The name Wynnum was applied to most of the lands extending from the Southern Bank of the Brisbane River to Tingalpa Creek and inland for about five kilometres. The growth of Manly therefore cannot be separated as both developed hand in hand. Any reference to the Wynnum Shire embraces the whole area. Manly can however claim to be a few years older than other areas such as Wynnum North, South, East and West as surveying of streets and terraces in Manly commenced in 1882, three years earlier than the rest of Wynnum.
It was not until 1924 that Wynnum Manly officially became a part of the Brisbane City Council. Until this time Wynnum, Manly, Lota and surrounding suburbs were left to develop with the use of local resources and initiative. Wynnum Manly did not develop as a separate district to begin with, originally being under the authority of the Bulimba Electorate when expansion commenced in 1872. The Bulimba Electorate consisted of 282 square miles from the Norman Creek across to the Pacific Highway, down to the North Bank of the Logan River, downstream to the bay, including Russell, Stradbroke and Moreton Island and sweeping round to the mouth of the Brisbane River.
The Bulimba Divisional Board was established in 1879. After finding the area too substantial for the one authority to effectively carry out its duties the area was again divided. Three new districts emerged in 1888, these being the Coorparoo, Balmoral and Kianawah areas. It was the Kianawah Divisional Board that was responsible for the Wynnum Manly area, Lytton, parts of Lindum, Lota to Tingalpa Creek and upstream to Capalaba Bridge.
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The Division's six members were Mathew Adams, an Ironmonger from South Brisbane, David D. Arnold, a Grazier from Manly Beach, Robert Jarvis from Capalaba and Edward McCarron of Lytton, both of which were farmers, Emanual Stanton, a Butcher from Tingalpa, and Joel Wilde, a Gentleman from South Brisbane. Members of the Division could be located at their headquarters in King Street Wynnum (now Glenora Street). The Kianawah Division existed for two years until March 1890 when the area was divided into three wards. The first was Lytton to Wynnum Creek, the second, Wynnum Creek to Darling Point and the third from Darling Point to Tingalpa Creek. The change in area also brought an addition to the number of members, with three members serving each area.
In 1902 the Wynnum Shire Council was created with Mr F. Gibson as the Chairman. During the period from 1902 to 1913 the Council took a great interest in the development of areas west of the railway line. In 1913 however greater change occurred with the Shire of Wynnum becoming a municipality with its own Town Council and the right to elect a mayor. The first mayor elected was Mr. Sam Greene with Mr. Jo Sands appointed as Town Clerk. After the development of the Town Council the improvement of the bayside became increasingly apparent. The following are several events and decisions made throughout the years following the introduction of the Kianawah Division up to the early twentieth century, a period in the history of Wynnum Manly which saw extensive development, contributing to the amazing area we live in today.
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The Members of the Kianawah division recognised the importance of connecting the area to the greater Brisbane area placing a large emphasis on improving existing roads and tracks.
A single line railway track to Cleveland via Wynnum was completed and opened on 1st of November. The original stations included Logan Road, Coorparoo, Morningside, Mooraree (Murrarie), Hemmant, Wynnum, Manly, Waterloo, Birkdale, Wellington, Ormiston and Cleveland.
The Wynnum community united against the Governments decision to sell Wynnum's only water and cemetery reserve. A public petition was raised objecting to the sale. This petition was apparently successful, as the land was not sold at this time. The site was used in later times however, when Lytton School was relocated and renamed as Wynnum North Primary School.
The Kianawah Division was divided into three wards: Ward 1 from Lytton to Wynnum Creek, Ward 2 Wynnum Creek to Darling Point and Ward 3 formed Darling Point to Tingalpa Creek.
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Material removed from King Street and spread over the public reserve prone to flooding. A wooden wall was built back from the creek's mouth, this creating Greenes Park and the area occupied by the fish markets.
Meeting of the Board in February gave permission for Mr Gibb to build a private bathing house at the bottom of Mary Street down from his hotel, The Waterloo. Mrs M. L. Harris was allowed to construct a bathing box at the bottom of Cardigan Parade. The roadway was also cleared of timber making access to the beachfront easier.
Although the topic of a public bathing house was considered at Jetty No. 1 (Wynnum Creek Jetty), the Councillors decided the extension of the Jetty was too expensive at that time.
April saw the plans for the new hall, Clerk's Office and residence approved for construction in Tingal Road.
The first police station of the area was opened on December 1st. The station was located in a rented premises at 39 Waterloo Esplanade Wynnum South.
