Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

June 21st 2006
Do you know this nurse?

The unknown nurse Do you know who this nurse from Magnetic Island's World War II years could be? We are trying to find out to help Bill Goodes, an elderly magnetictimes.com reader who met this nurse and others posted to Magnetic back in 1945. Bill's request is the first entry in magnetictimes.com's new "Reconnect with Magnetic" section.

One of the most fascinating experiences of producing magnetictimes.com is the number of times we are contacted by people who want to get in touch with old friends and even family members who either live or once lived on Magnetic Island. We usually do our best to help but the job is getting bigger. That is why we have decided to begin magnetictimes.com's own, "Reconnect with Magnetic" section so you, who want to find a current or old Island contact, can write in and leave your contact details, photos and any recollections of your time here or the person you want to connect with so other readers, or the contact, might be able to help.

Bill Goodes contacted us recently about the nurses whose name's he cannot recall and has lost contact with from the war years. Bill and has even sent us photos of his nurse friends as well as some photos he took of the tiny church at Picnic Bay and the cottage his friend, Col (surname unknown), lived in at Picnic.


The full photo of Bill with the unknown nurse taken in Cairns in 1945.



Bill, with a group of nurses he is hoping to contact,
at Picnic Bay in 1945.


Anybody who thinks they know who any of the nurses are or the contact details for anybody who they think might know is welcome to use our comments box at the bottom of this page to contact us.

We respect people's privacy and offer to pass on contact details privately if requested.

Bill was also happy to share some of his recollections of his much-loved time on Magnetic from over 60 year's ago. Edited excerpts from Bill's email's to us follow:

When I was there in 1944-45, there was a walking track from Picnic Bay along the edge of the beach. A small timber bridge crossed a dried up drainage creek and the track climbed up north for about 250 yards and you came to Col's ?cottage on the left. The track then continued east and about 100yards you came upon the little weatherboard church on your right. Staying on the track you came to Rocky Bay. That's where I took the photo of my 25 pound block of land with the two pine trees going down to the rocky strewn beach - I should have bought it ???!!!!!! (Bill explained in a phone call that, at the time, the land at Rocky Bay was actually for sale and he was offered that block for 25 pounds! Ed.) The track then went on to Nelly Bay and then on to Arcadia and Alma Bay. Along the track were coconut and wild lemon trees - gosh I can remember all this.


The tiny church at Picnic Bay



The block at Rocky Bay Bill had offered to him for 25 pounds.



Who recognises this cottage where Bill's friend Col lived in 1945.


When VJ day came my CO thought it would be a good idea to have a party at Picnic Bay and invite all the Islanders. I was left to organise a Transport Barge from Townsville to take our Squadron to the Island. I had to go earlier to arrange for a load of logs for a bonfire. Our cooks brought sides of beef and other food and we had a great barbecue. Drink was rationed so no drunks, everyone had a ball, swimming in the wire enclosed pool (enclosed ????). There were great gaps in the wire mesh which could not be replaced owing to war shortage. The water was barmy and everyone covered with phosphorous and the swimmers complained they where being pushed till the cry of "shark" cleared everyone out of the water. A local said the sharks where always in there, came from Cleveland Bay which had the Meatworks above and used to throw the rubbish in the sea.

We had a wonderful VJ day I had to stay overnight to clear up the beach next day, the nurses and the locals helped me and made it a pristine beach once more.

My Best wishes and kind regards to the people of Magnetic Island.

Bill Goodes

Bill's email address is: wgoodes@bigpond.net.au

If you are looking for a friend or relative you met on or think may be on Magnetic Island just use the comments box below. If you wish to add photos or attach files however it is advisable to email directly to editor@magnetictimes.com

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Readers comments
Tonia In reply to The ongoing price of Nelly Bay Harbour
It's 14 years since I last visited Maggy. I am shocked by Nelly Bay and saddened. It is insensitive, ugly and juxtaposed to the essence of Maggy. I embrace progress in general, but this is poorly conceived and executed. Shame.
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