiling by his Excellency the Governor of the war trophy allocated to that township.  The trophy is a machine gun captured by the 9th Battalion (Queenslanders), A.I.F., and it’s now permanent emplacement is in the waiting room of the Petrie railway station.  It is enclosed in a square formed by old trace chains which at one time formed part of the equipment of a famous bullock team owned by the late Mr Tom Petrie.

The station was effectively decorated with flags and palms, an outstanding feature of the scheme being the dressing of the overhead bridge.  His Excellency arrived shortly before 3 pm, and was met by Miss I M Petrie, and Messrs J W Sanders (A.I.F.) and T C Troedson (Petrie War Trophy Trustees), G A Logan, A L Petrie, and R J Warran, Ms L A, General Spencer Browne (State president of the R.S.S.I.L.A.) and Mrs Browne, Mr J W Davidson (Commissioner of Railways), and Councillor W Bradley (president of the Pine Shire Council).

After the National Anthem and a hymn had been rendered by the pupils of the North Pine School, Mr R J Warren introduced his Excellency.  Ninety percent of the people in Australia, he said, were loyal to the King and Empire.  It was a fine thing to have as Governor one who took so much interest in the welfare of the country.  The electorate his Excellency was now visiting was one of the most loyal in the Commonwealth.

In unveiling the war trophy Sir Matthew Nathan said that he had come to dedicate to the public of Petrie a captured gun.  It would serve to remind the residents that in the years 1914 to 1918 its young men had a clear conception of their duty, and had nobly acted up to that conception.  Some of them had given up their lives, and others that vigour and health that made life desirable.  At that time the life blood of the country pulsated with devotion to a cause, and counted it well split when for that cause it was shed.  He had no doubt that that intense love of country and of the Commonwealth of Nations to which it belonged still animated Queensland.  There was need, however, if that feeling was not to die away through disuse, to give it play, and the people could do that be each of them working to the fullest extent to lessen the causes of dissension in the State, and to increase the moral, intellectual, and material strength of that particular part wherein their lot was cast.  By making the State stronger the Commonwealth and the Empire would also be strengthened.  The gun should be pointed out to the children of Petrie as marking the victory of true over false ideals, and of teaching the power of individual sacrifice to secure the safety and to increase the well-being of others. (Applause)

Mr T C Troedson expressed the thanks of the townspeople to Mr J W Davidson for allowing the gun to be placed in the waiting room at the station, and for the help in decorating the station for the occasion.  Mr Davidson said that he could promise that as long as the gun was there the railway people would look after it.  He would not promise that it would be kept polished.  “It would be better,” He concluded, “to let the gun rust and keep our ploughshares bright.”

A vote of thanks was accorded his Excellency at the instance of Mr W Bradley.  Bugler J Kersey, of the Diggers’ Band, sounded the “Last Post”, and the school children sang the Doxology.

His Excellency was presented by Mrs C P Stuart with a handsomely bound copy of “Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland”, written by Miss Constance Petrie, a daughter of the late Mr Petrie.  His Excellency and the other visitors were entertained at afternoon tea by Miss I M Petrie at the historical homestead, Muccumba [sic; Murrumba].

Source:  1921 ‘LOVE OF COUNTRY.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld.: 1864 – 1933), 9 September, p. 8, viewed 14 December, 2013,




From the Boer Wars in South Africa during 1880–1881 and 1899–1902 until the great World War I (1914-1918), Australians had become accustomed to sending their young men to fight for England.  They would sympathise with the soldiers and affected communities by actively raising monetary assistance for such funds as the ‘Patriotic Fund’ of 1900.

North Pine was no exception and being far from a large city, felt the losses and sensed the victories closely and keenly as a tight-knit collective.

‘The Brisbane Courier’ published an article in 1931 describing the ANZAC Day formalities, conducted by returned soldiers:


“A wreath from the children of North Pine State School was placed on the altar by Master W Foley.”


Generation after generation pass along these memories of courage and bravery.  School children are taught and reminded yearly, often by their much older peers, that war is not to be glorified, but rather mourned and remembered for its infamy.


28 April 1931 (Tuesday)


The residents of the Pine Rivers district attended in larger numbers than in previous years at the School of Arts to commemorate Anzac Day.  The service was conducted throughout by returned soldiers.  Mr W Foley occupied the chair, and the resolutions were moved by Captain R J Webster, supported by Mr R Allsopp, and Mr R J Warren, M.L.A., seconded by Mr R Monroe.  At 9 pm the gathering observed one minute’s silence, and Mrs E Buckley played the “Dead March”.  A collection in aid of distressed Diggers’ fund realised 4 pounds/7/5.  A wreath from the children of North Pine State School was placed on the altar by Master W Foley.

