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Early Family

Text by Daphne Gibbs (nee) Early, daughter of William George Early and Florence Mabel Early; granddaughter of George Early and Ann Bertha Early.

Their family in order of their ages were:

  • Florence Early married William Drew
  • Beatrice Early married Leigh Verney
  • Elsie Early married John Atkins
  • George Early married Florence Mabel Willis
  • Norman Early married Leonie Robins

I have no knowledge of my grandfather as he died when my father was only nineteen. I do know my grandmother was Annie Bertha Bick. I do know that her mother, my great grandmother, had a little shop with a dwelling attached on Bowen Bridge Road where the Women's Hospital now stands. I can dimly remember going there. There was a little courtyard garden at the back. My mother was the daughter of Charles Willis and his wife who died when I was too young to remember. I remember my maternal grandfather though. He was Shire Clerk when Chermside was in the Kedron Shire.

They live on the top of the hill adjoining Marchant Park. The Shire Office was attached to the house. My mother was a shorthand typist and worked in the city of Brisbane. She had to be taken by horse and sulky to the Woolowin train station to travel to work. There was horse drawn buses but I'm not sure how far in they travelled. The horse bus stables were across the road from the Aspley Hotel. The ground there seemed to be lower than the road.

Our home was a lovely old Queenslander beside the shop on top of the hill on Gympie Road. It was originally on the Hamilton Road corner approximately where the bus station is at the Chermside Shopping Centre. It originally belonged to my father inherited from his parents. My father and mother were still living in the old home on the hill when Allen & Stark opened the drive-in shopping centre in 1956.

They had sold the shop then and later sold the house and built a smaller one at Enoggera. The little timber Methodist Church which was on the Banfield Street corner was moved down through the paddock to the corner behind the present brick one. I started Sunday School when it was on the Banfield Street corner.

There was only my brother Colin and myself in our family. Colin very sadly passed away around 1951 or 52. His family consisted of two girls. Therefore there was nobody in my father's part of the Early family to carry on the name.

Our old home is out on Albany Creek Road now. Somebody bought it and moved it. They also moved one staircase from the front. We had a set of stairs each side of the front porch. When first moved I was pleased to see they had left its name on it "Wynola".

May 2001

The Early Family Car
ca 1910: W.G.Early and family, the first car in district, Belsize; Registration number A125; Mr George Early is seen here driving the vehicle with members of the Early family; on a later occasion Mr Early was killed when cranking the vehicle which had been left in gear. The engine started and the vehicle lurched over him. (Photo Joan Hamilton)

Newspaper article on the wedding of Miss Florence Annie Early - 13 July 1907

"The marriage of Mr. Frederick William Drew, second son of the late Mr. S. Drew and of Mrs. Drew, Sandgate, with Miss Florence Annie Early, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Early, Chermside, took place at the Chermside Methodist Church on 13th instant, the Rev. William dinning officiating. The church was very prettily decorated for the occasion by the girl friends of the bride. An arch of ferns was erected, and from it was suspended a wedding bell of bridal flowers. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a becoming gown of silk Eolienne over a slip of silver tissue, the bodice having a square yoke of guipure lace and silk ribbon, and the skirt being finished with silk ribbon insertion. An embroidered veil and a coronet of orange blossoms complete the costume. A bouquet of choice flowers with long chiffon streamers was made, and given by her aunt, Mrs. J. England. Miss Beatrice Early and the Misses B. Drew and Elsie Early acted as bridesmaids, and were dressed alike in frocks of cream voile trimmed with guipure insertion and silk ribbon. Their hats were of cream Leghorn straw trimmed with autumn leaves, pink roses and floral ribbon. Each bridesmaid carried a bouquet a pink and cream roses with chiffon streamers (gifts of Mrs. T. England). Mr. Ernest Bick acted as best man, and Messrs. Leigh Verney and George Early, jun., as groomsmen. Miss Frances Hamilton presided at the organ. The bridegroom's gifts to the bride included a diamond bangle; he presented the bridesmaids with pretty opal and pearl brooches. The bride's gift to the bridegroom consisted of a set of brushes. At the conclusion of the wedding ceremony the guests, numbering eighty, were entertained by Mrs. And Mrs. Early at their residence, Hill Crest. The bride's mother wore a gown of French material, with guipure yoke trimmed with green velvet and silk braid, with a pretty green hat to match. Mrs. Drew (mother of the bridegroom) wore a costume of black Liberty silk which was very prettily trimmed, and bonnet to harmonise. The presents were numerous and handsome, including a silver cake basket from the members of the Chermside Methodist Church choir, of which the bridge has been organist for over thirteen years. The three tier wedding cake was the work of Miss M. Schauer (of the Brisbane Technical College). Among those present were Mr. Early, sen. (grandfather of the bride), Mr. and Mrs. Bick and family, Mrs. S. Drew, Mrs. A. Drew and the Misses Drew, Mr. and Mrs. J. England, Mr. and Mrs. R. C.` Verney, Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Verney and family, Mr. Horace Fry Newcastle, and many others. The bridal costumes and many others worn by the guests were made by the Misses Drew, of Sandgate, and the millinery was the work of Miss Beatrice Early (a late student of the Brisbane Technical College."