- Category: People
- Hits: 6258
Thomas Alford was a pioneer settler of the Toowoomba region. Arriving in Sydney Australia on the 21/01/1839. He left for Brisbane on 21/03/1842 with his wife and children following a few months later. In the same year Thomas decided it was time to resettle in the newly discovered Darling Downs relocating his family to Cambooya and establishing a store. Half a year had passed, and realizing his choice of location for his store was maybe not the best, he once again up lifted the family moved to new location about 15Km north of Cambooya, to the Springs.
Things were looking up for Thomas and by 1845 he received a license so that his store was also a post office. In the same year Thomas' choice of name of Drayton for the township was recognized on official documentation.
Two years later in 1847 Thomas had conceived three more children children in Drayton, which by now had a population of about fifty.
Steadily the new township was growing and Thomas help establish a school in 1851, by now the population was about two hundred people.
After becoming insolvent Thomas moved the family a bit further north to another area know as the Swamp and re-established himself and opening a new shop. He had apparently named his new shop and house 'Toowoomba'.
It was here that Thomas' sixth child, Henry King Alford, the first white child to be born in Toowoomba.
After further business setbacks Thomas eventually established a successful auction business.
Thomas also made many contributions to community affairs that ultimately helped establish Toowoomba's prosperity.
Thomas died at the age of 48 in the year 1864. His wife lived to the age of 88 and died on the 12/10/1905.
They are both buried at the Toowoomba Cemetery.
- Category: Infrastructure
- Hits: 12942
The Toowoomba second range crossing is much needed infrastructure for the Toowoomba region. The benefit of the range crossing will have a positive impact both in the short and long term.
The immediate benefit will mean that much of the heavy traffic will be diverted out of Toowoomba city, which will reduce noise and pollution and reduce travel time, and increase safety. Long term benefits which will filter through the economy is greater transport efficiency, i.e.: quicker delivery of stock to the western downs and better financial outcomes for all the stakeholders involved.
Work on the project is expected to commence during the second half of 2015 and the construction period will take approximately 3 years. The project should be completed around late 2018, early 2019.
The improved transport efficiency will arise out of the fact that the steep climb up the range incline will no longer be a factor, and also the fact that seventeen sets of traffic lights will be bypassed. This will reduce travel time through the City of Toowoomba by forty minutes.
Funding for the project has been secured on an 80:20 basis, with the federal government committing 80% ($AU1.28 billion) and the Queensland government providing the shortfall of $AU320 million dollars. Total cost will be approx. $AU1.6 billion.
It will create approx. 1,800 jobs for the Toowoomba region during the 3 year construction phase, which will also bring immediate economic benefit to the region.
The second range crossing will be a 43Km stretch of road that will start at the Warrego highway in Helidon (east of Toowoomba) and end in the west at the Warrego highway in Charlton.
The bypass will comprise of 41Km of bypass, 700 metre twin three lane tunnels, thirty bridges, four viaducts.
- Category: Events
- Hits: 29380
Toowoomba is a beautiful little city anytime of the year, but it has to be said that when springtime comes around there is that something a little extra special in the air.
Toowoomba's claim to fame is the Carnival of Flowers, a fun filled, awe inspiring, action packed, sensory spectacular of all the best the garden city has to offer.
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers was an idea conceived by local businessman Essex Tait in 1949.
The idea was put to the Toowoomba chamber of commerce that in order to promote the region and it's businesses, it would be worthwhile to take advantage of the Toowoomba regions ideal location and already renowned 'Garden City' status.
The first parade took place in the Spring of 1950 where a crowd of 50,000 people attended and has since been an iconic event of the city. Toowoomba just wouldn't be Toowoomba without the carnival
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers which will be held from Friday 20th September until Sunday 29th September 2019.
The Toowoomba Carnival of flowers is held in the last full week of September and features many events including a floral street parade, garden tours, live music concerts, arts and crafts, flower, food and wine festivals, and a garden competition and more.
For a full list of events please visit the carnival events page.
If you would like more information on this fantastic event, then please visit the official website.
Most of all though, remember to have lots of fun and enjoy.
- Category: People
- Hits: 10212
Elizabeth Kenny (20 September 1880 – 30 November 1952) was an unaccredited Australian nurse who promoted a controversial new approach to the treatment of poliomyelitis in the era before mass vaccination eradicated the disease in most countries. Her findings ran counter to conventional medical wisdom; they demonstrated the need to exercise muscles affected by polio instead of immobilizing them. Kenny's principles of muscle rehabilitation became the foundation of physical therapy, or physiotherapy.
