Woven by Fate: A Serendipitous Connection in Bardon

In the gentle slopes of Bardon, where jacaranda blossoms add a flare of purple that fades with the day, the houses hold stories of past and present. One of these stories is about two women, Kathryn Gow and Connie Wilmer, whose lives are intertwined in a way that feels almost fated.

On the 10th of June 1960, a Bardon family tragically lost a loved one. Mary Katherine Wilmer was an air hostess on the fateful TAA Flight 538 to Mackay that went down in the ocean, taking with it 29 souls. Family friend Kathryn Gow has written a piece (as told to Brisbane Suburbs Online News) to remember her and her mother Connie Wilmer, and the devastation wrought on a Bardon family in 1960.

Echoes of a Shared Name 

Connie, a long-time resident of Bardon, is known in her community for her quiet strength and unwavering kindness. She provided services as a childminder to her neighbours’ children, showing virtuous motherly love and care. However, she harboured a lot of sorrow that she managed to keep under wraps. 

Decades ago, she experienced great sadness when one of her daughters, air hostess Mary Katherine, died in the Fokker Friendship crash of 1960 in Mackay (Trans Australia Airlines Flight 538). This incident left Connie with a silent pain that she kept hidden behind closed doors as a secret thought.

Kathryn, also a Bardon resident, moved through life with a similar spirit of care and curiosity. With two school-aged daughters and a full-time job, her life was a bustling diary of commitments. She decided to entrust the care of her children to Connie, which led to a discovery that was as touching as it was unexpected.

“Mrs Wilmer mentioned her daughters only a little as the elder daughter had moved to live in the USA and her younger daughter had died many years before in a plane crash,” Kathryn told Brisbane Suburbs Online News.

As Kathryn delved into Connie’s past, driven by genuine care, she not only uncovered the story of Mary Katherine’s premature death but also found a reflection of her own life. The Christian names of Kathryn Mary and Mary Katherine reflected reverse symmetry, a serendipitous link that hints at deeper connections between their lives.

“I only discovered her daughter’s name on the 4th of April 2024 and was stunned by the fact that her Christian name matched mine, except in reverse. It was clear that Mrs Wilmer was a wonderful childminder and cook,” Kathryn said. “However, on review…did life send me to help her while she was assisting us all, while I worked full-time with two school-aged girls?” 

Anniversary and Reflection 

The absence of closure has tormented Connie and other families impacted by the crash on the 10th of June 1960. No bodies were ever recovered from the site, leaving many questions unanswered and the grief unresolved.

“It seemed that little was done in the early days to notify the Australian public of what had occurred (which on reflection was technically understandable), and a lot of conjecture followed over the years.”

“The unanswered questions have particularly weighed on my mind in the past 18 months, and I started to search for what I could find (which was not easy); unless you wanted to fork out a lot of dollars,” Kathryn said. 

A long-term friend from her school days, who had an extensive career spanning 22 years in the RAAF, followed by two years in Air Ambulance services in Rockhampton and 17 years in Sunstate Airlines, recommended a book. “Air Crash: The Story of How Australia’s Airways Were Made Safe” by Macarthur Job (Volume 2), provided key insights into aviation safety. This source proved instrumental in answering several lingering questions about the crash, offering valuable knowledge that could benefit the general public.

Fokker Friendship crash of 1960 in Mackay (Trans Australia Airlines Flight 538).
Photo Credit: Amazon

Investigation Insights and Safety Reforms

The investigation into the crash of Trans Australia Airlines Flight 538 could not conclusively determine the exact cause, but several theories were explored:

  • Altimeter Malfunction: It was speculated that the aircraft’s altimeter may have malfunctioned, leading to an inaccurate altitude reading.
  • Misinterpretation of Altimeter Readings: The type of altimeters used was known for being difficult to interpret, potentially causing the pilots to misread the actual altitude.
  • Low Flight Path: Another theory was that the crew attempted a low flight path and inadvertently hit the sea while turning to approach the runway.

In response to the tragedy, the Board of Accident Inquiry recommended the installation of flight data recorders in passenger-carrying aircraft of the size of the F-27 and larger. This tragedy significantly influenced global aviation safety standards. 

