I can’t really remember how my love affair with the Redlands started, I know I was only a very little girl when I first started coming here though. My Grandparents were the Schoeck Family, early settlers in the Mt Cotton area, my Grandfather, John Richard Schoeck, was a Foundation Student at Mt Cotton School and he always had a soft spot for this beautiful area. I remember going to a function at the School when I was very young in the Founding student’s honour and seeing pictures of him and his siblings ( My Great Aunt and Uncle) on horseback riding from their farm to school back in those heritage days. I would love to find a copy of that photo now that so much time has passed and my memory is fading. I often wonder, that if he was still alive, what he would think of his old school now and how much Mt Cotton has grown.
My own parents honeymooned in a flat at Victoria Point in the mid 1960’s as that was all they could afford to do back then but they had each other and that was all that mattered. My dad tells of stories of watching the stockman swimming the cattle across from Coochie on low tide back before then when he was a lad. I think even back then, they knew our family would always have an affinity with the area I have grown to love and cherish so much.
As children if we were not coming down here from nearby Beenleigh, where I grew up, for day trips with fishing and billy tea with my Nan and Pop on the banks of the bay around Point Talburpin from memory, we were holidaying in their on site van at the Redland Bay Caravan Park with them and my Aunts and Uncles and our cousins as well. What happy memories I have of those times. Koalas were abundant back then, look up in the big old gums and it wasn’t if you would see one, it was how many would you see.
My Uncles, young men back in those days, would take the old boat out with my Pop and pull in the crab pots which were always full and they were then cooked in a big old pot outside over an open fire under the Moreton Bay figs. I remember I used to become quite upset about them talking about putting the Jennys back, as that is my name, however I didn’t understand the difference of male and female crabs at my tender age.”Oops, that’s a Jenny, we’ll put her back” they would say, meanwhile smiling at my sad face wondering why they were releasing crabs called Jenny back to the Bay. 🙂
We would then begin the long wait of letting the crab cool down enough once they were cooked, before the sweet, delicious goodness was then sandwiched between thick hunks of deliciously fresh, soft, white bread, lashings of real butter and a little dust of pepper. Sometimes we would go for a drive to the avocado farm on the corner of School Of Arts Rd that used to be there and have avocado with them, custard apples for dessert and bananas and strawberries when they were in season. We were so spoilt with such beautiful, fresh produce, no one ever went hungry with the abundance of local goodies that the Redlands has since become quite renowned for. Such happy memories of a simpler, gentler time.
My husband and I moved to Victoria Point nearly thirty years ago now as newlyweds. We had nothing except each other, a pile of old hand me down furniture and a huge 17.5% Mortgage on a small old timber house in Thompson Street. We always had our hopes and dreams though,and so we have raised a daughter here, we have made lifelong friends here, we have made some of the happiest memories of our lives here. We have moved house three times here, all within about a one and a half kilometre radius each time which tells you something about our love for the area.
The other day I was on my daily walk at Thompson’s Beach, it was high tide, the sun was shining, the beach just looked too perfect. It stopped me in my tracks and I had this huge smile on my face looking out over our beautiful Moreton Bay towards Coochie and Straddie and the other beautiful Bay Islands. A gentleman passing by that I do see regularly on my walks, stopped and asked me what I was smiling at.. “This” I said, outstretching my arms to the view before us..”This” ” It still stops me in my tracks even after thirty years” My Beloved Redlands.. Thank you for reading. ( Photo above: The view from the Straddie Pub, a favourite destination for us).