Ninety five years ago, Queensland, as is the case today, was in the grip of a devastating drought which was crippling farmers.
A report in the North Queensland Register newspaper of the day said “the continued dry weather is causing the gravest anxiety throughout the whole far north”.
It said bushfires were “raging” and the famed Barron Falls were “reduced to a trickle”.
Dire times, they were, so it was a brave person who would stick out his or her neck and declare that rain was just around the corner.
That man was Inigo Jones, who arrived in Queensland with his parents in 1884 from Surrey, England, lived his early years at Kangaroo Point and won a scholarship to Brisbane Grammar School.
In a nutshell, Jones believed that droughts and floods in Queensland were caused by sunspots brought about by the interaction of the four major planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
When the rains came as predicted, he not only became an instant hero but a weather man of substance, growing into one of the world’s pre-eminent long range weather forecaster before his death aged 82 and burial in the Peachester Cemetery on the eastern slopes of the Conondale Range in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
It is fitting then, that Jones, and the location of his last resting place, feature prominently in a new book GRAVE TALES The Bruce Highway by Helen Goltz and Chris Adams.
The book reveals the tumultuous journeys its subjects took in their lives up to their deaths and burials in cemeteries from the Sunshine Coast up through places such as Gympie, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Innisfail, Cairns and Cooktown.
It is a gem, full of interesting yarns about people (big and small) who contributed to our rich history.
There is WW1 stretcher bearer and much wounded Henry Buchanan who single-handed captured 18 Germans (including three officers) during the Battle of the Somme by threatening them with an empty bottle (which he said was a bomb).
Buchanan is buried at the Tewantin Cemetery.
There are victims,of murders most foul, mysteries galore, people killed in cyclones, in shipwrecks, and famous hoteliers all with a story to tell.
The location of their graves (with directions), is what tops this book off.
For families, school teachers and anyone who wants to dig deeper into our colorful past, GRAVE TALES: The Bruce Highway, is a rewarding read on many levels.