Australia became the first country to mandate cockpit voice recorders on civil transport aircraft, setting a precedent that would later be adopted worldwide.

In Memoriam

As Mary Katherine’s death anniversary approaches, the Bardon community and the wider Australian public are reminded of the devastating impact of the crash.

“Hopefully when the families and friends of the passengers and staff (who passed over to another realm after that unique traumatic crash) met up with loved ones, they could finally feel at peace again,” Kathryn concludes. 

As the jacarandas continue to bloom, their purple blossoms falling like tears on the quiet streets of Bardon, they bear silent witness to the beauty and pain of life’s intertwining journeys. In this community, the stories of Kathryn and Connie, of Mary Katherine, remain not as mere footnotes of the past, but as enduring narratives that celebrate the hidden destiny behind human connections.

Published 8-June-2024

A Journey Through the History of the Bardon Pilgrim Congregational Church

One of the most iconic places in Bardon is the heritage-listed Bardon Pilgrim Congregational Church at Simpsons Road. Let’s reflect on its remarkable journey – from its humble beginnings in the early 1900s to its enduring legacy as a cornerstone of the community.

Read: Historic Bardon Property Linked to Royal Visit Hits the Market

History and Architecture

The story begins with the visionaries of Bardon, individuals like HM King and ES Thompson, who recognised the need for a Protestant church amidst the growing community.

Their determination led to a bold decision – the Queensland Congregational Union suggested relocating an existing Congregational church from Cannon Hill to Bardon in 1927, given that they were willing to pay the cost involved. This act of faith and perseverance laid the foundation for the church’s enduring legacy.

The Queensland Congregational Union was established in 1861 under the Religious Educational and Charitable Institutions Act of the same year, with Congregationalists active in Queensland since 1853. The organisation has been involved in providing out-of-home care for children since 1929. In June 1977, the Australian Congregationalists merged with the Presbyterian and Methodist churches to create the Uniting Church of Australia.

Photo credit: Pilgrim Congregational Church/Facebook 

The relocation of the church was no small feat, requiring considerable financial investment and community support. The plan received complete approval, even though the cost of relocating the building back then was calculated to be £136, and the overall expense of setting up the church was estimated to be £500.

Bardon Pilgrim Congregational Church
Photo credit: Pilgrim Congregational Church/Facebook 

The structure itself was believed to be constructed during the early 1900s, given that it’s a modest example of a Federation Carpenter Gothic church, which was very common during this period. Its aesthetic appeal derived from its clean, simple design and picturesque, leafy surroundings, lending it a shady aspect.

Photo credit: Pilgrim Congregational Church/Facebook 

The church was founded in Bardon during a period of rapid population growth. In 1903, Ithaca Shire had 3000 residents, but by 1922, this had increased more than sevenfold, making it easier to establish community services like churches. Before the late 1880s, Bardon residents had to travel to Paddington, Rosalie, or Milton for church services as there were none available locally.

Milestones Along the Way

Bardon Pilgrim Congregational Church
Photo credit: Google Street View 

Over the decades, the Bardon Pilgrim Congregational Church bore witness to numerous milestones, each marking a chapter in its rich history. 

From the stump capping ceremony in 1927, attended by the Deputy Mayor of Brisbane Alderman A A Matson, to the poignant unveiling of a centenary plaque in 2014, the church stood as a silent witness to the passage of time and the enduring spirit of faith.

Read: Get To Know Sir Augustus Charles Gregory, The Man Who Built Rainworth House

Enduring Legacy

As it approaches its centennial in three years, the Bardon Pilgrim Congregational Church stands as more than just a place of worship – it is a living testament to the resilience, faith, and community spirit of its founders. For nearly a century, it has been a beacon of hope and solace for generations of parishioners, leaving an indelible mark on the tapestry of Bardon’s history.

Published 6-June-2024 

From Bardon with Love: Girl Guides Gift Neurodiversity Mural to Indooroopilly

A colourful new mural celebrating neurodiversity has brightened up a street corner in Indooroopilly, thanks to the creative efforts of the youth organisation Girl Guides in Bardon.

