OUT OF BEAUDESERT…The Road To Christmas Creek.

For Fifty Insights On Queensland Housing(site:lesjohns.wordpress.com/)

I whinge too much, I’m told. Attribute blame on the toxic effects of a growing familiarity with the real intent and workings of Government bodies and their employees; that self-promotion and aggrandizement is their raison d’etre, my laugh lines disappear as a result of the forced diet of suspicion and distrust. I offer an old post as an atonement of sorts:

Had a grand piece of inspiration a few weeks back when I enjoyed a pleasant autumn morning drive to Christmas Creek. You and me and the world know that name and its history, but few seem to have made the visit to Beaudesert’s slender claim to fame; the rescuer’s route to a plane crash that an intuitive chap named O’Reilly had a nagging feeling that the plane wreckage was somewhere up there. Well, he was spot-on as we know a few thousand times over.

Along the way some 17 or 18 k’s southwest of town on the right, was one of those old-fashioned farm produce signs selling Queensland Blue potkins at the farm-gate. I couldn’t resist that wording and using the honour box, bought a large pumpkin for $4. The landholder was a few hundred metres or so distant doing farm things, which made asking the derivation of the word rather awkward.

Entering the foot hills at tiny Christmas Creek settlement, there was a miniature, purpose-built western wagon containing lemmons for sale. Three or four kilometres on, over low single lane bridges was the end of the road. Lamington was on another route. Doing the exit circuit, a sign on the left sternly barred my entrance to private property, the track on the right belonged to the ghosts of those long-ago plane searchers and today’s keen hikers. I headed for home and at every bridge approach enjoyed spotting the trickling flow of freshly fallen water hurrying to meet its fate. It was grand being out in rural climes again but a letdown to see cold-hearted local government signs like refuse transfer station heralding the demise of scavengers running the local garbage tips and the wonderful grammatical gems that stemmed from their ‘don’t stuff with us’ signage.

Near Laravale on the way home, I went over a slight dip in the road and the courtesy sign told me I had just crossed Jim Brown Bridge. A bridge over nothing. The long drought’s intensity has lessened lately but dryness is the new norm and the necessity for such a construction over a bog or water-course would be hard to envisage today. At least the name of a long gone identity, who was probably a self-important councilor or a nouveau gentryman, lives on for local history’s sake. In keeping with the times, there would have been much oratory pomp and ceremony on Grand Opening day, the cutting of a ribbon and its gradual decline into insignificance and a trip to the dump one clean-out day. He and the memories of his contemporaries and their children with it.

The namesake was probably a most insistent voice in getting that bridge built over a wet weather impediment of 70 or 80 years ago and might even have been a Dad and Dave-like local councilor. This possibility set off a train of thought. A kilometre or so back toward Christmas Creek, was a side road named Rudd Lane. I mused how the recent P.M. would have been at first humored at the reminder of its existence, but now bored by its sheer retelling.

Of Australian literary interest though, is there an Arthur Hoey Davis connection? On Our Selection short stories were born in 1895 at Greenmount, south of Toowoomba, just over the way if one is a crow. I bet there’s a Snake Gully nearby and a neglected grave with a moldering Mabel resting up.

Nearly home in Beaudesert, I passed a two dollar shop where some years earlier, before the product became unusable, I would nip in to get their dreadful, but cheap product for use as nose tissues. The commodity wasn’t in the usual spot the last time I wanted it, and not prepared to go touring, I appealed to a nearby employee stacking shelves where was the lavatory paper now located. “It would be in stationary,” she solemnly declared. “You use lavatory paper in other regions,” I politely and modestly enlightened her. “Well if that’s what you want,” she admonished, “why didn’t you ask for toilet paper”? It is true, one is always learning. Lots of Love, Les.


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