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Braided Channels of History Recording & Transcript - 03 - 02 of 03 (Raw)

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Interviewer Respondent
IN 00:00:00 OUT 00:22:02
Trish FitzSimons
Bid Campbell
Griffith Film School
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03 - 02 of 03
Recorded 2 June 2000 Updated 15 December 2009. Timecode refers to tapes 03_BC_DV Topics in Bold
Braided Channels of History Recording & Transcript - 03 - 02 of 03
Alcohol Gender Relations
PTB Refers to Part B of Tape 03.
Recorded creative work created by permission of the copyright holder. Copyright in individual works within this collection belongs to their authors or publishers.
Elizabeth Campbell
Interview with Elizabeth 'Bid' Campbell. Tape 01 of 03 Some sound issues when Bid coughs. Sound issues close to the end, resulting in a timecode break
part of:
Braided Channels of History Recording & Transcript - 03 - 02 of 03
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03_BC_DV_PTB_CAMPBELL-raw.txt — 21 KB

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                       INTERVIEW WITH BID CAMPBELL
                              Recorded 2 June 2000
                           Updated 15 December 2009.
                        Timecode refers to tapes 03_BC_DV
                                  Topics in Bold

                  I = Interviewer                      R = Respondent


I        We’re partially in camera tape 3, it’s 2 June 2000, it’s Trish FitzSimons
         sound recording, Erica Addis on camera. We’re interviewing Bid
         Campbell in her house in Mt Isa, and this is the Channels of History
         project.     (Tape 03_BC_DV)

         00:09:13:12    What I’d like you to start by doing, Bid, is telling me when
         you were born and your name when you were born, and where you were

R        00:09:22:06    I was born in Winton in 1917, 28 February, and was called
         Elizabeth. It’s the only name I have. Mum had run out of names, I think, so
         I got one name. Dad’s special I was.

I        00:09:41:20    So Elizabeth who?

R        00:09:52:19    Just Elizabeth McGlinchy. That was my parents’ surname.

I        Now I’ve just got a moment of interruption there. Just tell me your name

R        Elizabeth Campbell … Elizabeth McGlinchy. I’m Elizabeth Campbell now
         but …

I        I’m just going to adjust this.

         Okay, Bid, I’d love you to tell me where and when you were born and what
         your name was when you were born.

R        00:10:07:16    I was born in Winton on 28 February 1917 and I was called
         Elizabeth McGlinchy, my parents’ surname.

I        And where did you come in the family?
R   Marriage
    00:10:23:00        I was … my brother and sister were twins, they were the first
    McGlinchy family, but before that Mum had been married before and the she
    had three children in the Robinson family – two boys and a girl. And then
    she married my father and she had twins, Carrie and Brian, and then I was
    the third child.

I   So your eldest siblings had the name of Robinson but you were from the
    second family?

R   Childhood
    00:11:00:06        Yeah, second family. So then there was … well I think we
    came out to Macsland in 1917 because I was the baby and I can’t, you know,
    I know Mum said I was very small when they came to Maxland. And, well I
    grew up there more or less and, you know, in the bad years. In those years
    there was no money, there was nobody, there was no money, you got no
    money for wool.                           You more or less … Mum used to make
    butter   and take        it   into   Boulia   and   sell it   to   the   hotel   and
    with the groceries, like that.

    And as for schooling, well we didn’t get very much of a schooling because in
    those days the teacher used to come out, have lessons, and then six months
    later he’d come back and view what you did and, of course, you only had
    your parents to teach you – Mum – and she had everything else, like we
    ended up, she ended up having seven McGlinchy children and so she had her
    hands full and we lived in a bower                  shed. It was a big bower shed,
    dirt floor. I think the kitchen area was uh, the kitchen was sort of made of
    tins. It must have been …                              00:12:20:16

I   Like petrol tins or something like that?