Read: Bardon Girl Guides: Empowering Young Ladies in Queensland for 100 Years

The box is titled ‘Neurodiversity is Beautiful’ and was created by guide Amy after input from all of the Guides in the Auslan Guides unit. She completed painting an electrical box at the junction of Moggill Road and Coonan Street.

The guided group of Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing girls and leaders, who are all bilingual in Auslan and English, recently helped by sharing their ideas.

Photo credit: Girl Guides QLD: Bardon District/Facebook 

“This design is inspired by the diversity of brains, and how they might be under the same category but they might be slightly different. Each tree needs certain adjustments and conditions to not just grow but thrive. This is like people in real life,” said Amy.

“This group of trees / brains include: Autism, PDA, ADHD, Dyslexia, and more, each having their own unique size, colour and shape but all as beautiful as each other.”

Two quirky native animal characters – a wallaby and a bilby representing the group’s leaders – also made a cheeky appearance amid the vibrant trees.

The inspiring mural is the latest in a series of community artworks coordinated by Girl Guides Queensland’s Bardon District to increase neurodiversity awareness and visibility.

Read: Hidden Gem in Bardon: Civosity Park

Residents and visitors are encouraged to check out the eye-catching new addition bringing a splash of colour and important messaging to Indooroopilly’s streetscape.

About Girl Guides 

Photo credit: Girl Guides QLD: Bardon District/Facebook 

The Girl Guides group comprises a diverse blend of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and hearing children and leaders, all fluent in both Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and English. They also include Guides with neurodiverse and physical disabilities. Their aim is to decorate a box to promote awareness of the essence of equality through inclusion and acceptance. The fundamental message emphasises the importance of respecting others, irrespective of their differences. 

Published 30-April-2024

Architectural Masterpiece O’Hare House Bardon Listed for Sale

Architectural Masterpiece O’Hare House has hit the market and is now for sale in leafy Bardon, just 6 km from Brisbane’s CBD. Designed by prominent architect Shane Thompson, the stunning home seamlessly blends contemporary luxury living with its natural bushland surroundings.

Nestled amongst towering eucalyptus trees, the house features an elevated position with north-east aspect capturing breathtaking views and an abundance of natural light. Thompson himself describes the design as delivering “life at its subtropical best”, with the bushland environment a driving inspiration.

Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co

“Designing this house on this spectacular site was a particularly joyous experience,” Thompson remarked.

“It has a beautiful connection with the vast bushland of Mt Cootha, a secluded and quiet sanctuary, broken only by the occasional native birdsong, but with easy access to the city.”

Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co

The gently curved butterfly roof evokes a sense of living under a timber parasol, while generous living areas are strung along a north-facing platform to maximise indoor-outdoor flow. Sliding doors connect to an expansive cantilevered deck amongst the treetops – perfect for summer entertaining or winter relaxation.

Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co

Inside, a warm material palette of soft white concrete blocks, rich jarrah timber and light hoop pine creates a serene yet sophisticated ambience. The galley-style kitchen is a true showpiece, equipped with a suite of premium Miele appliances and flowing seamlessly to the deck and raised lap pool.

Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co
Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co

The sumptuous master suite features a walk-in robe, marble bathroom and private deck with leafy outlooks. Buyers have the choice to shower indoors or embrace true subtropical living in the outdoor shower.

Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co

Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co

Additional accommodation comprises four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a huge recreation room on the lower level. A yoga/meditation retreat and cosy fireplace sitting room provide pockets of tranquillity.

Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co

Rachael Spinks of SpinksCo Residential has launched the “best offers by” campaign for O’Hare House Bardon, which closes on May 9, 2024 at 5:00 pm.

Photo Credit: Real Estate / Spinks Co

“This is bush living in the city – a stunning architectural home in Bardon, presenting peaceful living amongst the treetops,” said Spinks. “It’s a large family home offering easy entertaining with many different spaces to be in.”

Published 5-May-2024

Bardon Mayfair Returns in 2024 for a Vibrant Community Celebration

Mark your calendars, Bardon locals! The much-beloved Bardon Mayfair is returning in June, bringing a day of joy, community, and endless entertainment to the neighbourhood.