Source: 1931 ‘COUNTRY CENTRES.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 28 April, p. 14, viewed 14 December, 2013,




Miss Margaret Zillman was the assistant teacher at North Pine State School during the years of the Second World War.  Queenslanders were afraid of the threat of Japanese invasion and schools were closed for a few months.  During this time, teachers were charged with the task of gathering regionally at Virginia state school (all schools north of Virginia to Kallangur) to devise an evacuation plan should an emergency arise.

“The able-bodied male teachers first took evacuation forms to the families in their areas” which, although it’s not quite clear from Miss Zillman’s recollection, possibly was a survey that was collected and sorting “according to the desires expressed to them”.

When the immediate threat of air-raids or attacks on Queensland eased school life returned to somewhat normal routine.  However the population was unbalanced as because there was lots of families moving around during uncertain times and the school was overcrowded but as Miss Zillman describes, “some children left for their real homes, and things improved”.


“It was just after I started there that Australia – Queensland especially, was threatened with the Japanese invasion.  All our schools were closed for a couple of months and all teachers north of Virginia and as far as Kallangur were advised to go to Virginia State School to work out a plan for evacuation if the necessity arose.  The able-bodied male teachers first took evacuation forms to all the families in their areas.  These they collected later and brought them to Virginia to be sorted out according to the desires expressed to them.  It was no easy proposition.

Then teaching life settled down to normal.  I forgot how many children were attending the school, but I think in the vicinity of fifty to sixty in six or eight classes.  As the war years continued, more children came and the numbers arose to nearly seventy.  We had a few hectic weeks then, as we were vitally short of seating room and desks – some children being obliged to sit on boxes.  However, more desks arrived and some children left for their real homes, and things improved.”

– Margaret A Zillman – Assistant Teacher, North Pine State School, 1941 – circa 1957

Source: Centenary Petrie State School 1874-1974: History of Petrie State School Formerly North Pine State School


In the times when school was being conducted despite the threat, the school was prepared to evacuate the children to air-raid shelters.  These were ‘slit trenches’ that were dug in a zig-zag pattern by the parents of the children of the school.

It’s said that the children used to play hide-and-seek in the trenches until somebody found a snake in them one day and they were placed out-of-bounds.


“A little further downhill along the fence that separated the school from Mr. Hansen’s house yard was located a play shed. This was quite a large building with just a roof and upright posts, no walls, but it did have a bench as seating around all four sides. This formed a shady area to have lunch with the open area in the middle being somewhere to play when the weather was inclement. A bit further down the hill were the slit trenches where we would hide if the air-raid siren sounded. The main playground with the cricket pitch were further down the hill where the ground was more level.

Because of the ever-present danger of an air-raid with possibly bombs being dropped we all had a little bag around our necks containing some cotton-wool to put in our ears and a clothes peg to put in our mouths if we had to go to the slit trenches. The cotton wool would protect our eardrums and the peg would stop our biting our tongue in the event that a blast occurred nearby. I can recall only one occasion when a genuine air-raid was called (it subsequently turned out to be a false alarm) but we did have some practice runs from time to time. The slit trenches had been dug in a zig-zag pattern and had sandbags on the roof. This was unlike the trenches at Lawnton railway station which had no roof. They came in handy when playing hide-and-go-seek but somebody found a snake in one day and they were then placed out-of-bounds!”

– Ken Mitchell, former student North Pine State School (now Petrie State School) 1942-1945

Source: Ken Mitchell, former student North Pine State School (now Petrie State School) 1942-1945, received via email 2014.


The shelter trenches had sandbags on the roof (unlike the ones at Lawnton train station) and were a bit further down the hill from the Playshed. Children were drilled on evacuation procedures and would hide in the trenches when the air‑raid siren sounded at the Police Station.  The pupils were required to carry items, some in little bags tied around their neck, for their protection such as:


– A pillow (usually a sugar bag full of grass)

– A wooden peg to put in their mouths (to stop them biting their tongues if there was a blast close by)

– Cotton wool (to protect their eardrums)


“During the years of the Second World War 1939-1945, the fathers of the children at the Petrie School built air raid shelters.  They were dug out of the ground with sand bags placed around them.  Each child required a pillow (usually a sugar bag full of grass) and a wooden peg to put in their mouths.  There was plenty of practice when the siren was given at the police station.”

– Anonymous

Source: Centenary Petrie State School 1874-1974: History of Petrie State School Formerly North Pine State School

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