Book explains history of Burdekin place names

Have you ever wondered about the history of the place names like Bobawaba, Carstairs or Kalamia? Burdekin Library Ayr has just the book for you – Place Names of the Burdekin.

This book was written by local history buff Bill Murray with the help of Burdekin Library Officer Robyn Elphinstone.

Mr Murray, a former Burdekin Shire Councillor, began writing books about the Burdekin back in the 1980s.

“I’ve always had an interest in history,” he said.

“My family had properties around Emu Park and Yeppoon and it was their story that started my interest in history.

“I loved to hear my mother’s stories about life on Missfelts and Beechwood.”

Mr Murray arrived in Ayr in 1956, married local girl Marie Christensen and they both lived on Kilrie Road for many years.

“I used to work with Telecom (Telstra) as a special projects officer and I had to go all over the State fixing any problems that couldn’t be solved locally,” he said.

“When you travel around like that, you see a lot of names and wonder where they came from.

“I just wanted to get the Burdekin names into a book before they all disappear.”

Mr Murray has written nine books about the Burdekin, including Graves not in Cemetery – Ayr or Home Hill, Write Up on Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse, Write Up on Charlies Hill – WWII Radar Site, Story of Wunjunga, The Island ‘Rita’, Kalamia School, Yongala Ship Wreck Write Up, National Service Files Record and James Morrill – File.

Mrs Elphinstone helped Mr Murray collate and edit his latest book.

“This sort of project is part of my job at the Library as I look after all the local history collection,” she said.

“We have created a local history nook at the Burdekin Library Ayr to make it easy for people to find all the relevant books and information about Burdekin history.”

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