The true history of the Grey Wolf Award

image.pngMany years ago, just after the end of that war to end all wars came the great depression. It was a tough time for the people of Mt. Gravatt and  so the city council of the day decided they and the people of the city of Brisbane needed something to lift their spirits. And one of the greatest ways to do so was to provide a view the growing city of Brisbane from the highest mountain offering the best of views,  I refer not to Mt. Coottha, which while technically higher but offers a far inferior view) but that of Mt. Gravatt mountain. 

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And so work began on the creation of the road up Mt Gravatt Mountain. It was envisaged that by taking a tram ride to Mount Gravatt Central (also known as the Terminus but more on that later) the people could have a nice day out taking in the sights along the way as well. The ensuing construction givingthe underemployed something to do to benefit the people of Brisbane as well as  fill their bellies from the fruits of an honest days work. It was tough work, but many of those men,  returned from war and knew the value of hard-work and danger.

image.pngFor danger there was, as lurking on the mountain was a wolf that had terrorised the people of Mt. Gravatt for many years, with rumours of its existence also striking fear into the hearts of many about Brisbane in general. It is a little known fact that once the road was finally constructed many people didn’t go to the lookout for fear of the wolf.  Mt Gravatt central also become known as the Terminus, for not only was it the end of the tram line, but potentially where one might meet ones fate as well. And so it is to this day, sadly, that Mt. Coottha is where more people go to take in the air and views of Brisbane instead of Mt. Gravatt mountain, and the tram lines were eventually removed.

Over time, many about the town, thought that there wasn’t really a wolf at all, but it was instead the local graziers, who hit upon with hard times were using this as an opportunity to steal livestock from each other for the dinner table. Such was the suspicion that many in the Mt. Gravatt township would comment to each other “He’s the wolf, but in shepherds clothing”…which eventually became that saying commonly used today  ‘a wolf in sheeps clothing’

By and by the scouts of what is now the Toohey forest district took it upon themselves to find out more about this wolf. Unbeknownst to the leaders the older scouts would dare the younger scouts to venture out onto the foothills of Mount Gravatt mountain in search of the old grey wolf. This was an initiatio, a kind of test of bravery to see if they were worthy to join the scout group. Of course we don’t do these things today, because as any scout leader will tell you, there is too much paperwork and the risk assessment is a bit challenging. 

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Incidentally the only recorded sighting of the Wolf from this time was by a young lad Charles Victor from the Greenslopes Scout Group. He went on to become quite a well known scout in Australia, with the group Victor scouts on Victor street in Ho;land Park being named in his honour.

In the years that followed legend of the Grey Wolf (because he must have been very old by then) became ritual in all the Toohey forest scout groups, as a rite of passage for the young cubs. Cubs being the name for those wanting to join the local group but hadn’t paid their subs yet. 

Now like all good organisations, when management hears of something popular it is essential it is claimed as their own idea. And so Scouts Queensland hearing about this, told Scouts Australia all about it. After 6 committee meeting, 2 special resolutions, a special funding round and a letter to the Queen the ‘search for the grey wolf’ became an official part of the scouting movement, by turning it into a badge……and who doesn’t love a badge…am I right?

So cubs, if you missed out on the search for the Bulimba Creek Bunyip and if you want to find out more about the real Grey Wolf Award join Matthew on his Grey Wolf Award hike as he sets out, like the scouts of old did,  to find the secret of Grey Wolf and maybe even his lair. Details TBA

 

PS We got our friend Scotty from Marketing to help write this, so you know its all true 😉 No animals were harmed in this recounting of the aural history of Mt. Gravatt

 

Further reading and image credits

https://mtgravattmansfield.qld.lions.org.au/mtgravatthistory

https://www.mustdobrisbane.com/outdoors-parks-parks-z-lookouts/mt-gravatt-lookout-mt-gravatt

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:StateLibQld_2_166695_Children_walking_along_Creek_Road,_Mount_Gravatt,_Brisbane

Pay day

Local member Joe Kelly was very happy to present us with our Gambling Community Benefit Grant at the first Scout night for the term. What a great way to start the semester – thank you to Joe and to our hard working committee.

Cub mythbusters..in search of the bunyip

 

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This Sunday, after the warm up act ( a full day at the Cub Leadership Course), intrepid Cubs from the Victor Scout Group, under the mature leadership of some Grey Wolf candidates, sought out the mystery of the Bulimba Creek Bunyip .  As anyone that’s ever watched a monster movie knows,  “you should never stray from the path”, but that’s just what these Cubs did, heading off track and across the long disused ‘troll bridge’.

 

Seeking safe passage across the usually calm waters of Bulimba Creek, made all the more treacherous by the recent torrential 12mm of rain experience earlier in the week.

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With nary a dry eye (from the sheer terror), nor a dry foot from the passage, it was soon accomplished.

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With a cheerful salute they headed on their way and were soon lost amongst the mulga. September is the beginning of Spring, when many of God’s creatures stir from their slumber. All too soon amongst the long grass a cry of “snake” rang through the air and rippled through the pack. The orderly procession soon gave way to chaos … for fear of missing out.

 

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All to soon, and still on a jelly snake sugar high, a potential bunyip sighting by one of the members of the band had everyone scurrying to the river bank in haste; however, with Baloo (the bear) getting there first, we think its cowardly nature shone through, leaving nothing but ripples in its wake.

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By this time enthusiasm was waning, with the energy high from the consumption of said snakes long since passed, so the merry band converged on Wolf Rock to regroup, seek guidance from the spirit of Akela, and plot the way forwards.

