May 25th 2012
Horseshoe Reunion and BoO follows the Biggest Cuppa
Following a very busy week on Magnetic Island which saw Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea raise, so far, about $5,250 for cancer research, with a hugely entertaining event yesterday, attention is now shifting to the upcoming Horseshoe Bay School Reunion tomorrow and Bay of Origin rugby league match on Sunday.
Morning Tea organiser, Meg Brown told Magnetic Times, “The biggest thing was all the fabulous prizes and support from everybody. The whole of the Island supported it!”
And, while Meg is still counting the donations, which she hopes will match last year’s $6,500, in Horseshoe Bay, reunion organiser, Rosie Eve says, “It’s all systems go,” for the reunion and the big clash between the Horseshoe/Arcadia and the Picnic/Nelly Bay teams.
The story of the Horseshoe Bay School Reunion is a story which speaks directly to what is probably Magnetic Island’s most powerful event in recorded history - when Category 4 Cyclone Althea visited for Christmas Day in 1971 and either damaged or destroyed 90% of the Island’s houses and buildings.
Rosie Eve, who was one of the 34 children attending the Horseshoe Bay school before the Christmas holidays, became just one of “12 or 14” when school was to recommence in 1972. Instead the school was closed and the remaining students moved to the Nelly Bay School.
While only one life was lost on Magnetic Island during the storm, the impact on families was immense and many left, never to return. “A lot blew away with the storm and we never saw them again,” said Rosie.
So, this weekend, forty years after that terrible blow, about 70 ex-pupils, their friends and families, are returning to celebrate the happier times form their early school days.
One of the ex-students is former state government minister and member for Townsville, Mike Reynolds, who will be giving a speech, and, we understand, his brother, Darryl, is actually coming out from England to attend. Mike’s sister Dianne is also expected to attend.
After the speeches at 11am tomorrow a tour will be made to what was the original (provisional) school house - now a private home near the school house proper - which is located in a small park space on the corner of Heath and Dent Street.
Rosies’ sister Kate and her partner Kath have been busy assembling a huge batch of historic photos for the event as well as shots celebrating the Bay of Origin and Sport and Rec Club history which are on display at the Solar Cities Smart Lifestyle Centre.
“Everyone is very excited,” said Rosie. “We are going to see people we haven’t seen since we were teenagers.”
For loads more photos of Bay of Origin action and socialising from times past as well as a a big collection of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea snaps from yesterday, as well as times past, we recommend you visit Magnetic Times on facebook (Click here)
Story and photo: George Hirst
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