Fox Street was born. At a meeting of the Kianawah Divisional Board it was moved by Mr Fox that a road of one chain width be resumed from King Street (now Glenora) across the reserve to the new foot-bridge over Wynnum Creek.
The first public bathing house constructed at Jetty no. 1 by Dart and Greene.
The Kianawah Divisional Board changed its name to the Wynnum Divisional Board on 5th November 1982.
The Esplanade was recognised as a central aspect of the area and Mr Johnston Smyth was employed to care for the shade trees on the beachfront.
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The flooding of the North and South banks of Wynnum Creek after heavy rains leaving the existing footbridge impassable caused discontent among the ratepayers of the area. Although the request for a traffic bridge was raised at meetings the cost and position did not meet with the approval of many ratepayers from the other two divisions. The ratepayers of division one were not content and fought back with the purpose of finding the means privately. Eventually however the bridge, known as Fox Street Bridge was completed under the supervision and expense of the Board.
Reports dating from this year and 1908 were discovered which confirm the existence of a Manly Dam. These reports include an inspection of the Dam by Assistant Queensland Government Engineer, Mr Williams. His visit was a result of a request by the Wynnum Divisional Board for a Government loan to enlarge and improve the Dam. The second reference was a letter to the Wynnum Shire Council in 1908 complaining that the Dam overflowed with each heavy downpour resulting in damage to the lower end of Cambridge Parade.
The Kianawah Divisional Board progressed to become the Wynnum Shire Council.
An approach was made to the Commissioner of Railways for the existing railway line to be duplicated with the single line proving inadequate as the area became popular as a weekend holiday destination, and as residents came to rely on the train as their transport into Brisbane City. The second line was completed in 1913.
The sale of 110 lots on Monday 9th November, the King's Birthday, demonstrates the acceleration of allotment sales in the area.
The Wynnum Shire was declared a municipality. This caused Wynnum and Manly to become the Town of Wynnum.
The first election for the Town of Wynnum was held on February 4th. The right to vote was allowed only to property owners, with a total of 2471 votes cast among the three Wards. Elected for Ward 1 were C.H.B. McKay, W.J McFadden and Johnston Smyth. For Ward 2 were G. Heymer, E. McNaught and S. Greene. Elected for Ward 3 were Mr Alf E. Chave, E.B. Port and Joseph Curtis. Sam Greene, who won the third position in Ward 2 was selected at the first meeting of the Wynnum Town Council to be the first Mayor of Wynnum. Mr Greene was the owner and operator of the much loved Star Theatre which before television was packed to capacity every Saturday night.
The carbide street lamps had come to an end as the Council made an agreement with the Infant Gas Company to light the streets for a period of seven years with an option to renew.
The Council indicated that it was interested in giving Wynnum and Manly a town water supply by the construction of a water main from Mt Crosby.
An order in Council was issued to increase the boundaries of the town of Wynnum with some of the east section of the Balmoral Shire added. This allowed for a fourth Ward and the election of a further three members. The first election on 23rd January 1915 saw John Hargreaves, Charles Marsh and Harry Randall become members of the Town Council.
Alderman H. Randall was selected by his fellow Aldermen to be Mayor for the coming year.
The town continued to expand. Contracts to form and gravel streets such as Fisher St. Oceana Tce., Wellington St. and Carlton Tce were granted.
The area was faced with the issue of Conscription for the Army. A public meeting was called by Mayor H. Randall and although there were a few anti-conscriptionists a motion in favour was passed by a large majority.
The Town Council was placed in a state of turmoil when Mayor H. Randall was acting in ways that did not meet with the Aldermen's approval. This tension culminated in an apparent physical attack on another Alderman. An application was made to the Supreme Court of Queensland to oust the Mayor. This request was granted and for a period Wynnum was without a Mayor or a Council. The court ordered a new election for February 1918. As a result of the election a new Mayor was selected. The ousted Mayor however, returned as Ward Alderman.
The wooden Fox Street Bridge was replaced by a sturdier cement structure.
The Council took action to buy a tar boiling plant indicating that the advantages of bitumen roads were not far away.
The Wynnum Town Hall was almost destroyed by fire, started by painters removing the old paint by blowlamp. Local residents brought the fire under control using water procured from the creek and neighbours' tanks.
The Wynnum Ambulance Brigade commenced during this year also. The garage to house the ambulance was built through voluntary labour. Before the Ambulance Brigade was created the injured and sick had to wait for ambulance bearers to bring stretchers from Brisbane and return with the patient by train. Although the situation eased a little with the permanent housing of a stretcher at Wynnum Central State School the Ambulance Brigade was a welcome and necessary addition to the flourishing district.