R   00:12:23:14        Well, no, it was more sheets of tin, more, you know, tin. It
    was sheets of iron. And um but your windows were sort of, you pushed ‘em
    out and you put a stick there, you know, held them up like that,
    you windows went, and then when you had … I think, I can remember our
    beds were made of green hide.

I   What’s green hide?

R   Education
    00:12:48:16    That’s bullock hide. Made out of bullock hide. And we used
    to, they were made with four, four forky sticks, like that, you know, on each
    end, and there was a big cross like that, and another one went down there and
    this green hide was sort of strapped over it and punched it, or whatever they
    used in those days. And when it rained, of course, green hide would shrink,
    like hobbles for horses were made out of green hide. It was, you know, used
    for lots of (?) and we used to hate the rain. We used to think, ‘Oh, we’ve got
    terrible hard beds’, you know.      That’s how we lived, I mean, I can’t
    remember ever being terribly mistful in any way, you know, we had a good
    life. We used to clear out, of course, when the teacher came. We’d make
    sure that we weren’t around. He wouldn’t catch us because half the time we
    didn’t do our work. There was no work done so we’d get into trouble over
    that.          00:13:50:02

I   You say your family moved to Maxland.

R   That was the property …

I   Now I think that was the soldier

R   Yes, it was, yes. After the war.

I   After the First World War?

R   Yes, First World, yeah.

I   So, had your father been in the First World War?

R   Land/Title
    00:14:05:16    No, my older brother, step-brother Charlie Robinson.        He
    drew it. He drew the block but he drew it for Mum because Mum had the
    money and the stock and he was just come back from the war. So it was
    really her property but it was in his name and in later years they drew another
    block up on the Georgina and they swapped that with Charlie for Maxland,
    so he got the other block.                         00:14:30:18

I   So Charlie drew Maxland in a ballot and your parents moved onto Maxland

R   Yes.

I   … but when later they got another block, they gave it to Charlie?

R   Yes, as payment.

I   Were you selectors? Is that what you called a selection?

R   Land/CC Environment

    00:14:50:06    Yes. Yes. Yes, selections, that’s all they were. They were
    only, they were really starvation blocks of, I think, 15,000 acres which isn’t a
    living area in this country, because you’re out, you know, it’s not like down
    there in Sydney and around there, you know, on the coast you get regular
    rain and out here you don’t, see. You might go years and get two or three
    inches and that would be it, like, and then you’d have a drought.

I   So you mostly had comfortable beds but no rain?

R   00:15:18:02    No rain. Mmmm. And there must have been about … the
    first I can remember was going to Boulia when I must have been about four,
    four-year-old or five-year-old, and that was the … June would probably
    know when her grandmother was married.             I did have photos but I
    and she’d be able to tell, and I can remember Aboriginals and the corroboree
    down on the river.

I   This was the Georgina River?

R   History/Race Relations

    00:15:48:10    No, this was the Burke River, the river that goes through
    Boulia. And they used to corroboree down on a big waterhole. They called
    it The One Mile. And, of course, I’d never heard that sort of noise and it sort
    of stuck in my mind and that was the corroboree, the blacks’ corroboree. But
    now I see in the tourist books they used to corroboree out on the Stanley
    Ridges. I can’t remember any Aboriginals out on Stanley Ridges.

I   So when you say you’d never heard that sort of noise. Tell me what you
    remember about that corroboree.

R   00:16:21:00     Oh, you know how they go on with the funny noises they
    made and, you know, well I couldn’t really, it’s like a sort of a sing-song sort
    of a noise, and crying sort of, like when the death, when anyone died they’d
    have that same sort of thing go on. So, you know, what the noise was I really
    can’t remember that much, but I can remember a terrible racket, you know,
    that went on.

I   And what would your parents have told you about that noise, or told you
    about …?

R   00:16:54:02     They just said that was the Aboriginals’ corroboree down on
    the river. And because Dad had been a drover, he’d heard it many times. I
    don’t think Mum had heard it that much because I don’t think there was very
    many Aboriginals around Winton where she came to. See, she came out to
    Winton from England.

