NEW BEGINNINGS: The former One Mile State School principal's residence in its new picturesque location near Warwick.
NEW BEGINNINGS: The former One Mile State School principal's residence in its new picturesque location near Warwick.

Former One Mile principal's school house looking classy near Warwick

This Your Story was submitted to The Gympie Times by Gympie councillor Dr Daryl Dodt:

SADLY, my uncle Don (my mum's brother), suddenly passed away last week. He had been more than an uncle to my family as, when my grandfather was tragically killed at age 44 in a farming accident, uncle Don had taken up the role of head of the family.

As the eldest, at age 14, my uncle Don took over the business of running the family farm and helping to raise my mum, her sisters and brother.

Without him stepping up to the mark, he and his siblings would likely have been placed in a church orphanage, as had been strongly suggested to my grandmother at the time. He got a special daytime licence to allow him to drive into Warwick to pick up supplies and drive my mum, aunts and other uncle into town.

He was the reason my family stayed together and will be sadly missed.

This sad event brought my brother Malcolm and I to Warwick, and during the four-and-a-bit hour trip, we got to talking about heritage and Gympie's similarities to Warwick, each being two hours from Brisbane.

We had been toying with the idea of doing some short videos about Gympie's built and cultural heritage, and I suggested that we should film a short introduction in the main street of Warwick, just in case we needed it for something in the future.

As fate would have it, Malcolm remembered he had seen some mention about the principal's house from One Mile State School having been moved to Warwick. I phoned council staff to ask if they had any idea where it had gone, and nobody knew. The general thought was that it had been taken and demolished. The only clue we had was an article from The Gympie Times "One Mile house moves to new home" (Arthur Gorrie, July 15, 2009). A lady had been asking for information on Facebook about the house and referring to this article.

Since nobody knew anything about where it had gone, we started inquiring on the telephone while driving to Warwick, and this quest continued over breakfast.

We visited the Southern Downs Council office as soon as it opened, but they had no information either. We had given up, and I had decided that the stock photo used on the internet leading to The Gympie Times article must have been a red herring, and the person living in a house that looked like the stock photo must have only thought the old principal's residence was that house.

At the moment we had decided to give up, a council staff member phoned me and stated she had found the mobile number of the lady inquiring about the history of the house.

We phoned the lady, and sure enough, the lady lived very near Warwick . . . but was it the house? After the funeral, we drove the 15 minutes out of Warwick to find out. As we drove down the deserted road up to the house, both Malcolm and I felt our hair stand up as a vision common to both of our childhood memories became clear. It was indeed the old principal's house so clearly etched on our memory, in stark relief on a background of the wide open plains of the Downs.

We filmed and photographed it for nostalgia's sake, and Malcolm took the photographs back to One Mile State School (as he is the P&C president).

I can only imagine that our uncle Don was looking down from above and saying, "I know something you would love to know" the whole way to his funeral as he guided us on our quest.

 

We were overjoyed to see the grand old house in its new picturesque surroundings, and we remembered well walking past it as young children, on our way to One Mile.

 

Our short video will be on Facebook.com/gympie150 (Nostalgic Nuggets). We hope the photograph brings back fond memories of the house on the corner of McLeod Lane and John St.

We promised that we would let the current owner know as much information about the house as we could find, and it would be great if anyone who has any information could contact either Malcolm (5482 6988) or me (0499 080 164), or through the web page above, so that we may pass on the information or give you the contact details of the owner.

Dr Daryl Dodt, (Councillor) #gympiesfuture

Gympie Times


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