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Luckily a path was located and passage continued, entering a glade not unlike that frequented by Robert of Locksley, within which a magnificent tree with low branches enticed the Cubs into its arms (well beyond the reach of responsible adults).

 

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And it was here within “the story tree”, that the legend of the Bulimba Creek Bunyip  was retold by the leader of today’s adventure, its retelling striking enthusiastic waves of apathy, the like of which hasn’t been seen since before the school lunch bell on a Friday afternoon. And yet all the same, bringing a sense of dread and creating within each member such a thirst that could only be quenched by … half time oranges. “Why does someone’s parent always have to bring fruit?” a younger one cried, but they ate them anyway.

And so, as the sun dipped below the trees, all too soon it was time to be heading home and thinking about polishing shoes for school tomorrow.

Alas dear reader, with no definitive sighting, the legend of the bunyip remains unverified, but seems to be a definite possibility of a maybe. Perhaps as the legend grows, it’s just waiting for another generation of Cubs to discover it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The legend of the Bulimba creek Bunyip

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Bunyip (from Australian National Library collection)

With an upcoming Victor Cub Scouts Grey Wolf walk planned along Bulimba creek, it was thought some local history might be a useful reflection. In the process we uncovered the legend of the Bulimba Creek Bunyip…

 

Many years ago, before the lands of Mansfield, Carindale and Belmont were populated with houses they were set aside for grazing of cattle, and the growing of sugar cane. To support this work in the suburb of Carindale and along the shores of the creek that passed through the area was an abattoir for the preparing of meat for the inhabitants of the new town of Brisbane’s consumption. The by products of which drew various carrion and scavenger animals, including the Bunyip. 

Many at this time thought the legend of the Bunyip from the indigenous peoples of the surrounding areas to be something to frighten small children into emptying the chamber pots at night and not to ask for an extra serving of bread and dripping at dinner time. 

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Bunyip skull by Henry Dowling, John MurrayReproduced from The Tasmanian Journal of Natural Scienc

Around this time the founding mayor of the City of Brisbane, William Jolly had a prized bull that was to be put out for stud along the creek. This bull was amongst the largest ever seen, with the Brahmin bull not yet being seen on our fair shores. You see this was around the beginning of Australia’s reputation as a legendary cattle producer. By all accounts the bull was a productive member of the herd, however as fate would have it it simply disappeared one day. 

All the known cattle rustlers of the day were rounded up in an effort to locate the prize bull, however to no avail. It is though that it was at this time that the most dangerous cattle rustlers made their escape, including the famous Captain Thunderbolt who fled to the interior around the granite belt and Tenterfield regions.

In due course the remains of the bull were found down near the bank of the creek, after some loud noises were heard one night . Of course no one approached, for fear of the legend of the terrible Bunyip had again gained prominence. A young boy named Arthur Scurr (who went on to start a well known hardware store) was said to have seen a terrible creature whilst fishing by the shores of the creek the day before and he bravely approached the scene the next day.

Bull in Bunyip” he declared to all that would listen and this soon became accepted fact  as the remains when finally examined bore the marks of huge teeth upon it. By and by the story faded somewhat and the fishing area became known as ‘Bull in Bunyip’ to the local boys. Eventually as all boys do, they grew up, some becoming future civic leaders, when the area formally became part of the City of Brisbane. That favourite fishing hole, which is still there today (for those that dare look), became known simply as Bull-in-Ba  and the creek that flowed through it eventually becoming known as Bulimba creek.

And so this is the story of how Bulimba creek got its name, by way of a big load of bull!

References:

Scurr brothers –  http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2006/05/19/1641487.htm

Mayors of Brisbane – https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-information-rates/council-history/brisbanes-lord-mayors

Captain Thunderbolt – http://www.guidetoipswich.com.au/experience-south-east-queensland/64-donnellys-castle-captain-thunderbolt-s-hideout

A History of Bulimba Creek Valley – http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/belmont.history/history.htm

About Bunyips –  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunyip

$10 Woolworths Wish gift card with Entertainment Book purchase

Now is the time to buy your Entertainment Book. Buy now through our payment page – https://www.entertainmentbook.com.au/orderbooks/2231g18 and enter GIFTWISH in the promo code to receive a free $10 Woolworths Wish card. This will automatically be sent to your inbox within 48 hours. Get in quick – the last offer was sold out within 12 hours!

Remember once you’ve purchased an Entertainment Book or digital membership you can order unlimited Wish cards at 5% off until June 1 2019. You can also buy discounted vouchers for David Jones, BCF, and many more places.

Major Raffle Time – First and Second prize announcement

Make sure you get your tickets in the Victor Scouts Major Raffle.

First Prize

We thank @joekellymp for his support for our Scout Group and sponsoring our first prize of a bed and breakfast package at Spicer’s Retreat.

Tickets are available at: www.raffletix.com.au/?ref=4hc4y

Second Prize

Do not miss your opportunity to experience a total rush in a 4WD Off Road Buggy.  Get your tickets in the Victor Scouts Major Raffle.

Tickets are available at: www.raffletix.com.au/?ref=4hc4y

Thanks to @offroadrush for the sponsorship of our second prize.”

Anzac Day adventures

The ANZAC Spirit is strong with Victor Scouts. After a sleepover for Scouts and Venturers – maybe with more “over” than sleep – in which 3 wreaths were made, ANZAC Day started with a parade at 6am to present 3 cords – a blue Explorer level cord to Aidan and Red Pioneer level cords to Elena and Ben. Then was the Annual Holland Park March and cooking sausages to feed the hungry crowd.