I   Now how did your mother land up in Winton? I’m interested in that story.

R   00:17:17:20     Well, she came out from England to Townsville but we
    always thought she was, you know, sent out, you know, as a convict, but
    when we went investigating and found out that she was, she came out and
    paid her passage, her own passage out, and she got a job at Stanton Hill with
    a doctor. And she stayed, I think, about six months in Townsville and then
    she wanted to come out west, and she came out west. I think she was on the
    first train to Winton and that’s how she come to Winton, out there.

I   And I think there was a story, wasn’t there, wasn’t she going to go to a
R   Yes, she was.

I   Could you tell us that story?

R   00:17:58:00     Yes. She was to go down to this property at Diamantina … I
    think it was Diamantina Lakes, down below Winton, on the Diamantina, and
    when she got, she had to go by horseback because in those days you had no
    buggies or anything and this mailman just had horses, so she rode a horse to
    the Diamantina Lakes, which was a fair way. I’m not too sure of the distance
    but there was a few hundred miles.

I   Several hundred kilometres, yes.

R   Gender Relations/Female Publicans

    Mmmm, yes, yes, easy. 00:18:27:20 And when she got there, the mailman
    said, ‘There’s only men here’. See, she didn’t know that there was only men
    and she said, ‘I’ll stay overnight’. He was to leave and go back, to be on his
    way back, and he said, ‘Well stay overnight and if you don’t like it,’ he said,
    ‘I’ll take you back to Winton’ which she didn’t’, wouldn’t stop because he
    thought, you know, she was only a young girl and all men, though probably
    in those days they were all gentlemen, not like today. But she went back to
    Winton and got a job in Winton and stayed there until she married Robinson
    and then, of course, he died on the Winton road. You’ve probably seen his,
    you see the sign if you go out Winton way, into his grave. And she had three
    children and he died and she sold the horses and, you know, the wagon and
    bought the 20 Mile Hotel. 00:19:26:10

I   Your mother did?

R   00:19:28:02     Mmmm. And that was a stop for a mail change in the old
    Cobb & Co days. Every twenty miles there was a mail change and she run
    that and that’s where she met my father. It was a good hotel.

I   So she would have been a very young woman …

R   Very young.
I   … when she was buying this hotel.

R   Yes.

I   What year do you think this would have been and about how old would she
    have been?

R   00:19:50:10    Oh. She was about 18, I think. She was 17, I think, when she
    came out to Australia, so she was married when she was 18, and I think
    Charlie was nine when Robinson died. About nine or ten, I think, that’s the
    oldest boy. So she would have been in her early twenties. She wouldn’t
    have been in her late twenties. And well she had to rear the children, I mean,
    you got no help in those days.

I   I’m very interested in women in pubs out in the Channel Country because
    clearly the pubs were very important, weren’t they. They were the banks and
    the mail change.

R   Pubs/Childbirth
    00:20:30:15    Oh, yes. That was the mail change. Yeah, yeah. Plus where
    people stayed. That’s the only accommodation you had. And she had her
    first child, I think, at … it was a mail change. She sold that, this was before
    she bought the pub, when Charlie was born. He was born at Richard’s Creek
    on the Winton road, and I think that was a mail change, but it’s not there
    now. But probably if you look through some of the archives in Winton, it
    probably was a mail change. And she had her first child there. She, I think
    she was three days in labour with just a midwife, you know, but Charles was
    born anyway and she survived. Then she had a daughter.

I   So if she was running the pub after her first husband had died, she must have
    been quite a tough character, your mother?

R   Oh, she was. 00:21:19:16 My word. She had plenty of backbone. Nobody
    put anything over on her. Very fair, very fair woman, but no, she wouldn’t
    stand anyone … she’d stand up for her rights.
I   Am I right that women and Aboriginal people couldn’t go into pubs but that
    the pubs were often run by women?