Elizabeth Kenny was born in Warialda, New South Wales in 1880. Lisa (as her family called her) was home-schooled by her mother before attending schools in New South Wales and Nobby, Queensland (on the Darling Downs). At age 17, she broke her wrist in a fall from a horse. Her father took her to Dr. Aeneas McDonnell in Toowoomba, where she remained during her convalescence. While there, Kenny studied McDonnell's anatomy books and model skeleton. That began a lifelong association with McDonnell, who became her mentor and advisor. Kenny later asserted that she became interested in how muscles worked while convalescing from her accident. Instead of using a model skeleton (since they were only available for medical students), she made her own. From age 18 until her mid-twenties, she worked as an unaccredited bush nurse in the Clifton district. In 1907, Kenny returned to Guyra, New South Wales to live with a cousin. While there she claimed to receive basic nursing training from a local midwife, but there is no record of her undertaking formal nursing training. She also brokered agricultural sales between Guyra farmers and northern markets in Brisbane. Contrary to some sources, she was not a member of a religious order; in British Commonwealth nations, the title "sister" is applied to senior qualified nurses and does not necessarily indicate a religious vocation.
In 1909, Kenny returned to Nobby and assumed the role of a qualified nurse after paying a tailor to make her a nurse's uniform, complete with cap and cape. Using the money she earned by brokering produce in Guyra, she opened a cottage hospital (St. Canice's) in 1911 at Clifton, Queensland, a village about 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) from Nobby. Kenny provided convalescent and midwifery services at St. Canice's, and treated her first confirmed cases of infantile paralysis (as polio was also known) under the supervision of the local Lodge Doctor.
Kenny claimed in her 1943 autobiography (co-authored by Martha Ostenso) that she treated her first cases of infantile paralysis in 1910 while working alone as a bush nurse in the Clifton district. That episode was romanticized in the 1946 film Sister Kenny, featuring Rosalind Russell (who befriended Kenny). Surveillance records from the early 1900s show that infantile paralysis was a rare disease in Queensland prior to World War I, although there is evidence that sub acute cases were brought to Kenny's cottage hospital in Clifton. In her memoir, Kenny claimed she was baffled by the cases she encountered and sought assurance from Dr. Aeneas McDonnell. He wired back, "...treat them according to the symptoms as they present themselves". Sensing that their muscles were tight, she did what mothers around the world did: applied hot compresses and weights made from woolen blankets to their legs. Kenny wrote in her autobiography that a little girl woke up very much relieved and said, "Please, I want them rags that well my legs". Several children recovered with no serious aftereffects. Many years passed before Kenny treated anyone else who might have had polio. The story of Kenny's first encounter with an acute case of polio is a 20th-century medical legend, but there is no documented record other than her memoir. The chief witness to the discovery of her method for treating poliomyelitis was Aeneas McDonnell, who died before the story was widely publicized.
World War II
Press reports from Australia during the 1930s quote Kenny as saying she developed her method while caring for meningitis patients on troopships during World War I. When the war began, Kenny volunteered to serve as a nurse. She was not officially qualified, but nurses were badly needed; she was accepted and assigned to "Dark Ships": transports that ran with all lights off between Australia and England carrying war goods and soldiers one way, and wounded soldiers and trade goods on the return voyage. Kenny served on these dangerous missions throughout the war, making sixteen round trips (plus one around the world, via the Panama Canal). In 1917 she earned the title "Sister" (which in the Australian Army Nurse Corps is the equivalent of a first lieutenant), and used that title for the rest of her life. While she was criticized by some[who?] for doing so (in the British Commonwealth, it was reserved for qualified nurses), but Kenny was officially promoted to that rank during her wartime service. During the final months of the war, she served for a few weeks as matron in a soldiers' hospital near Brisbane and was honorably discharged with a pension.
Return to Queensland
Although exhausted by her war service, Kenny supervised a temporary hospital in Nobby, Queensland which had been established to care for victims of the 1919 influenza epidemic. When the epidemic subsided, Kenny travelled to Guyra to recuperate (without success) and returned to Europe to visit doctors there. After her return to Nobby, she was called to Guyra by a girlhood friend to care for her daughter (Daphne Cregan), who was disabled with what was known as cerebral diplegia. Kenny's three years of rehabilitative work with the child, plus her experience with sick and wounded men during World War I, is probably the foundation for her later work in polio treatment and rehabilitation.
