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Beachmere: a town rich in stories and memories


By Sheree Hoddinett

Who would have thought what was originally an idea for a walking brochure would culminate in two books diving into the stories and history of Beachmere and its residents? Following on from the success and popularity of Beachmere –Then and Now (released in May 2020 to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary), Karen Wallwork has produced another book filled with more stories and memories of the town she proudly calls home.

Beachmere Revisited went on sale in early December and was officially launched on December 22 at the Beach Shak Café with Member for Longman Terry Young and Moreton Bay Regional Council Division 2 councillor Mark Booth in attendance.

When Karen first started searching for information on Beachmere to fulfil her walking brochure idea, she didn’t have much success. It was when she spoke to other locals that the stories and history of the town started to flow and the end result was Beachmere – Then and Now. But the stories continued to flow and it meant another book was needed.

“During Beachmere – Then and Now, several names and stories cropped up during the research that I didn’t get to pursue,” Karen said. “There just wasn’t enough time to gather all the necessary information before the publishing deadline for Beachmere’s 150th anniversary. I have since delved into those early stories from Beachmere’s history that had sparked my interest and that’s how Beachmere Revisited was born!”

To date, more than 600 copies of Beachmere – Then and Now have been sold with about 200 copies of Beachmere Revisited already making their way out into the community since it arrived on December 1, 2022. Karen said there had also been interested sparked interstate and internationally.

“I’m very proud of this little community who have really put their support behind this project,” Karen said. “Correspondence from the State Library of Queensland sums it up best - ‘your publication/s will survive for the use of future generations contributing to the ongoing preservation and enrichment of Queensland heritage’. That is an awesome achievement for a small community.”

The latest publication also involved original artworks by talented members of the community. Karen said there was hope these would form the basis for an event to be potentially held mid-year in 2023.

“It’s only early stages yet.” she said. “However it’s all very exciting and along with other history events in the pipeline – watch this space.”

So after two successful ventures so far, it begs the question, will there be a third Beachmere themed book?

“Stories keep coming even when I think there is no more to tell,” Karen said. “In the back of Beachmere Revisited, there are some lined pages left blank just begging to have a story written. If I get enough of these submitted along with some photos, there could be one more.”

If you would like to secure a copy of one of these books, they can be purchased locally from Beach Shak Café and IGA Beachmere.

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