October 5th 2004
2005 Calendar "Making her Mark on Magnetic"
2005 is the centenary of (white) women winning the right to vote in Queensland elections. On Magnetic Island that right was first taken up by just ten resident women and in honour of women who have contributed so much to the history of Magnetic Island over the 100 years since, the Magnetic Island History and Craft Centre is producing a special calendar. It is titled: Making her Mark on Magnetic and presents historic photographs of the achievements of Island more than a dozen Island women.
The calendar reproduces photographs, mostly from early last century, but, curiously, only physically depicts women in the cover image. In doing so the calendar emphasises emancipated women's lives in association with their public and or business achievements - something one might traditionally ascribe to men.
History and Craft Centre President Zanita Davies told Magnetic Times, "Women were very significant contributors and actually seem to dominate in hospitality, education, postal services and other important services over the years on Magnetic."
The Island's most enduring industry, tourism, saw many women take leading roles. From Nell Butler running the Butler's health resort in Picnic Bay to the Swenson women Pollie and Dorothy running the Horseshoe Bay Guesthouse (later to become Geoff's Place), or Mrs Dibbens' "Paradise"at Cockle Bay. According to Zanita a, "Jane Alice Benjamin ran a little-known guesthouse at the southern end of Florence Bay way back in 1917."
The guesthouse at Florence Bay c. 1917
"The Island's first school teacher was also a woman, Mary McLennan, who in 1913 ran the tiny, one-teacher, school which eventually became the History and Craft Centre at Picnic Bay." said Zanita.
The cover. Does anybody know where this was?
The cover image, which was derived from a postcard lent by Townsville history buff Nick Shailer, is particularly interesting. This photo, which has "Magnetic Island" hand written on the front, is, from the period dress, assumed to be from the turn of the century. The exact location is however unknown and Magnetic Times hopes that any readers who think they can identify the spot will contact us (below) or email Zanita (click here)
Each month of the calendar has an image associated with a particular woman on Magnetic. Images associated with two of the 1905 voters appear in the calendar while the latest image is a Hayles' launch because Valerie Reid became the first female Hayles descendant to be a director of the family company Magnetic Island Pty Ltd.
Copies of the calendar sell for $25 each including delivery. Send orders to Zanita Davies, Magnetic Island History and Craft Centre Inc. c/- Post Office Magnetic Island, 4819.
This is a limited edition calendar and payment only will secure copies.
Calendars will be ready the first week in November.