All adults on the State roll were allowed to vote at local authority elections held throughout Queensland. Previously only landowners were allowed to vote.
The Wynnum Fire Brigade Board was constituted under the 'Fire Brigades Act of 1920' with the first meeting of the Brigade held in the Wynnum Town Hall on the 25th of August. The board purchased land in Mountjoy Terrace and Haylock Street. The land at Haylock Street was used to build the Chief's residence with a temporary station providing a watchtower and bell erected in Mountjoy Terrace. A staff consisting of Chief, Deputy Chief and six Auxiliaries were appointed. With the expansion of the Greater City of Brisbane to cover the Wynnum Manly area in 1925 the Wynnum Fire Brigade Board was disbanded and the area was included under the authority of the Brisbane Metropolitan Fire Brigades Board.
An agreement was entered into between the Wynnum Town Council and the Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board to supply the principal streets with water mains.
The first electric light pole was erected near the Wynnum Town Hall in Tingal Road. Later that year it was decided that the time had arrived to provide the residents of the area with electricity for the purpose of lighting, heating and power. Residents were assured of an adequate water supply under an agreement entered into with the Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board with the principal streets of the town connected with water mains with extensions to other streets made from time to time.
The Wynnum division of the Salvation Army opened on February 25th. Since the first days the Salvation Army officers have proved their commitment to the community through the provision of relief work such as jumble sales raising money to help the needy, offering food shelter and other necessities. Examples of other significant efforts within the community can be seen in 1934 where extensive relief measures were carried out after flood distress due to extremely heave rainfall, and their efforts during World War Two in which they were active in organising knitting and providing other comforts for the troops.
Tingle Road News Agent
As motor vehicles slowly overcame the use of horse and carriages the Council recognised the dangers of speeding, regulating the speed of motor vehicles along the Esplanade to 10mph and 12mph in other parts of town.
The Wynnum Post Office housing the first manned telephone exchange was built. By 1935 telephonists were on duty from 7am to 10pm with a 'night operator' manning the phones throughout the night.
The Town of Wynnum ceased to exist when all the local authorities around Brisbane were amalgamated into the newly formed Greater Brisbane City Council, with the Town of Wynnum becoming the distinct suburbs of Wynnum and Manly. A large meeting was held between the Mayors of all the then local authorities to discuss the proposed Bill on Greater Brisbane. There was much debate regarding the size of the proposed Greater Brisbane. Although some argued for a 10 mile radius from the Brisbane G.P.O. the representatives present voted in favour of a five mile radius. Mayor Green of Wynnum stated that he did not wish Wynnum to be included in Greater Brisbane. These wishes were ignored however, with the Government declaring that outlying districts such as Sandgate and Wynnum were included.
The Manly Baths were officially opened. Salt water was pumped into the pool each week at high tide filling it up. The pool soon became the host of many local swimming carnivals as well as a popular weekend entertainer with the diving tower at the eastern end popular with the younger visitors. The plans for the pool were originally prepared by the Wynnum Town Council and luckily as construction was already well under way when the area became part of the Greater Brisbane Council in 1925 the Council continued with the construction.
The Pioneer Bus Service was founded in August with proprietor Mr W.S. Argaet recognising the necessity of reliable and modern forms of transport into the greater Brisbane region. At first the roads the service operated on were bad surfaced bush roads. By the next year however new roads with more adequate surfaces were built. With the Black and White Bus service travelling through Lota to the North Quay, followed by the Blue and White service also travelling through Lota via Wondall Road to the Valley the area was easily the best catered for by public transport at the time.
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Wynnum Manly was not free from the effects of the Depression years. The community spirit however was alive with many in the community who were fortunate to retain jobs helping others when they could. The Council also attempted to help alleviate the hardship through the provision of relief work. The system involved the State paying the wages involved with the Local Authority providing all the tools and materials needed. Major projects completed during this time included the transformation of St Helena Island once the prison had closed down for general use, the building of the stone sea wall along the waterfront and the Wynnum Wading Pool.
One of the most recognisable and amazing constructions made during this period was the Falcon Street stone retaining wall. As the workers involved came from all walks of life it was inevitable that there be some creative and artistic men involved in the projects. One of the workers on the Falcon Street wall used his particular talents to create figures in the wall itself, including boomerangs, kangaroos, goannas, human heads and even the head of the District Engineer in charge of the work.Sources of information include:
Armstrong, H.W. (1971) The History and Development of the Wynnum District, Brisbane.
Beitz, M.N. (1982) Mangroves to Moorings: The Past 100 Years of Manly, Queensland, Manly centenary Committee to Commemorate 100 Years of Closer Settlement, Brisbane.