HOMECOMING: Owen and Brian Davidson try out Gympie Bowls Club's most priceless artefacts, donated by their grandfather and former Gympie Mayor Edgar Davidson, while great-grandson Colin looks on.
HOMECOMING: Owen and Brian Davidson try out Gympie Bowls Club's most priceless artefacts, donated by their grandfather and former Gympie Mayor Edgar Davidson, while great-grandson Colin looks on. Arthur Gorrie

Gympie land rush brings back the pioneers

FORMER Gympie mayor Edgar Davidson would be glad the gold rush city he helped create has become a property rush destination for his descendants.

And this week, three of those descendants descended on the bowls club he also pioneered, when he built a green on his Southside property Iona between Stumm and Glastonbury Rds.

The Gympie Bowls Club official history gives "much of the credit for the establishment of the game in Gympie” to Mr Davidson.

His proud grandchildren, Brian and Owen Davidson, accompanied by his great-grandson Colin, visited their ancestor's old stomping grounds on Thursday.

It was part of a visit to inspect and buy a parcel of Southside land for subdivision, courtesy of their agent Gympie Regional Realty and on behalf of the Brisbane development company QM Properties.

But, fiercely proud as the Scots can be, they called in to the bowls club of which Edgar Davidson was patron from the very beginning, the meeting called to establish it as an independent entity, in late 1904.

By that time he was also a councillor and had been mayor for a short time in 1902.

He married Annie Durietz. She was the eldest daughter of the architect Hugo Durietz, who designed some of Gympie's better known buildings, including some in Upper Mary St, St Patrick's Church and the School of Arts building which is now the Gympie Regional Art Gallery.

Mr Davidson was also a gold miner and mining warden and played a big part in Gympie's early history.

But this week, his descendants encountered a more tangible relic of their family's presence in the area, the bowls donated to the club by Edgar Davidson, way back at the start of the last century.

The two bowls, made by the Taylor firm in Glasgow, have been kept at the clubhouse for as long as there has been one and are marked with his initials EBD.

Bowls was played at the Davidson property in a relatively informal way, probably from 1900 or a fraction earlier. Club records show the first known report on those early games was in The Gympie Times on March 11, 1905.

"A pleasant afternoon was spent on Thursday at the Gympie Bowling Club's Green Southside, kindly lent by Mr EB Davidson, patron,” the report said.

Gympie Times


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