Read: Historic Bardon Property Linked to Royal Visit Hits the Market

After a successful event last year, the Bardon State School is excited to once again host this vibrant community celebration from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. on 2 June 2024. Locals can look forward to an array of delights, from the bustling market stalls to the delectable food and drink offerings.

Explore the Treasure Trove of Goodies

Photo credit: Bardon Mayfair/Facebook

Bardon Mayfair will be a shopper’s paradise, with an abundance of market stalls showcasing an eclectic mix of treasures. Browse the racks of trendy clothing and accessories, discover one-of-a-kind handmade crafts, and uncover vintage gems and preloved items that are sure to delight. It’s the perfect opportunity to find that special something that brings a smile to your face.

Savour the Flavors, Share Moments with Loved Ones

Photo credit: Bardon Mayfair/Facebook

No community celebration is complete without delicious food and drink. Attendees can indulge in a wide array of culinary delights, from freshly brewed coffee and sweet treats to savoury bites that will tantalise the taste buds. It’s the ideal setting to sit back, relax, and enjoy quality time with friends and family.

Vibrant Entertainment for All

Photo credit: Bardon Mayfair/Facebook

The Bardon Mayfair is more than just a market – it’s a true celebration of the community’s talent and spirit. Last year’s event was a resounding success, with the Bardon’s Got Talent winners wowing the crowd and the dancers taking the stage by storm. This year promises even more non-stop entertainment!

Read: Resilient Bardon Records High Buyer Demand as Property Market Cools

Don’t miss out on the magic of Bardon Mayfair in 2024. Stay tuned to the school’s event page for the latest updates, and get ready to immerse yourself in a day of vibrant community spirit, extraordinary finds, and unforgettable moments.

Published 12-April-2024

Bardon Neighbourhood Watch Program Set To Revolutionise Community Safety

With the launch of its very own Neighbourhood Watch program, Bardon is poised to take proactive strides towards enhancing security, all fueled by the grassroots energy of its concerned residents and bolstered by the support of local authorities.

Bardon Neighbourhood Watch was established to keep citizens’ growing concerns about minor crimes and security-related issues in the region. The programme, which is being led by a group of proactive people, aims to create a network of watchful locals who are dedicated to keeping their neighbourhoods safe and secure.

MP Jonty Bush has long pushed for programmes that make neighbourhoods better. She has become a strong supporter of giving people the power to take charge of their own safety and security by organising events like “Coffee with a Cop” and leading grassroots efforts. She firmly believes that this event will be a great chance to learn, meet, and work together

Photo Credit: Facebook/JontyBush

Community leaders, law enforcement officers, and concerned individuals are anticipated to attend its launch on April 13th, 2024, at Bardon Bowls Club, making it a historic occasion. Prominent members of the community will give an introductory speech to begin the event, emphasising the value of teamwork in preventing crime and fostering community.

Attendees look forward to engaging workshops and educational sessions covering a wide range of topics, such as disaster preparedness, efficient communication strategies, and home security advice. Additionally, representatives from the neighbourhood’s law enforcement organisations will be available to offer insightful advice on how citizens can actively contribute to crime prevention.

Two of the main goals of Bardon Neighbourhood Watch are to encourage people to report suspicious behaviour and to build a culture of open communication and community spirit. The people in charge of the event think that they can make the area safer and more stable for everyone if they can help neighbours get along and feel responsible for their community.

In addition to stopping crime, Bardon Neighbourhood Watch wants to bring people together and get them involved in their neighbourhood. Activities like social parties, neighbourhood patrols, and regular meetings are all meant to get people to talk to each other and work together.

The establishment of Bardon Neighbourhood Watch serves as a testament to the effectiveness of neighbourhood-based efforts in bringing about constructive change. Through the programme, residents are empowered to actively participate in maintaining the safety of their neighbourhood, which not only increases security but also strengthens the sense of community and belonging among residents.

Organisers are urging all locals to work together as Bardon gets ready to start this exciting new chapter in its history of promoting community safety. They think that by working together, they can create a community that will be safer, livelier, and more robust for future generations.