R   Run by women. 00:21:41:00 Yes, that’s right. Oh, no, even when I was a
    girl, you didn’t go into a hotel. The first person I ever saw sittin’ at the bar in
    Boulia was a matron, Matron Faulkner, Ellie Faulkner. She used to go in.
    She was an English matron and she’d been in Australia a long time, but oh,
    she was as tough as anything old Ellie, you know. She’d do anything and go
    anywhere. And she’d go in there and line up with the men and drink with
    ‘em. And we used to think, ‘Fancy Ellie going into that pub’ but now
    everyone goes into a pub.                            00:22:12:08

I   So with your Mum, as a young woman running this pub, how do you think
    she handled that because as an 18-year-old, if she’d run away from a station
    full of men, in the pub … ?

R   00:22:26:08    Yes. I suppose she got toughened. See, she was only a young
    English girl when she came out, you know, she wouldn’t be very wise, would
    she? But she learnt, you know, how to look after herself after that, I think.
    No, she managed. She managed.

I   I’ve heard stories about a Mrs Craigie who used to run a pub in Boulia.

R   00:22:50:08    I can’t find a Craigie ever running a pub in Boulia. I can’t
    find a Craigie. I’ve got my brother’s book that was written on Boulia, the
    early days of Boulia. I’ll let you take that and have a look at it.

I   I’d be very interested to have a look and I’ll have to go obviously and do
    some more research but one of the stories about that Mrs Craigie was …

R   Who would that be?

I   Well I heard about Mrs Craigie from her niece Patricia Hodgkinson who’s
    about your age now. And what Patricia said is that the men would come
    back from droving and have a cheque and they would give the cheque to her
    aunt to sort of drink and eat at the pub and when the cheque was gone, she’d
    say, ‘See you’.
R   Mmmm. They used to do that too. True.

I   What did your mother tell you about that?

R   Droving/Alcohol
    00:23:49:18    Well, she was more in the mail change, I think, see. There
    wasn’t such a great stream of drovers that would go through Boulia. Like,
    see, all the big mobs of cattle would come down from the Territory, come
    through Boulia, that was the, where you went through like. That was the …
    they’d come down the Georgina, or they’d come down the Burke, into
    Boulia, and then go whichever, like down Adelaide way or Winton way, and
    that was the main place for the drovers. Like when I was at Strathalbert at
    Macsland there’d be, you know, mobs of 1,500 in a mob droving, being
    droving with one                drovers, so those days are all gone, of course.
    And then I suppose the men would just drink, get finished their jobs and
    drink their money. But a lot of them wouldn’t. A lot of them were just
    drunkards, like, that’s the way they lived.        00:24:46:00

I   So this 20 Mile Pub that your Mum ran, what was the closest town, do you

R   Winton. Winton.

I   Winton. So it was 20 miles out from Winton?

R   00:24:55:04    Out from Winton, along the Winton road, yes. 20 Mile. It
    was there … I can remember it was still remains of it when my children were
    going to school, because once we were going into Winton and putting them
    on the train and it was, you could still see part of the dam, where they’d built
    a dam, still was there so … but everything else was gone. It’s like the Min
    Min Hotel, see, that’s another hotel, what they call the Min Min Light,
    there’s the Min Min Hotel.

I   So your Mum must have had a bit of money from her first husband.

R   00:25:27:10    Oh, she did after she sold the horses and wagon and
    everything, she had a bit of money. And then Charlie, she sent Charlie had a
    fair education. He went away to Nudgee. Mum was a great believer in
    education and there was a man, he was running the Borbridge Hotel, no
    store, in Middleton, and he gave Charlie a job when he came back from the
    what’s-a-name, the …

I   First World War?

R   No, when he came back from school, from …

I   Nudgee.

R   00:26:02:02     Nudgee College. And he worked for Borbridge in Winton, in
    Middleton, and then he got a job in Winton, and that’s where he met his wife,
    in Winton. She was an English girl too.

I   So going back to your childhood, then, you were on Maxland, which was this

R   Mmmm.

