Community Benefits

5 January 2018

Lots of research work and, conversations and communication with descendants of some of our early settler families has provided a valuable insight into life in Dulong.

The opportunity to secure fertile land in Dulong was an attractive proposition to migrant families who were mostly from England, Scotland and Ireland.

A condition of tenure was to clear their land. Many people forfeited their claim because they had to go away to find paid work and were therefore unable to work their land. For the families who successfully held on to their land, it was an important step in securing their future success in this new place they called home.

Quite soon after land clearing in the region, the cash crop of sugar cane was introduced, managed by government regulation. It was a difficult time in the region, to set up a Sugar Mill in Nambour, to be financially viable and build the necessary infrastructure such as the network of tram lines across the region. Especially, to cross the ‘Big Bank’, the construction of the expensive and controversial tram line to connect the Dulong farmers.

Many Dulong farmers were reluctant to become shareholders in the Moreton Central Sugar Mill Company and hand over their farms as security.

It seems that James Dalzell was a visionary man and community leader. Mr Dalzell held a substantial number of shares in the Moreton Central Sugar Mill Company. (Details of James Dalzell’s shares can be found in his Will). A mortgage on the Dalzell property in Dulong was held in the name of the Moreton Central Sugar Mill.

The community was not forgotten during the busy, early days of the Moreton Mill. Proceeds were distributed beyond the region, but local institutions were not forgotten. The Mill supported local businesses and events which contributed to the local economy and social development of the Sunshine Coast region.

It is likely that Mr Dalzell wanted a ‘community benefit’ for Dulong. The project, the Dulong-Kureelpa School of Arts built in 1906 on the property of James Allan Dalzell.

‘Dalzell excised 1 rood 31.6 perches without any regard for the mortgage held in the name of the Moreton Central Sugar Mill Company by the Treasury. He named himself, Lawrence David Murtagh and Johann Benfer as trustees for the new School of Arts.’

In 1913, Mr Dalzell, at 78 years of age, sold the other portion of land.

‘The trusteeship was transferred to William Doddington Hurston, Egerton Murray-Prior and William Dalzell. A Certificate of Title was requested in the name of the new trustees, but the mortgage, which had been transferred to the London Bank of Australia, had to be re-negotiated. The Certificate was issued in 1913 with a mortgage in the name of the Moreton Mill.’

The Board released the site and met all the costs involved,
‘To help in a practical way.’

In 2018, another busy time of growth and change, there is an opportunity to re-secure the site and remains of the Dulong-Kureelpa School of Arts. To remember and honour the contribution of James Allan Dalzell who had a social vision for Dulong and was prepared to do what he could to secure a ‘community benefit’ for Dulong. A campaign that took over seven years.

There’s a lot we can learn today from our stories!

Words by Gillian Hall

Alcorn, Berenis. & Dunn, Robin. 1997, Moreton Sugar Mill : sweet heart of Nambour / Berenis Alcorn and Robin Dunn B. Alcorn and R. Dunn Maroochydore, Qld
Photo: Cleared farming land in the Blackall Range, ca. 1905
State Library of Queensland.

Remembering the Women

Homemakers, community organisers and leaders

In June 1908, Dulong District News reported a community gathering at Dulong-Kureelpa School of Arts for a winter basket picnic.

Many family names are mentioned, enjoying spending time together.

Whitecross, Dalzell, Sirl, Weitemeyer, English, Bruhn, Murtagh and more.

Community organiser Mrs Whitecross

The committee ‘spared no pains in making the event a success’.

Mrs Whitecross and her assistants ensured the children were entertained and that there were prizes for everyone.

To read more, click here.

Remembering People From  Dulong Who Shaped the Region

Robert Whitecross; 26 October 1864 – 27 December 1930
‘[L]ast resting place’ – Nambour General Cemetery

Robert Whitecross was highly respected in the region, and the community was shocked to hear of his death, two days after Christmas in 1930, age 66.

When Mr Whitecross first arrived in the district, he selected land at Dulong. ‘Craignelhan’, the family home was one of the finest homes in Dulong.

Initially Mr Whitecross worked his land, a condition of tenure. He later returned to his trade, as a builder and contractor.

To read more, click here.

Farming on the Blackall Range: Sugar Fever

Not wanting to miss out, and not far from the Mill in Nambour, the idea that Dulong was a suitable place to grow the lucrative cash crop – sugar cane, was taking hold.

To read more, click here.

Dulong’s 1st Walkway 1st Birthday!

The Official opening of the Dulong’s first walkway was celebrated on Saturday 13 August 2016 with a community celebration at the entrance to the walkway in Dulong School Road.
Dulong’s pioneers were remembered, with Betty Bennett (nee Dalzell), age 93, travelling from Bundaberg by train unaccompanied, to open the walkway.
The National Park style walkway links a new residential development to an established area of Dulong.
Plaques at each end of the walkway are yet to be arranged, so we can remember the signficance of this special day, linking people and our heritage to the present day.
The walkway is an important first step to building a more connected community.  More walkways are needed to connect isolated pockets of development in the area.

