Harry Bruce's take on the wavelets mystery. This Harry Bruce cartoon has been brought to you by Dawson MP George Christensen. George is a proud supporter of free speech and the ability of our cartoonists to take the mickey out of the political class.
Harry Bruce's take on the wavelets mystery. This Harry Bruce cartoon has been brought to you by Dawson MP George Christensen. George is a proud supporter of free speech and the ability of our cartoonists to take the mickey out of the political class.

We put the Wavelets mystery to bed after great sleuthing

While we have a number of contenders for the wavelets mystery, Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson believes one of the Trove stories our sleuths uncovered might just be the key clue.

Cr Williamson issued a challenge at the Australia Day awards after reading a 1934 Daily Mercury edition where it described the second ever celebration of the day in this town.

 

This is the Australia Day write-up in The Mackay Daily Mercury on January 30, 1934 that mentions the mysterious Mackay location ‘the wavelets’. This passage led Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson to issue the Daily Mercury a challenge at the 2021 Australia Day awards to find out where they were. Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury
This is the Australia Day write-up in The Mackay Daily Mercury on January 30, 1934 that mentions the mysterious Mackay location ‘the wavelets’. This passage led Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson to issue the Daily Mercury a challenge at the 2021 Australia Day awards to find out where they were. Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury

 

In his speech, he said Mackay first marked Australia Day in 1933 with a banquet and social evening.

"The report of the 1934 Australia Day in the Mercury was great to read," he said.

"Tennis and cricket matches were held - boating and swimming in the river was popular as were picnics at all the beaches. So things haven't changed much really.

"The report said that 'with the return of the 12-foot tides in the morning, the conditions down by the wavelets were ideal'."

Joy of Life in the Sunshine of Tropic Isles appeared in The Courier Mail on July 17, 1935. It describes wavelets on the Pioneer River while an island steamer was docked at a wharf. Picture: Trove/Courier Mail
Joy of Life in the Sunshine of Tropic Isles appeared in The Courier Mail on July 17, 1935. It describes wavelets on the Pioneer River while an island steamer was docked at a wharf. Picture: Trove/Courier Mail

He then asked me to find out where those wavelets were in Mackay.

There was some suggestion it could be at Shoal Point, the Northern Beaches, Town Beach, the Pioneer River or Cremorne.

 

The Mackay Daily Mercury regularly referenced wavelets in its pages during the 1930s. This Easter Holidays article on March 31, 1934 talks about sporting in the wavelets on the beaches – mentioning Slade Point and Seaview (now known as Bucasia). Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury
The Mackay Daily Mercury regularly referenced wavelets in its pages during the 1930s. This Easter Holidays article on March 31, 1934 talks about sporting in the wavelets on the beaches – mentioning Slade Point and Seaview (now known as Bucasia). Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury

 

There was even an ad in the Mackay Daily Mercury for Minties mentioning the wavelets.

 

The Mackay Daily Mercury regularly referenced wavelets in its pages during the 1930s. Apparently Minties know where the wavelets are – according to this ad on September 27 1932. Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury
The Mackay Daily Mercury regularly referenced wavelets in its pages during the 1930s. Apparently Minties know where the wavelets are – according to this ad on September 27 1932. Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury

 

Here's what our investigation uncovered …

From the Daily Mercury editor's desk: We have a mystery

Tide slowly turning in solving mayor's wavelet mystery

How sleuths are working to solve the wavelets mystery

 

The Mackay Daily Mercury regularly referenced wavelets in its pages during the 1930s. This article from Wednesday January 2, 1935 is a round-up of a day at the beaches. Interestingly, the ad to the left also talks about surfing toys so perhaps Mackay actually had surf back then. Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury
The Mackay Daily Mercury regularly referenced wavelets in its pages during the 1930s. This article from Wednesday January 2, 1935 is a round-up of a day at the beaches. Interestingly, the ad to the left also talks about surfing toys so perhaps Mackay actually had surf back then. Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury

 

So while we cannot be 100 per cent sure, here's where we leave the wavelets challenge with a letter from the Mayor.

 

Dear Rae,

Your forensic exercise into the discovery of the whereabouts of "The Wavelets" as reported in 1934 has been great to read.

The involvement of so many readers and the opinions of our local historian experts has made for a great story.

While there seems to be no absolute certainty about exactly where the Mercury's reporters of the day were describing as the Wavelets, your narrowing it down via local stories provided entertaining reading.

After talking to my 91-year-old Dad and going through your fantastic research published February 1 my inclination is the same as yours.

The Wavelets is (or was) most likely the swimming "beach" that was a favourite spot for locals at Cremorne, on the northern western end of the Forgan Bridge.

 

The Mackay Daily Mercury regularly referenced wavelets in its pages during the 1930s. This snippet on Friday October 12, 1934 could be a big clue – talking about a pond near the Cremorne Bathing Sheds. Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury
The Mackay Daily Mercury regularly referenced wavelets in its pages during the 1930s. This snippet on Friday October 12, 1934 could be a big clue – talking about a pond near the Cremorne Bathing Sheds. Picture: Trove/Mackay Daily Mercury

The worst river flood of last century in 1958 washed most of Cremorne away, including the Buffalo Hall and obviously changed the river bank on that side forever.

It must have been a sizeable community at Cremorne because the reports say 120 people were rescued from Cremorne during that flood.

We may never be sure, but closure in this debate seems to be that the "Wavelets" was at Cremorne and lost forever as a recreational spot for locals in the 1958 flood.

Thanks for taking on the challenge and for your effort in this piece of local history.

Kind regards, Greg

 

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