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Wondai Shire History

Mr Boynton's Cafeteria

Mr GTM (Tim) Boynton opened the first cafeteria in Proston and this was the town,s sole supplier of electricity until 1956 when the system was superseded by the Wide-Bay Electricity Board. Long time Brigooda resident George Rankin could recall patrons being able to purchase a three course meal for just 1/6d or tea and sandwiches for 9d at the cafeteria. Mr Boynton later constructed a garage, a movie theatre and many other buildings in the heart of Proston, installing electric lighting in Miss Gray's cafe, the post office, garage and the butchery premises of Mr J French. This supply was later extended to serve a wider section of the community and three years later, the press had claimed Mr GTM Boynton is installing two 70 hp Lister engines on his property opposite the post office. He has obtained permission to supply electric current within a radius of 300 yards of his engin. He played a large role in the establishment of the region and in the growth of the Proston community.

Wondai Hospital

Wondai Hospital was built with funds raised and arranged through the Weavers’ Group, predecessor of the Ladies Auxiliary. A modest building with 14 beds and a staff of four, it was officially opened in March 1915 by Governor of Queensland, Sir Hamilton Johan Goold-Adams.

People showed their appreciation of the new medical services by donating money or produce. The committees report of January 1926 showed that residents had donated onions, tomatoes, beans, vegetables, fowls, cream, parsley, jam and eggs. By February 1926 the hospital committee had decided to build a new ward, partly as a result of the donations they had received by this time.

By 1930 the hospital had grown to a remarkable extent. Situated on the highest part of town, the grounds took up 6 acres with separate nurses’ quarters. The building incorporated eight private wards, two men’s wards, a general and a women's ward. Equipment had been upgraded, with up to 22 patients a day being treated, although the hospital could accommodate 40 patients in an emergency.

For the nurses, life at the hospital was sometimes difficult. Lorna Rickards recalled there was no running water; the only way to get hot water to sponge the patients was from the kitchen. It was controlled by a lass, Myrtle Schultz and if you dared spill a little drop of water you had to answer to Myrtle and we were frightened of her, it was her kitchen.

The Wondai Hospital celebrated its jubilee on 2 April, 1966, (a year late) and past patients and staff recalled its early years as a 14 bed institution that had grown to 110 beds more than fifty years later. Mr Phillips of Maryborough was a guest of honour, as a small child he had been kicked by a horse and subsequently admitted to the new institution being the first patient of the Wondai Hospital.

Boondooma Station

Weathered by time and wind, Boondooma Station homestead is today, a relic of its former glory. In the front yard is the lone grave of Scottish station manager, George Munro, who died there in 1895. The station employed labourers of various nationalities and functioned profitably for most of its years. The original Boondooma homestead was erected about 1850 and was destroyed in a wind storm in 1923. In addition to the stone house which still stands today, two homesteads were built, a German migrant by the name of Moules being the main builder. A common detached kitchen was connected to the dining room by a covered way. The homestead roofs were covered with a record 25,000 split timber shingles. Some of the outbuildings built at this time would have included the meat-house, dairy, post office and jail