Stratford – Subdivision of Lily Bank farm, 1887.

November 22nd, 2009

Everyone listening to historian Dave Phoenix talk at the launch will be interested in the 1887 advertisment he read from the Cairns Post for the subdivision of Lily Bank.

Cairns auctioneer and flambouyant character, John Macnamara, advertised the sale thus;

Lily Bank is beautiful, and the winding Barron with all its stillness and picturesqueness, passes within 150 yard of the gentle slope on which Lily Bank is situated.
Sam Cochrane Esq, who owns this Heavenly spot, is only parting with portion of it owning to the number of enquires from people to be allowed to build here.
The rural rusticity of the primeval bush will soon be no more; but in its place will rear the civilised residences of health-givers and health-seekers.
Remember that Lily Bank is the sanatorium resort. Consumption, heart disease, lung and nervous disorders vanish in the balmy atmosphere of Lily Bank.
This truly beautiful spot, acknowledged as such by everyone who visits the locality, will eventually become the summer resort of the busy hives of workers escaping from the toil and heat attending those whose duties keep them in the town of Cairns itself.
Cairns as a large city will be impossible to live in on account of the marshes at the back of it, but Lily Bank’s breezy heights of health will burst forth with floral beauties of which the horticultural gardens of the world might be proud.
The beauty of its grassy knolls, watered y the refreshing dew of mountain purity, renders the locality free from unsanitary and debilitating conditions of the populous and  low-lying districts of Cairns.
The investment in Lily Bank is a perpetual lottery, with a certainty of prizes and whoever becomes owner of any part of this estate, will, in a few short years, bless the day he was born.

Cairns Post, 14 May 1887.

Steve Wettenhall, MP for Barron River.

November 22nd, 2009


Steve Wettenhall, MP Member for Barron River and Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, represented the Premier Anna Bligh at the Stratford Heritage Trail Launch, acknowledging the commitment and energy that Dave Phoenix brought to this project, he has astonished everyone by the significant and intriguing stories he has unearthed.

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Congratulating the SAFCA Heritage Trail team on their dedication and the many voluntary hours that have contributed to producing a lasting cultural and recreational resource.It is a great example of what Q150 is all about celebrating Queensland’s 150th anniversary.

A message from the Mayor, Cr Val Schier, following the successful launch.

November 22nd, 2009


Can I congratulate the Stratford and Freshwater Community Associaton for the wonderful work done in completing both the Freshwater and Stratford Heritage Trails.

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The interpretive signage and the trails are a very valuable addition to both the local neighbourhood and also the broader community.  The trails would not have occurred without the initiative, determination, persistence and hard work of your committee.

I am aware that there were frustrations at times but I am sure that you all can now feel very satisfied that you have completed a significant piece of work.  Well done to all involved.

You are the people who help to build community and social cohesion.  Keep up the good work and please pass on my congratulations to all your members.

Historic Stratford artefacts displayed at the launch.

November 22nd, 2009

Billy Jagar's King-Plate

November 22nd, 2009


Jeanette Singleton, Yirrangydji; Dave Phoenix, Research Historian; and Cr Margaret Cochrane, Deputy Mayor and Division 8 Councillor, at the Stratford Heritage Trail launch on

Saturday 21 November 2009.

Celebrating the launch of the Stratford Heritage Trail

November 22nd, 2009

The Stratford Heritage Trail and website were officially launched at the Stratford Library on Saturday 21 November. Thank you to all who shared the fun and excitement and to all of the official speakers.

To the dedicated volunteers who setup, packed down and provided afternoon tea, thank you.

Many thanks to Councillor Cochrane for the wonderful cake, enjoyed by all.

Over 100 people joined SAFCA at the official opening with some travelling from other suburbs to catch up with friends they’d made while living in Stratford. Others came to enjoy sharing memories of their dancing days at Boyd’s Dance Hall or just to catch up with neighbours not seen for a while with our busy lifestyles.

Thank you to all who attended and made it such a memorable event.

Stratford Heritage Trail launch.

October 11th, 2009

Opening of the Stratford Heritage Trail

Saturday 21st November 2009

Stratford Library, Stratford, 2.00pm.

Please join Stratford and Freshwater Community Association (SAFCA) and other guests in celebrating the opening of the Stratford Heritage Trail at 2.00 pm on Saturday, 21 November 2009 at the Stratford Library.

There are 28 historic sites with signage and we were surprised at the depth of history in our area with stories of crossing the Barron River to access Cairns, industry including rice mills, timber mills and ship building as well as local carnivals, the picture theatre and other entertainment.

The history of each of the sites, as well the map of the trail will be available on Using the blog we’ll be able to continue to collect and share Stratford history. Through Q150, Cairns Regional Council and the sponsorship of local business, organisations, residents and SAFCA members we have a lasting cultural and recreational resource that will continue to foster community sprit, inclusiveness and pride in our suburb.

Q150 Stratford Heritage Trail Workshop 14 March 2009

April 11th, 2009

Look  out for the train !!!!

Community Forum – 4th April 2009

March 22nd, 2009

Stratford History & Heritage Trail


Saturday 4th April 2009

Stratford Bowls Club, Stratford.

2.30 pm – 5.00 pm.

All are welcome
and we look forward to seeing you there !!!
For more information, please email

heritage_trail @

Stratford Community Forum I

March 22nd, 2009

The first Community Forum for the development of the Stratford History and Heritage Trail was held at the Stratford Bowls Club on Saturday afternoon, 14 March 2009.

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We had a good turn out with many people expressing an interest in the project and several people brought old photographs and newspaper articles along with them.

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The meeting was opened by Steve Wettenhall, MP for Barron River, who wished us well with our endeavours to record the heritage of the area. Cairns Regional Council Deputy Mayor, Councillor Margaret Cochrane, also addressed the meeting and then spent the afternoon with us scanning photographs and recording local histories.  We then heard from Angela Murphy who has designed the neighbouring Freshwater Heritage Trail. After eighteen months the Freshwater project is nearing completion and Angela had many ideas and suggestions to help us. Dave Phoenix, consulting historian spoke about the value of this project for the community and then displayed maps and photographs outlining some of the heritage sites in the area.

We were kept busy scaning photographs and s before meeting briefly at the end of the afternoon to compare notes and discuss ideas for the next forum.

Scanning photographs and recording local histories.

The next meeting will be on Saturday 4th April 2009 at 2.30pm at the Stratford Bowls Club. All are welcome to attend, and once again, bring your memories, stories, photographs and recollections along.