Queensland’s Macadamia Nut

Is it the Queensland, Macadamia or Bauple nut?

WHEN I was a boy, we’d occasionally get a treat which we knew as a Queensland nut. I was amazed to learn a few years later they came from Hawaii.

That’s only part of the story though and, as with many stories, it involves bias and inaccuracies.

The nut was indeed a native product of Queensland but could also be found in parts of northern NSW.

I wonder if the “Queensland nut” label was just a case of state rivalry and one-upmanship.

Other names used for the nut include Macadamia, Maroochi and Gympie.

More recently, I learned the nut was known, perhaps, as the Bopple (or Baupal or Bauple) to the indigenous people of the Wide Bay hinterland where it was first recorded by Europeans; to wit, Allan Cunningham.

I say perhaps, because, as with any translation or appropriation from the native tongue to another language, there are many pitfalls.

Indeed, at the turn of the 20th Century, in the closest European settlement to the locale of Cunningham’s “discovery”, all three spellings were used in the town; the Post Office was called Baupal PO, the school and the mountain were Bopple and the sugar mill was Bauple.

This wasn’t settled until 1913, though the decision to go with Bauple, seems rather arbitrary.

There was, for a time, a coastal trading vessel, the SS Bopple, registered in Maryborough, that plied the waters between Wide Bay and Grafton in NSW.

Four native species of “our” nut

I have also discovered, latterly, that there are four native species of the nut.

Interestingly, one species, M. jansenii is quite poisonous, releasing a cyanide compound that can kill.

The Hawaiian connection arose from the fact that the trees were first imported to Hawaii to act as windbreaks for sugar cane and were later successfully commercially grown there.

Currently, South Africa holds the distinction for the largest commercial production of “our” nut.

The coastal trading vessel, the SS Bopple

Bopple Maryborough, from the State Library of Qld and John Oxley Library.

Understanding Cemetery Symbols and Emblems

What do the symbols and emblems on gravestones mean?

HAVE you ever wondered about the symbols and emblems on headstones and monuments at the cemetery? If you grew up in a religious family, there was no doubt some symbols appeared frequently.

For me, it was the Celtic Cross, INRI, AMDG and the ChiRho. This is an interesting combination including Celtic, Latin and Ancient Greek. At the cemetery, you will find these and many more.

Cemetery Symbols & Emblems

The Maryborough Cemetery or at least the monumental part of it is quite old by Queensland standards. It was established in 1873, though there had been earlier cemeteries.

The first was at the site of the Old Maryborough Township near the intersection of Alice and Aldridge streets and later, at the site of the Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens. There were also various burials scattered throughout the district. 

If you wander through the monumental cemetery on Walker St, you will be in awe of the size, variety and beauty of the various headstones and monuments erected to honour the deceased.

It should be noted that the cemetery is divided into portions assigned to various faiths.

If you enter from Walker St, through the main gate you will note the abundance of Celtic Crosses on the left of the avenue. This is one of the Catholic portions of the cemetery.

To your right is an Anglican section. Crosses predominate throughout the cemetery, as one would expect, historically.  There are two quaintly named “Non-Christian” portions which are quite small.

Angels often indicate the deceased was a child

Amongst the larger and more spectacular monuments, several motifs stand out apart from the crosses.

Angels, of course, are common and of varying styles. Look out for the Archangels Michael, with a sword and Gabriel, with a horn or trumpet. Angels may be flying, symbolizing the departure of the soul, or crying in grief.

Cherubs are often used to indicate the deceased was a child.

At the Maryborough Cemetery in 2005, Andy Souvlis had a children’s memorial, with a single one-tonne marble angel as the centrepiece, built at the Maryborough Cemetery where he was buried next to his beloved wife Myra in 2010.

There are numerous cemetery monuments that feature an obelisk or stele. This is a square spire tapering towards the top with a distinctive pyramid shape at the point. They are quite ancient symbols of power and achievement.

Occasionally, the monument will be topped by a column which appears broken off. This is deliberate. The broken column, again, symbolizes a life cut short and is usually an indication that the deceased died quite young.

Many monuments topped by urns

As you continue to ramble amongst the graves, note the number of monuments topped by urns.

Maryborough Cemetery has quite a few of them. It is argued that the urn symbolizes immortality, but it is probable that the urn motif is a remembrance of an earlier time when cremation was more common than burial.

