BUSINESS IDENTITY: Mr H. Shapcott was secretary/treasurer in the 1930s for the Ipswich Chamber of Manufacturers.
BUSINESS IDENTITY: Mr H. Shapcott was secretary/treasurer in the 1930s for the Ipswich Chamber of Manufacturers. bez

News flashes along the wires

BACK in 1861, the first electric telegraphy messages were flashed along the wires between Brisbane and Ipswich.

This major event occurred on Saturday April 13, 1861, and the first message was sent from the Governor Sir George Ferguson from Brisbane to Colonel Gray the Police Magistrate at Ipswich. Thus, the revolutionised communications in Queensland began.

Sir George Bowen's message was: "The Governor in council congratulates the people of Ipswich on the establishment of telegraphic communication in Queensland between the two chief towns of Queensland."

The reply from colonel Gray was: "The people of Ipswich feel much obliged by the communication of His Excellency the Governor in Council, and are assured that this mode of communication will be an additional means of cementing the good feeling existing between the two principal towns in Queensland."

On Tuesday April 16, 1861, the first news items to be transmitted by the electric telegraph appeared:


These items were

"At the land sale today, there were about 120 purchasers present, 70 lots were offered, and all were sold: 33 suburban lots from 5 pounds to 90 pounds and averaging 11 pounds an acre, and 37 town allotments from 94 pounds to 100 pound lots. The gross amount realised from the town lots alone was 175 pounds 6 shillings.

"Robert Bayley, lately discharged from Brisbane gaol, entered St Paul's Church yesterday morning during service and created great disturbance by singling in a loud voice during a piano symphony. This morning he was apprehended while parading Brisbane St, and confined as a dangerous lunatic.

"An inquest was held this morning on the body of Thomas Power who had been a patient in the hospital under treatment for paralysis by Dr Lucas.

"On Thursday last, Dr Lucas directed the resident apothecary to discharge him as being sufficiently restored to health, but on Friday evening the Rev L.H. Rumsey saw him dangerously ill near the hospital and sent for Dr Rowlands who succeeded with difficulty, in inducing him to enter the hospital. He was speechless afterwards until 9 o'clock when he died.

"The witnesses examined at the inquest were the Rev L.H. Rumsey the wardsman, the resident apothecary, Dr Lucas and Dr Rowlands, the latter of who gave it as his opinion that the deceased died from disease of the heart. The verdict was - died from disease of the brain, hastened by excessive drinking.

"Also, at the police office today, James Eccleston charged with drunkenness forfeited two pound for non-appearance - Robert Dawson charged with stealing and William Forster charged with being an accomplice in stealing the sum of 29 pounds from John Arkin, were discharged upon their own recognisances to appear when called upon."

A meeting was held on October 24, 1929, of representative members of Ipswich manufacturing firms, at which it was decided to form an association for the promotion of better business among the various firms operating in the Ipswich district.

Mr W. Pohlman was elected its first president and Mr G.W. Allen was appointed secretary/treasurer.

The principal object of the association was to inculcate and foster the principle of preference by way of exhibitions and locally manufactured goods to be held locally.

By the 1930s, the president was M.R.W. Lees and the secretary/treasurer Mr H. Shapcott and there were many Ipswich manufacturers who became members and a wide variety of jobs were available.



Ipswich Golf Club is the oldest club in Queensland, and it was carried on by a few enthusiastic members for many years under great difficulties.

Originally a nine-hole course, it was constructed and kept in repair largely by the self-sacrifice and hard work of the small number of those claiming membership.

For a time, the links were under municipal control, but the club took over control and a lease of the southern portion of Queens Park comprising about 94 acres.

About the same time membership began to increase rapidly and soon reached the century mark with a similar number of associates. Extensive alterations were made to the Queens Park links, and in 1933 an 18-hole course was opened.