Saturday 13 August 2016: The Official Opening of Dulong's First WalkwayA beautiful day and setting, lots of conversations over a cuppa and the table soon filled up with plates of food.Thanks to everyone who joined in!Especially Betty Bennett who opened the walkway.Not forgetting so many people who contributed to the day in many different ways.We're really looking forward to receiving the photos from the photographer, and very grateful for the photos you've shared with us – used in this post.

Posted by Dulong Futures on Wednesday, 17 August 2016


Dulong History of Political Activism

Petitions and activism to address community needs is not new in the Dulong community.  In the early days, farmers interests were looked after.  However, it’s thanks to the efforts of the community that important infrastructure, such as improvements to roads and the introduction of services such as postal delivery and the telephone system, happened.  Although it took time and the commitment of the community.

The National Party candidate, Auctioneer George Hugh Mackay, was successful in the voting and held the seat of Lillley (in Brisbane’s north) from 1917 to 1934. Source: Item is held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Ten years after Nambour’s first PMG Manual Telephone Exchange was established in 1910, in the town’s first post office building in Currie St, the communities of Dulong and Kureelpa petitioned George Hugh Mackay, Federal MP for the Lilley electorate.  Dulong and Kureelpa wanted access to the telephone service.

On Monday, 26 July 1920, residents turned out to the Dulong-Kureelpa Branch Meeting of the Queensland Farmers Union (QFU) in the Dulong-Kureelpa School of Arts, to voice their concerns about the mail service and hear the outcome of their petition for a telephone service in the area.  Local resident, Mr Sherwell said that mail was being delivered to the wrong boxes and sometimes lost all together.  Further, the service was not being run to time.

Next, the meeting switched to a meeting of the Primary Producers Union (PPU) with Mr McIntyre taking the chair from Mr Pope.  After considering several PPU resolutions, the important matter of the Dulong-Kureelpa telephone service was discussed.  A letter from the Acting Deputy Postmaster to George Mackay MP, explained that work was to begin once the necessary poles were secured, without any contributions from the petitioners, as first suggested.  It was a good outcome for the community and hopefully pleased the residents who attended the meeting.  

Very little seems to have changed since the early days of the Dulong community.  In 2014, community action and a petition to the Sunshine Coast Council and Queensland Police, is resulting in changes to Dulong Road, to make it safer.  Also, the community is actively campaigning for public space within the Dulong community and to save the Dulong-Kureelpa School of Arts site and remains.  

In 1920, when Dulong and Kureelpa petitioned the government to get connected, who’d have thought this would take them in a direction where residents become less connected with their neighbours, especially since with the arrival of the internet and virtual communities.  Then combine, the busyness of everyday life.  This has changed the role of local community organisations and traditional meetings as the main place where community issues were once discussed and addressed.  Community organisations of today are searching for new ways to reach out and reconnect with the people they represent, to find out what matters to them, and encourage them to get involved.  

Perhaps a different pathway but activism is still playing a part to bring social change.       

Source:  The Fig Tree Telegraph, full story click here

Loss of Dolly Dalzell, a link to our heritage

By Jennifer Catalano

“Dolly was my first cousin twice removed, although I did not know her well … I have been very fortunate to have been in attendance at her last three birthday celebrations at Wynnum.
I never knew this side of the family existed till I connected with Betty Bennett’s son Alan, a few years back and I have gained many cousins and friends.  Betty Bennett opened the Dulong walkway in August last year and is Dolly’s sister in law and also a dear friend of 87 years.  I can’t image the loss the family is enduring after having Dolly around for such a long time, creating many lasting memories.  The larger Dalzell family, (Dolly has 74 descendants), I have come to know and love are by no means small, very family orientated and caring.
Dolly’s husband, Ken is the son of William Dalzell and Rosa Bruhn who married in the Dulong School of Arts hall in 1907.”

Extract from Women of Wynuum …

‘As a member of the 100+ Club Dolly’s story appeared in the January-February edition of the Centenarian.  Dolly said she had the privilege of having her photograph taken with Anastasia Palaszczuk.  The framed photograph hangs proudly on her living room wall for all her family and friends to see and is a constant reminder of the part she played in breaking the World Record.’

‘Dolly was one of the 45 Centenarians who attended the Christmas luncheon hosted by Annastacia Palaszuzuk at Parliament House on 4 November 2016.  The gathering was able to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest gathering of Centenarians in the one place at the one time.  The previous World Record was set in a nursing home in New Jersey (USA) in 2013 during a gathering of 31 Centenarians.’

To read Dolly’s Story, click here