Published Date 08-April-2024

Bardon Gets Dedicated Clinic for Endometriosis, Pelvic Pain

A new multidisciplinary clinic dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of endometriosis and pelvic pain in women has opened in Bardon.

Read: Specialised Care Comes to Bardon: Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Clinics Now Available

The Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain GP Clinic is part of the Australian Government’s $58.3 million package aimed at improving health outcomes for women suffering from these conditions.

The Bardon clinic, which officially opened last February, is the fourth such facility to open in Queensland, joining clinics already operating in Morayfield, Benowa, and Cairns. 

Photo credit: Shannon Fentiman MP/Facebook

It will be run by Neighbourhood Medical, which has received $700,000 in federal funding over four years to staff the clinic with specialised nurse practitioners and allied health professionals, enhance facilities, and provide training.

Photo credit: Shannon Fentiman MP/Facebook

“Too many women suffer because their pain is not taken seriously,” said Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney. “The support we are providing for this specialised clinic in Bardon will give women across Brisbane’s northwest access to the care and expertise they need, all under one roof.”

Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the one-stop clinic model would be “a game-changer” for women impacted by endometriosis, which affects at least 1 in 9 Australian women and can severely disrupt daily life. 

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, research shows half of Australian women experience pelvic pain, yet many do not seek treatment despite significant impacts on work and study.

Photo credit: Pixabay/Pexels

Women do not require a pre-existing endometriosis diagnosis to attend the clinics but must have symptoms like pelvic pain that could indicate the condition. The clinics aim to reduce diagnostic delays, raise awareness, improve access to information and care pathways, and upskill medical professionals in managing endometriosis.

With 22 such GP-led clinics now operating nationwide, the federal government initiative ensures every state and territory has at least one specialised endometriosis and pelvic pain facility.

Read: Bardon Neighbourhood Centre Fights Against a Soaring Demand for Aid

Visit Neighbourhood Medical’s website for more information or to book an appointment with one of their women’s health GPs.

Published 21-March-2024

Bardon Neighbourhood Centre Fights Against a Soaring Demand for Aid

The Bardon Neighbourhood Centre has found itself with a scant $6 left for emergency relief after just a week, as it grapples with an overwhelming surge in demand for financial aid from the community. 

This critical juncture highlights a wider crisis in the region, with many individuals and families struggling to cope with economic hardships. As a result, the centre and its sister venue in New Farm are unable to provide sufficient support. 

Despite receiving $20,000 in Social Services funding, the funds at the Centre were depleted within a week. This underscores the acute challenges faced by those who cannot afford basic living necessities.

This shortfall comes when the demand for financial assistance has skyrocketed, putting immense pressure on the centre’s resources. According to Coordinator Gillian Marshall, the number of people seeking help has tripled within the past year, especially among those who rely on Centrelink payments.

Bardon Neighbourhood Centre
Photo Credit: Google Maps

The Bardon Neighbourhood Centre has been struggling to cope with the increase in cases involving financial difficulties, housing problems, and eviction incidents due to rising rental costs. 

In response to the growing crisis, the site established an emergency relief hotline to manage the influx of calls from those in urgent need. These calls often come from individuals facing domestic violence, mental health issues, or significant life changes, with some reporting they haven’t eaten in days

Despite efforts to secure additional funding, the centre faces the grim reality of suspending its emergency relief program until new funds are allocated in July 2024.

The funding crisis at the Bardon Neighbourhood Centre highlights a more significant problem faced by community services throughout Queensland. The situation calls for greater support from the government and emphasizes the need for a strong social service sector that can assist individuals during difficult times.

Published 2-March-2024

From Dosa to Gulab Jamun: Tapri Brings India’s Iconic Street Eats to Rosalie Village

Rosalie Village has a new destination for authentic Indian street food with the opening of Tapri restaurant. 

Read: Slurp Up Authentic Japanese Ramen at Lulu Ramen

Tapri offers an array of mouthwatering Indian snacks and dishes at budget prices, making it the perfect spot for a quick bite before or after catching a movie at Blue Room Cinebar located just next door.

The owners’ passion for Indian food led them to launch their flagship restaurant Old Monk – Modern Indian in 2022, which was nominated for best Indian restaurant in Queensland its first year. 

