Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Floods, Cyclones and Earthquakes Rock the City; A History of Freak Weather

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Floods, Cyclones and Earthquakes Rock the City; A History of Freak Weather

Article excerpt



WHEN his Excellency the Governor Sir Henry Wylie Norman K.C.M.G. was informed that 10 medals for gallantry and humanity in endeavouring to preserve life were to be presented by the Royal Humane Society of Australia at Ipswich on Saturday September 22, 1894 he requested that he should attend.

The medals were being presented to those who strived so hard and showed such gallantry in rescuing the Jackson family from the flooded Bremer River in February 1893.

Silver Medals were presented to John George Graham engine fitter, Sydney Webb a coach painter, James Murray police constable, James Henry Mills a moulder, all of who were from Ipswich.

They had attempted to rescue Elizabeth Jackson, Mary J Jackson a nurse and John Rowe farm labourer from drowning at Blackwell, upper Brisbane River.

Bronze Medals went to John Jeffrey, Thaddeus Jos, Brosnan engineman, Francis Reilly for rescuing Beatrice Jackson, Andrew Stirling and George Harris of Kholo for rescuing John Rowe and Mary Jackson. The medals were finally presented by Lady Norman.


In December 1894 Clement L Wragge Government meteorologist Queensland Weather Bureau, hoped to extend his system of hoisting storm signals to inland districts and the coast.

Mr Wragge's idea was to convey weather information by means of flags hoisted in prominent places.

Forecasts were issued punctually each day from the chief weather bureau in Brisbane and the telegraph lines which extended in all directions into the country were available to carry messages indicating the nature of forecasts.

If Mr Wragge's proposed system of inland signalling relied on the fact there was no reason why residents near the railway lines should not, each day, be in possession of such information.

It has been suggested that a code of railway whistles along the different lines might be instituted that would convey to those within earshot what kind of weather to expect for short periods.

Mr Wragge had done immense service to the country since he "Took charge of the weather", the splendid system which his genius has succeeded in establishing throughout Australasia is perhaps not equalled in any other part of the world.


An earthquake shock was felt in Ipswich and surrounding areas on August 28, 1883. This occurred at 3.10am but was not a severe one. Houses shook and people were awakened by the unusual sensation. In a report it was stated "The area most affected by the earthquake was Toowoomba. Ipswich had had a tremor some years earlier also. …

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