The word urn comes from the Latin “uro” which means “to burn”. The purpose of the urn was to hold the ashes, and which echo the Biblical reference in Genesis, to the dust we humans intrinsically are.

Many of the urns are draped with a cloth. This is the shroud, another ancient motif associated with death. From earliest times and across many faiths the body was wrapped in a cloth before interment.

Crypts and raised tombs

The cemetery in Maryborough also contains at least one crypt and several raised tombs.

Cemetery Symbols and EmblemsCemetery Symbols 003Cemetery Symbols and Emblems


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Mary Ann’s historic name plate reappears

Mary Ann’s priceless name plate comes home

By Jocelyn Watts

A priceless piece of Queensland’s railway history has reappeared after 127 years.

Ipswich railway enthusiast Merv Volker, who visited the Heritage City last week, has donated the name plate from the original Mary Ann locomotive to the Whistlestop museum where its replica locomotive is housed.

Mary Ann was the first steam locomotive built in Queensland by John Walker & Co. Ltd. in 1873 for William Pettigrew and William Sim.

The timber pioneers used the loco to haul logs in the Tin Can Bay area but she vanished in 1893 after a Mary River flood and fire at the Dundathu sawmill where she was stored.

In 1999, Maryborough engineer Peter Olds launched a full-size replica that he and his team at Olds Engineering built using just three historic photographs to guide its creation.  

The Mary Ann replica is now an iconic attraction in Maryborough, regularly chuffing her way through Queens Park pulling carriages filled with enthusiastic sightseers.  

Where has Mary Ann’s name plate been for 127 years?

Mr Volker, a former Granville resident and now volunteer at the Ipswich railway museum, said he bought the solid brass curved plate bearing the name ‘Mary Ann’ from a long-time friend in Gympie.  

“He had it for some years before I bought it from him 23 years ago,” Mr Volker said.

“I don’t know how he came to have it and I don’t want to say how much I paid, but it wasn’t a lot.

“Several times I’ve been going to bring it up to Maryborough but I’ve had doubts about its authenticity.

“I couldn’t give the museum something that was a reproduction. Peter can make his own reproductions – I don’t need to give them one.”

Is it the original name plate?

Mr Olds said he was thrilled to receive the “priceless” railway artifact from Mr Volker.

“It has to be the genuine plate,” he said. “You just can’t put a price on this type of history.”

Telltale signs include it having a reverse curve and no grooves on the back.

“We also got a piece of plate off an old boiler that’s three-foot six diameter and it fits exactly.

“And, the shape of lettering on the plate is identical to the lettering shown in the old photographs.”

Mr Olds said the name plate would have been attached to Mary Ann’s original boiler with two screws.

“There’d be steam pressure on those screws and they wouldn’t come out too easily. Whoever took it off would have had to do so with great care.

“It’s amazing the plate is still in such good condition, apart from being slightly bent.”

What will happen it the historic name plate?

Mr Olds said the Maryborough City Whistlestop committee was planning to fix the original name plate to the Mary Ann replica.

“It’ll be on the rear end of the engine so passengers can see the plate from the front carriage, touch it and take photographs.”

Mary Ann's historic name plate donated to Whistlestop museum

Merv Volker and Peter Olds show where the historic name plate will be placed on the rear of the replica’s engine.

Why donate it now?

When asked what prompted him to donate the plate now, Mr Volker said that being 76 years of age, the time had come to downsize his collection of railway memorabilia.

“There comes a time when you have to clean up after yourself,” he laughed.

“I have a large collection and if I was hit by a bus tomorrow, (my sister) Marilyn (Jensen) would have to clean it up.

“It’s a hell of a job. It’ll take me all year to dispose of it. We’ve been going a couple of months already and there’s still so much other stuff.

“My collection includes a lot of Queensland Railway china. I’m not letting that go, but the rest can go.

“Marilyn knows that if something happens to me, she’s to give the china to the railway museum at Ipswich because there are pieces in there they haven’t got.

“Different people who are involved in collecting railway history have different prime subjects. Some people collect tickets only. Others collect things such as lamps and uniforms.”

Call for more relics and photos

Mr Olds said the Maryborough City Whistlestop committee was keen to accept more donations of other local railway relics and photos, including the second locomotive made by John Walker & Co. Ltd, Mary Ann’s sister ‘Dundathu’.  

To contact the committee phone (07) 4121 0444 or email mborowhistlestop@bigpond.com

For more on Mary Ann’s history, visit https://maryboroughwhistlestop.org.au and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooloola_Tramway

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