Tapri team (Photo credit: tapribne.com.au)

Now their expertise and enthusiasm is on display at Tapri, bringing diners an authentic taste of India’s vibrant street food culture right in the heart of Rosalie Village.

Photo credit: Darshan Pandya/Google Maps 

The menu highlights include an array of flavorful chatori chat appetisers like aloo laccha, tokri, crispy kale, and palak or samosa channa chaat. Be sure to also try the Chinese Bhel, a tasty combination of fried noodles, homemade slaw, and Szechuan chutney. 

Samosa channa chat (Photo credit: @tapribne/Instagram) 

For an iconic Indian street snack, Dahi Puri is a must-try – puffy fried bread filled with a zesty mix of potato, chickpeas, yogurt, and chutney. 

Tapri also serves up hot savoury treats like Aaloo Paranthas, the flaky flatbreads enclosing a spiced potato filling, and Hole Bhature, fluffy fried bread served with chickpea curry. Or sample the Papdi chaat, a tangy mix of fried dough wafers, tamarind chutney, yogurt, potatoes and chickpeas.

Aaloo Paranthas (Photo credit: @tapribne/Instagram)

Those with a sweet tooth must try the Gulab Jamun, fried dough balls soaked in rose-flavoured syrup for a melt-in-your-mouth experience. 

For those unfamiliar, a tapri is a small roadside tea stall or shop commonly found in India, where patrons gather to sip hot chai and enjoy street food snacks. Tapris play an integral role in Indian culture, acting as lively social hubs where people from all walks of life come together to connect over a cup of chai. 

The name Tapri aims to evoke the spirited atmosphere of these beloved community spaces, bringing people together to share great food and conversation.

Read: Artisan Fresh Pasta Worth the Trip: Discover Pasteio’s Handcrafted Noodles and Desserts

Visit Tapri at the Rosalie Village, located at 151 Baroona Rd, Paddington. They are open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Published 20-February-2024

Slurp Up Authentic Japanese Ramen at Lulu Ramen

Tucked away in the backstreets of Rosalie Village lies Lulu Ramen, an authentic Japanese ramen bar bringing a taste of Tokyo to Brisbane.

Read: Artisan Fresh Pasta Worth the Trip: Discover Pasteio’s Handcrafted Noodles and Desserts

Inspired by contemporary Japanese izakaya-style dining, the cosy yet spacious space features an open kitchen, artwork-lined walls, and comfortable counter seating that wraps around the kitchen.

With ample room for dining, Lulu Ramen offers a relaxed ramen experience in a stylish but laid-back setting. 

Lulu Ramen
Photo credit: Lulu Ramen/Google Maps 

The star of the show at Lulu Ramen is, unsurprisingly, the ramen. The house specialty is the Special Chicken & Bonito Chintan Ramen, made with both chicken and fish broth for maximum depth of flavor. 

The ramen bar’s signature ramen dish (Photo credit: Lulu Ramen/Google Maps)

It comes loaded with slices of duck breast and low-temp chicken breast char sui, dried bamboo shoots, king oyster mushrooms, soft boiled egg, black truffle sauce, shredded green onions and snow peas. Each component adds its own unique flavour and texture, coming together in perfect harmony with the expertly crafted broth and fresh ramen noodles.

Photo credit: Lulu Ramen/Google Maps 

In addition to ramen, this place also offers small plates like pan-fried gyoza dumplings, tempura, karaage fried chicken and edamame to complement your noodle fix. 

To drink, there is a modest selection of Japanese beverages including junmai sake, Japanese beer, green tea and unique cocktails made with sake and shochu. This ramen bar is licensed, so feel free to BYO your favourite wine to enjoy with your meal for a $12 corkage fee.

Photo credit: Lulu Ramen/Google Maps

With its intimate vibe and scrumptious ramen freshly made to order, this ramen bar is a can’t-miss spot for Japanese food lovers on Brisbane’s northside and beyond. Just be prepared to slurp your noodles loudly – it’s the polite way to eat ramen in Japan!

Read: Discover Patio, The New Al Fresco Destination In Rosalie

You may follow them on Instagram for updates. 

Published 11-February-2024