What was making news 25, 50 and 100 years ago
25 YEARS AGO
GYMPIE'S longest serving mayor Ron Witham CBE died in Brisbane on Sunday night. Mr Witham had been sick for some time and in April this year moved from his Gympie home to Mt Olivett Hospital where he passed away.
Mr Witham turned 90 on June 8. He is survived by his three children, daughter Barbara Eutick of Wynnum, and sons Robert of the Darling Downs and Michael of the Gold Coast and their families.
Mr Witham's wife Jessie predeceased him many years ago. A former pharmacist, Mr Witham first came to Gympie in 1929 for two weeks work and stayed. He sold his pharmacy about 31 years ago to Malcolm Meldrum who had previously completed his apprenticeship under him. Ron Witham was first elected mayor in 1941 after having previously served as an alderman.
He remained the city's mayor for 29 years until his retirement in 1970. Besides the myriad of clubs and organizations he was involved with Mr Witham's greatest love after his family and city was the Red Cross. He was made one of the few life members of the International Red Cross for his services which spanned more than 50 years.
The Gympie mayor, Joan Dodd said Mr Witham was a great inspiration to Gympie as mayor and as a citizen as well and his death is a great loss to Gympie.
50 YEARS AGO
IN ONE of the most dramatic moves in the history of sport in Gympie the Gympie Rugby League, after more than 30 years of occupancy at Albert Park, decided on Tuesday night to shift to the showgrounds. This will be the venue of next Sunday's Wide Bay Club semi-final between Gympie and Lower South Burnett.
The League's sudden move climaxed a dispute which has involved Gympie City Council, the Hockey Association, and the Recreation Association which administers Albert Park. The dispute has simmered since the Bruce Highway was rerouted this year to cut through a portion of Albert Park and involved the removal of a galvanised iron fence. This has left the football field open to public gaze. Also hockey matches on a neighbouring field allow access to entry to the grounds from the lower end of the reserve.
This has led to loss of income for the League with people watching matches from outside the new wire fence. It is understood the League will pay the Gympie Showgrounds-racecourse trust $20 each Sunday it uses the ground plus the cost of power for night training under the existing floodlights.
100 YEARS AGO
AT KILKIVAN the new hotel recently erected by Mr T.H. Tennison is now completed and occupied by Mr H. Stewart the licensee. The house is a two-storeyed building and contains 16 bedrooms, a coffee and public dining room, four parlours, two bath houses, and the necessary kitchen and outbuildings. A verandah is on two sides of the building and is 3 metres wide. The architect is Mr W.D. Fenwick of Cooroy and the contractor, Mr Carrick of Brisbane.
The hotel is a great acquisition to the township. An official opening took place last Thursday, about 150 being present.
COLIN, the 10-year-old son of Mrs George Mills, was playing with two lads on Saturday when one of them got a large cartridge, lit it with a match and when it became too hot, threw it towards Colin. The cartridge exploded and Colin sustained superficial abrasions about the face. He was attended to by Dr Cuppaidge.