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Legacy of a Beach House – the Winnett Family

1925 to present day

Holidaying at their grandparent’s beach house at Woorim inspired the Winnett family to make their homes on Bribie.

 Isaac Dickson emigrated from Ireland to Brisbane in 1884 and married Isabella Easson later the same year. The Blind, Deaf and Dumb Institution at Dutton Park in Brisbane had been established in 1883 and Isaac joined the staff. By 1888 Isaac became its Superintendent, a position he held until 1931.

The road from the Bribie Jetty to the Ocean Beach was opened in late 1924 and the first sale of perpetual leases for land at Woorim was held on 13th January 1925. Isaac purchased his corner block for 140 pounds on the corner of North Street and Third Avenue and built a galvanized clad two-storey beach house for their children and grandchildren to enjoy. Isaac’s friend was Thomas Welsby and it's likely Welsby told him about the new ‘Rising Resort’ on the ocean side of Bribie Island.

On Isaac’s death in 1933, the land’s permanent lease also expired and his widow, second wife Gertrude, had to purchase the lease from the Crown. Isaac’s daughter Helen (Nellie) Winnett, who had married Bill in 1911, decided to buy the property in 1938 to keep the beach house for the family. Changes were made to the house through the years with walls covered with weather-boards and its open-air verandah, on the upper level, enclosed.

During World War Two the house was commandeered by the Military, but by mid-1945 the pleasure cruiser “Mirimar” was back on the Brisbane to Bribie run and by 1946 the vehicle barges commenced running from Toorbul Point to Bribie and the family once more were holidaying at Woorim.

Bill and Nellie Winnett retired to Woorim in 1957 and remodelled the house into a single-storey, bungalow-style home which became the hub for their children and grandchildren. They were both in their 80s when they passed away in 1972 but their legacy lives on as many of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren have their homes on Bribie Island.

Though only four of their seven children retired to Bribie, all of the family’s memorials are in the Bribie Memorial Gardens on First Avenue.

Bill and Nellie’s Children:

Lionel retired to live on Benabrow Ave, Bellara.

Edwin (Eddie) & Jean bought land at Woorim in 1951, which became known as Winnett Street. They retired in 1979 and celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1991.

Douglas’ memorial was moved to Bribie from Brisbane.

William (Bill) & Amelia (Bub)’s first home was next door to Eddie’s in Winnett Street later they moved to Cypress Street when Bill, in 1961, became Bribie’s water treatment plant operator and Bub became renowned for her environmentalist activities. Thanks to Bill, many photos were taken from the Woorim and Bongaree water towers in the 1960s.

Colin & Vione bought their home in Murray Street, Woorim prior to retiring to Bribie. Ex-Serviceman Colin was very active in the RSL and was responsible for having a special display at the RSL to commemorate his brother Cliff.

Clifford died 1944 as a POW in the sinking of the Rakuyo Maru (Sailor from HMAS Perth).

Joy & Neville Smith - Joy was given her name as she brought joy to her parents on being born after six boys and her ashes are with her parents and brothers.

Written by Lynne Hooper with information and photos supplied by the Winnett family.

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