The 125th anniversary celebrations at Cordalba State School on Saturday was the perfect location for Childers history buff Scott Stedman to launch his latest publication “Where did they live?”
The book, which deals with the pioneering residents of the Cordalba, Isis Central and Logging Creek areas, is Scott’s ninth publication.
“I have so much respect for the people who built this district that I feel it is almost incumbent on me to record every scrap of historical information that comes my way,” he said.
“I am fifth generation to the area with my forebears involved in everything from timber cutting to owning and running a grocery shop.”
With so much information in this new publication targeting Cordalba, attending the Cordalba State School anniversary celebrations was a logical place to launch the book.
Scott said Cordalba was a thriving community when hand cane cutting was in full swing with four hotels, four churches, a blacksmith and even an oyster saloon.
“One can only speculate at the existence of an oyster saloon in Cordalba even though they were a popular facility across the length and breadth of the nation in the 1880s,” he said.
“Maybe it’s a reason there were such large families in the Cordalba area,” said Scott with a veiled reference to the supposed aphrodisiac qualities of the oyster.
“My grandfather had 14 children so perhaps he was a customer,” he laughed.
Isis Shire history stories at the ready
While Scott has penned nine historical publications, he acknowledges the prowess of the late Harold Blake and Richie Webb who were locally regarded as iconic in their knowledge, retention and accuracy of the history of the former Isis Shire.
Harold Blake lived past 100 years while Richie also enjoyed longevity, and both were cherished as “the daddies of ‘em all” when it came to Isis Shire history.
Scott’s first book “From the Ashes They Came” canvassed the growth and occupancy of the central business area of Childers, the shop owners and traders in the wake of the 1902 fire which all but destroyed the town’s business heart.
“I think it is vitally important to record local history and speaking with people at Cordalba at the weekend has certainly provided me with information for future books.
“I have four new publications on the drawing board,” he said.
Much of the information for the books is gathered through the resources of the Bundaberg Genealogical Society and the Isis District Historical Society, of which Scott is the research officer.
“There is also plenty of opportunity to speak with older locals who can recall places and events which just underlines the fact that there is so much history out there with so many stories yet to be told.”
All publications penned by Scott Stedman are available on request from the Childers Pharmaceutical Museum or contact Scott on 0400 708 034.
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