Instead of settling down at home in what was most expected (a spinsterhood dedicated to caring for her mother) Kenny continued to work as a nurse from her mother's home, often brought to her patients in the sidecar of a motorcycle or by automobile. When his daughter Sylvia was injured by falling into the path of a horse-drawn plough, a family friend called Kenny for help. She improvised a stretcher from a cupboard door, fastened Sylvia to it and accompanied her the 26 miles (42 km) to Dr. McDonnel's Toowoomba office. Sylvia recovered, primarily due to Kenny's careful attention during that transport. Kenny improved the stretcher for use by local ambulance services, and for the next three years marketed it as the "Sylvia Stretcher" in Australia, Europe and the United States. She turned the profits over to the Australian Country Women's Association, who administered sales and manufacturing.
When sales of the Sylvia Stretcher declined, Kenny returned to home nursing. During one of her sales journeys she met a family who arranged for her to visit their station west of Townsville, Queensland in 1929 to care for their niece Maude, who was disabled by polio. "At the time the normal medical procedure for dealing with infantile paralysis consisted of immobilizing the affected limbs in splints," said Jim Franklin. After 18 months under Kenny's care Maude was able to walk, return to Townsville, marry and conceive a child. The newspapers in Townsville took up the story, referring to it as a cure. In 1932, Queensland suffered its highest number of polio cases in 30 years; the following year, several local people helped Kenny set up a rudimentary polio-treatment facility under canopies behind the Queens Hotel in Townsville. In a few months (after further success with local children), she moved into the bottom floor of the hotel. The first official evaluation of Sister Kenny's work took place in Townsville in 1934, under the auspices of the Queensland Health Department. This evaluation of her work led to the establishment of Kenny clinics in several cities in Australia.
During these years, Kenny developed her clinical method and gained recognition in Australia. She was adamantly opposed to immobilizing children's bodies with plaster casts or braces. At this time, Kenny requested that she be permitted to treat children during the acute stage of the disease with hot compresses (as she claimed to have done in Clifton before the war). However, doctors would not allow her to treat patients until after the acute stage of the disease or until "tightness" (Kenny used the word "spasm" much later) subsided. She instituted a carefully-designed regimen of passive exercises, designed to recall function in unaffected neural pathways (much as she had done with Maude). On her own she began treatment of a patient in the acute stage in her George Street Clinic in Brisbane, then transferring her to the Ward 7 Polio Clinic in Brisbane General Hospital. That child (and others) recovered with fewer aftereffects than those placed in braces. In 1937 she published an introductory book about her work and began another (The Treatment of Infantile Paralysis in The Acute Stage), which was later published in the United States. The most comprehensive appraisal of her methods was published in collaboration with Dr. John Pohl in 1943.
Between 1935 and 1940, Kenny traveled extensively throughout Australia helping to set up clinics. She also made two trips to England, where she set up a treatment clinic in St. Mary's Hospital near Carshalton; a rehabilitation facility still exists there. Between 1936 and 1938, a Queensland Government Royal Commission evaluated Kenny's work and published its Report of The Queensland Royal Commission on Modern Methods for the Treatment of Infantile Paralysis in 1938. Its most critical comment (because Sister Kenny opposed using splints and plaster casts to immobilize the areas of polio patients affected by the disease) was, "The abandonment of immobilization is a grievous error and fraught with grave danger, especially in very young patients who cannot co-operate in re-education." They stated that her clinic (then in Brisbane) was "admirable". The Commissioners' strongest objections were against the Queensland government, which was funding Kenny's work when her clinic was not under the purview of the BMA. The Queensland Government rejected the report, continuing to support Kenny's work.
In the US
In 1940, the New South Wales government sent Kenny (and her adopted daughter Mary, who had become an expert in Kenny's method) to America to present her clinical method for treating polio victims to American doctors. After a sea journey from Sydney to Los Angeles and by railway to San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, back to Chicago and to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, she was given a chance to demonstrate her work in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Doctors Miland Knapp and John Pohl (who headed polio treatment centres there) were impressed, and told her that she should stay. They found an apartment for Kenny and Mary; several years later, the city of Minneapolis gave them a house. The city was Kenny's base in America for 11 years. In a 1943 letter to the British Medical Journal, Kenny noted that "there have been upwards of 300 doctors attending the classes at the University of Minnesota".
During this time, Kenny treatment centres were opened throughout America; the best-known were the Sister Kenny Institute in Minneapolis (now Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Associates), a facility in the New Jersey Medical Center and her favorite, the Ruth Home in El Monte, California. She received honorary degrees from Rutgers University and the University of Rochester and lunched with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, discussing his treatment at Warm Springs. In 1951 Kenny headed the Gallup Poll's most-admired women's list, the only woman in the first 10 years of the list to displace Eleanor Roosevelt for the #1 spot. The Sister Kenny Foundation was established in Minneapolis to support her and her work throughout the United States.