I   Had it been part of a big station?

R   00:26:25:00     Yes. Yes, Winton. And Warenda. Warenda was from the
    Hamilton, oh well right the other side of the Hamilton, right out as far as Min
    Min Hotel, I think, where the old Min Min Hotel was. Right back to Boulia.
    And that was all part of Woorinda.

I   I know in some parts of Australia that the squatters who were on the stations
    resented the people …

R   Oh, they did.

I   … that were on the selections. They didn’t want to sell that land.

R   Yes.

I   Do you want to just talk to me a little bit about that?
R   Land/Class
    00:27:00:10    Yeah, there was one incident with my mother. They took up
    Maxland and the overseer on one of the outstations of Warenda, Goodwin,
    which they ended up owning in later years, and he … there was a waterhole
    on Macsland and Mum was trying to keep it there for her own stock and he
    was sort of, he was letting the cattle all come in onto it, and she would hunt
    them away and chase them on, and he cracked his whip around her and said,
    ‘I’ll see you carry your swag, you ground life’ and she said, ‘I’ll see you
    carry your swag, Lily’ and she sure did see him when the Depression came.
    He did carry his swag and she was still on Maxland, so she had her revenge.
    And, no, they resented, yes, they didn’t like that country being taken off

I   So it sounds, as you’re describing your mother here, it doesn’t sound at all
    like that the land was just your father’s business and she was just in the

R   No, no.

I   It sound like she was …

R   Gender Relations

    00:28:08:00    She was the boss. Dad was Irish. Says everything, doesn’t it?
    Yes, he was Irish, Dad. Dad would take … Dad trusted everyone. He
    thought everyone was good. Mum didn’t. Mum used to say, ‘You’ve got to
    know people before you know them’.

I   What else did your Mum say? I’m interested in mothers’ sayings. What
    were the things your mother told you to guide you in the world?

R   00:28:35:20    Oh, she told, she used to always say there was no such thing
    as ‘can’t’. No such word. She’d say it didn’t matter what you were doing,
    you did your best. And that was it. You couldn’t get, you couldn’t slack off,
    you just had to keep trying.

I   And so it was sheep that you ran on Maxland?
R   Women’s Work

    00:28:56:06    Mmmm. She used to ride to Winton to do business. She used
    to get on her horse and ride to Winton. Now that was three hundred and
    something miles. I don’t know what it is in kilometres but that was miles in
    her days and she’d be away a week. She’d ride the first horse to ahhh Min
    Min, not Min Min, Lucknow Station, and then she’d get a fresh horse there
    and ride on to Middleton, and then get a fresh horse at Middleton and then on
    to the next station, get a fresh horse there and she’d bring those horses back,
    see, and eventually come back to her own horse.

I   And who would look after you while your mother was away?

R   00:29:37:14    Well, once my brother Charlie looked after us, and we were
    very pleased to see Mum coming back because I think the only thing Charlie
    could make was spotted rice pudding. I don’t know what that is today. I
    can’t say I ever want to see it or know it after Charlie finished. We were so
    pleased to see Mum come back because Charlie, that’s the only thing he
    could make, was this sort of, it was a rice, boiled rice and put currants in it, I
    think, and sugar and whatever. It was terrible stuff anyway.

I   And that’d be dinner?

R   00:30:09:18    That’d be our meal. Mum cooked up a lot of food, you know,
    bread and stuff that would keep, but we ran out, of course, before she got

I   And how about your Dad? What would he be doing while this was going

R   00:30:23:22    Oh, well now where was Dad once? He also had, he had a
    wagon he used to cart wool to Selwyn. That was the big mining town in
    those days. He used to go up there and bring loading back from Selwyn. He
    must have been away because Dad wasn’t there. He probably was away on
    one of these, with his wagon.        That’s how, you know, we got money.
    Otherwise there would be no money.
I   Come the late twenties there was a big drought, wasn’t there…

R   Yes.