Before beautiful Bribie Island became a mini-Gold Coast with million dollar mansions on man-made canals, we used to visit my aunt, Dad's sister, who lived there in the early fifties, and still lives there today.
Bribie was a little bit like a frontier in the fifties. My uncle had a four wheel drive vehicle - a Land Rover - which was a work-horse, unlike the Ascot shopping-trolleys of today. It was used off-road because there were not too many roads, and the sandy terrain required decent traction. He loved fishing, and the Land Rover took him all over the island.
A visit to Bribie Island was a little complicated for us because we didn't have a car - not that there was a bridge in those days anyway; it wasn't completed until 1963. We would catch a bus into the city, walk to Hayles' wharf, and then a boat ride to Bribie Island would ensue. My sisters and I thought that it was a proper adventure. I don't remember that we stayed overnight at my aunt's, so I assume that the boat must have anchored at Bribie for a while and then returned to Brisbane. I do, however, remember the vessel that we travelled on, and it was the MV Mirimar, pictured below.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #146607)
The Courier-Mail recently ran a story on the Mirimar today - click here to read it. She was built right here by Norm Wright's shipyards in 1934, and spent years on the river and Moreton Bay, as well as a stint of island-hopping in North Queensland. Today she plies the Brisbane River on her daily tourist run to Lone Pine, boarding from the State Library at South Brisbane (below).
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)
At various times over the years I have seen the Mirimar on the river from different office vantage points, and I have always been struck by her sleek lines - she looks long and lean in the water. It seems, however, that the old girl is shortly due for retirement and will be replaced by a new vessel for the Lone Pine daily tours. With luck, the Mirimar may end up being cared for at the Maritime Museum, alongside that other old lady of the river, the Forceful. I certainly hope so.
Click here for a Google Map.