Kenny's success was controversial; many Australian doctors (and the British Medical Association) questioned her results and methodology. Dr. Raphael Cilento, who was in charge of the QHD evaluation, wrote a report that was mainly critical, but somewhat complimentary. Sister Kenny replied publicly, fiercely taking Dr. Cilento to task for his criticisms (unusual from a self-taught bush nurse at that time in Australia). This response caused a contentious relationship among Kenny, Dr. Cilento, the BMA and the Australian Medical Association (AMA). During her stay in the United States, Kenny faced many sceptical doctors and needed to get the American Medical Association's support for her method. The AMA director at that time saw her as an "ignorant quack seeking money for her own gain". Some doctors found their initial professional scepticism groundless when they saw the effects Kenny's method had on her patients (both children and adults). Kenny was the subject of American magazine articles; however, Victor Cohn (who wrote the first detailed biography of her life and work) noted that her pursuit of publicity led journalists to tire of her campaign. During her first year in Minneapolis the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP) paid her personal expenses, financing and arranging trials of her work; that support ceased, however, after a series of disagreements. Kenny was a determined and outspoken woman, which irritated the NFIP director (and many doctors).
Final Years & Death
Kenny filled her final years with journeys in America, Europe and Australia in an effort to gain further acceptance of her method. She returned home to Toowoomba in 1951, where she died of complications from Parkinson's disease on 30 November 1952. Kenny was buried beside her mother in Nobby Cemetery.
Between 1934 and her death in 1952 Kenny and her associates treated only a few thousand patients, but her methods were used to treat thousands of polio victims throughout the world. Their testimony to Sister Kenny's healing is part of her legacy, as is The Kenny Concept of Infantile Paralysis, and Its Treatment (known as the "Red Book" and written by Dr. John Pohl in collaboration with Kenny). Her most enduring legacy is the Minneapolis Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.
In Kenny's home village of Nobby the Sister Kenny Memorial House contains many artifacts from Kenny's life, a collection of documents from her private correspondence, papers and newspaper clippings. In Toowoomba, the Sister Elizabeth Kenny Memorial Fund provides scholarships to students attending the University of Southern Queensland who will dedicate themselves to work in rural and remote areas of Australia. In Townsville, her life was commemorated in 1949 by the unveiling of the Sister Kenny Memorial and Children's Playground.
Sister Kenny is referenced in the TV movie An American Christmas Carol, in which the Tiny Tim character, Jonathan, would be sent for treatment for his disability (never referred to specifically, however, as polio). Her treatments are also suggested to be the basis for Livy Walton's recovery in The Waltons' first-season episode "An Easter Story". Livy's will to walk again after polio leads her to take the chance that Kenny's methods might work.
Cartoonist and amputee Al Capp was involved with the Sister Kenny Foundation during the 1940s and 1950s. As honorary chairman Capp made public appearances on its behalf, contributed artwork for its annual fundraising appeals and entertained disabled children in hospitals with pep talks, humorous stories and sketches.
Alan Alda credits the Sister Kenny treatments he received from his mother as a young boy for his complete recovery from polio, stating in his autobiography Never Have Your Dog Stuffed that he has no question about their efficacy.
- Category: Arts and Literature
- Hits: 18260
by Bruce Dawe
Climbing the range
your ears pop like champagne
and your heart distends
with something other than relief.
You can smell the peace up here.
The proportion, the narrowness.
Traitor, traitor, whines the piano-wire voice
as you swing past the Welcome sign
To find nothing is changed.
Overhead the clouds boil past,
low, friendly, meaning no harm.
The thunder moving into position
Shortly after five o'clock is stolid
as a furniture removalist.
The lightning jerks its thumb:
Over here, Fred.
When it rains
the gutters run red
but it's innocent. Dogs and magpies
the red soil stains.
In season the currawongs in the camphor-laurels
cry like tin-shears.
(The jacarandas hang their sheets
of blue water in mid-air.)
Down James Street the semis hurtle
nightly, brutalising through the quiet
civilised dark like the Eumenides,
or conscience, or history.
Here the elderly come to convalesce
after life's anxious illness; the young
leave daily for the Cities of the Plain
where there is work (or the hope of it).
On the hillside at Drayton
the cemetery glitters like a dream;
asterisks of light
on the wind-screens of mourners' cars
Glint remotely as stars
in a heaven-deep well.
We will never get there.
This is a city which is all present:
It moves, but oh so slowly
you would have to sleep years,
waking suddenly once in a decade
to surprise it in the act of change.
Saturday night, in the main street kerb,
the angle-parked cars are full of watchers,
their feet on invisible accelerators,
going nowhere, fast.