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By Siobhan O'Brien

Florence Broadhurst, the one-time chanteuse of Shanghai, Bond road salon proprietor, world-renowned wallpaper clothier and Sydney socialite lived a lifestyles steeped in subterfuge and deception. the following for the 1st time we get a glimpse on the interesting lady in the back of the hand-printed brocades.

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Her grandparents on her father’s facet lived at Sharston Mount, a distant estate 30 kilometres from Childers (located among Maryborough and Bundaberg), the place they’d been for nearly two decades. Florence’s grandfather, William Broadhurst, had taken many years to place down roots. crusing into Hervey Bay from Liverpool in 1865 along with his spouse, Elizabeth Broadhurst nee Johnson, aboard the hopefully named Golden Land had conjured up a mix of emotions. The coastline of ‘the promised land’ was once a tangle of mangroves, palm bushes, rocky outcrops and dust residences. The khaki shadows of the horizon and sea mixed jointly and the eerie define of Fraser Island rose up from the sea like a 22 Bh0936M-PressProofs. QX5 3/9/04 10:10 AM web page 23 Bookhouse starting to be up, 1899–1922 shadowy colossal. they'd to attend nineteen days sooner than they can set foot at the mainland simply because a fever had damaged out on board the Golden Land. while a central authority steamer ultimately arrived to take them to the mainland it was once too overdue for 3 in their fellow passengers. They have been buried within the sand dunes of Woody Island. just a 12 months after Florence’s grandparents arrived in Queensland, Elizabeth used to be pregnant with John, the 1st of twelve kids. invoice, Florence’s father, was once subsequent. William labored for your time in quite a few jobs—at sawmills, dairy farms and such. Then, with a turning out to be kin to feed, he joined the masses of hopefuls within the Gympie Gold Rush in 1867 earlier than settling in Kolbore, the place he begun dairying. On roads that have been little greater than bush tracks, he carted, as soon as per week, butter, eggs and bacon the 33 undulating miles (about fifty three kilometres) to Maryborough. It wasn’t lengthy ahead of William’s butter, in response to the Bundaberg day-by-day information and Mail of the time, was once ‘in renowned call for . . . because of its unrivalled excellence’. while Florence’s father, William ‘Bill’ Broadhurst, and his new bride, Margaret, moved to Mount Perry within the overdue Nineties, a railway line have been put in from Bundaberg to Mount Perry. The newlyweds were interested in the picturesque township for extra purposes than fertile soil, ample water and land supplies. Copper and gold have been came across in Mount Perry in 1869 and the sleepy 23 Bh0936M-PressProofs. QX5 3/9/04 10:10 AM web page 24 Bookhouse A existence by means of layout city, ruled by way of the verdant 750-metre top by means of a similar identify, grew to become a increase city in a single day. by the point the couple arrived, after invoice were granted land within the area—410 acres (approximately 166 hectares) at Kullogum and 873 acres (approximately 353 hectares) at Wolca—in July 1885, the town’s good fortune might be measured by way of its twenty-three lodges, 5 church buildings and a plethora of companies: butcher outlets, blacksmiths, cobblers, saddlers, storekeepers, dairies and cordial makers. Surrounding scrub farms produced pineapples, bananas, mangoes, peanuts and cotton. the realm used to be additionally outstanding livestock nation. instead of tending his personal land, invoice made up our minds to take a role as station supervisor for William Sly, the landlord of Mungy Station.

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