When the welcome rain came last week, Waterloo resident Shirley Galea was overjoyed.
She did some research and found that 100 years ago residents were experiencing the same joy at welcome rain.
Shirley found this article on the Trove website – an excerpt from an article in the Bundaberg Mail exactly 100 years earlier.
The story gives a fascinating insight into the tight knit community of a century ago.
News from 5 February 1920
Bundaberg Mail (Qld. : 1917 – 1925), Thursday 5 February 1920
(From Our Own Correspondent)
Since sending in my last report, the district has undergone a transformation.
Somewhere about twelve inches of rain have fallen since the first break of New Year.
As a result, the growth made by the grass and other herbage has been simply phenomenal and, as a natural consequence, the stock are making rapid strides towards reaching prime condition.
The creek, for the first time in two years, has been running strongly, and provided our Shire Council will now give the necessary attention to the causeway an unlimited supply of good water for further dry spells, should he available.
A social in aid of the Tennis Club was held in the local hall last Saturday evening, when an enjoyable time was spent and about £3 netted.
The duties of MC were ably carried out by Mr. J Schmidt.
The keenest interest is shown by the members in their newly formed club, and many pleasant afternoons are spent upon the court.
On Sunday, 15th inst. a match is to be played between six of our men and a similar number from Mullet Creek. In this, their first match, we wish our members every success.
For some time past it has been the intention of the combined welcome home committee of Miara, Yandaran and Waterloo, to hold a picnic and sports at Yandaran.
Owing to the continuous dry weather of last year, however, this was indefinitely postponed.
At a meeting held during last weekend it was decided to hold the function on Saturday, 6th March when it is to be hoped that, a large and representative gathering will respond to the committee’s generous invitation to be present and formally welcome our returned boys.”
Much has changed in 100 years
Shirley said that much has changed in 100 years.
“Waterloo Hall sits in a farming area 40km north of Bundaberg; 100 years ago that was a big journey to Bundaberg,” she said.
“Roads were poor, horse and cart more common than cars, water crossings hazardous.”
Shirley said the most reliable method of transport was to catch the mail train from Yandaran, while produce and supplies were transported on good trains.
“This isolation meant the community relied on each other for social events.
“Local halls, tennis courts and cricket grounds were a focus for gathering the neighbours in to enjoy time together and share news.
“Nowadays, roads are better, rivers and creeks are spanned by high bridges, the mail train no longer stops at Yandaran and Waterloo Hall is a short 40-minute drive to Bundy with all the entertainment options it offers.”
Personal contact as important as ever
Shirley said while technology also enables everyone to contact anyone at any time, personal contact in our communities is as important as ever.
“On the first Friday of every month locals and visitors alike gather for a casual BBQ at the Waterloo Hall from 6pm.
“Dress standards now are certainly not a match for the tennis players of bygone days.
“But conversations probably duplicate those of 100 years ago: “how ya going?”, “nice rain”, “what’s new?”.
“Our community spirit continues but you don’t need to live in the district to be welcomed here.
“The hall also continues to be used as a venue for birthday celebrations, weddings, family reunions and events such as the recent Voices in the Dark, a part of the Milbi festival.”
And, like 100 years ago, hopefully there will be more welcome rain on the way.
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