History

Find out some interesting information about the Association and its members

 The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society (GCABS)

 Some Historical Facts and some Early Information about its Operation and its Members.

(Early history provided by Col Payne, an Original Member of the Society. Col is a Life Member and served one term as President & Many Years as Secretary.)

In the Beginning
Professional Beekeeper, John Rosser Junior (Now Deceased) conducted a course on Beekeeping at the Gold Coast College of TAFE early in 1979. On completion of the Course the participants along with John Rosser decided that they were all sufficiently interested in Bees to form an Amateur Beekeeping Society. A Meeting was held in what was the old gymnasium building and show pavilion at the Old Gold Coast Showgrounds in Queen Street Southport on September 20th 1979. The building still exists near the back entrance of the Existing Southport Primary School.

 

John Rosser Jnr

How I became involved with Bees.
My Father in Law kept a couple of Bee Hives on his Brother’s farm west of Dalby on the  Darling Downs and I used to help him rob them. Bill Rogers (My Father in Law), and his brother Tom would take the honey frames off the hives and bring them to me. My involvement revolved around standing back and placing frames of honey in boxes on the trailer to protect them from any robbing bees. I would then sit safely in the car away from stings until another frame was presented. On returning to the shed, I was the chief extractor
turner. We would take the extracted frames back and replace them in the hives. To those two Brothers, the extent of their beekeeping was to rob the hives each time the family ran out of honey. At that stage, that was all beekeeping was to me!

About 15 years later and I was again introduced to bees by a man called Jack Parker. Jack Parker was truly a keen Amateur Beekeeper. Jack was the next door neighbour and good friend of My Father in Brisbane. They were both keen gardeners and would swap seedlings, fruit and vegies and the occasional bottle of Jam, Pickles, or Honey over the fence. I was visiting from the Gold Coast one day and Jack was working his hives and invited me in to “Have a Look”. He explained the benefits of Bees & Honey and showed me the Queen and Brood and the real workings of the hive. I was hooked from that day on and started reading about bees. I then broke all the rules and went out and bought a Bee Hive advertised in “The Trading Post”. I broke the rules because I knew nothing, went out and bought the first Hive I saw advertised. I could have bought a dud but it turned out to be a good healthy hive so I was lucky. I have had various numbers of bee hives ever since.

Before I go on, I must mention some interesting facts about Jack Parker. Jack had just retired as Chief Personal Officer with Qantas Airlines. Jack was fairly young when he started working with one of the Qantas founders, Hudson Fish at Winton & Longreach. He spent his lifetime working for Qantas Airlines before his retirement. He had been keeping Bees for many years and always had a good strain of bees. He told me that he always got his Queens from America. When he purchased them they were delivered in America to a pre-arranged Airport where they were collected by one of his various Pilot Friends. After a twenty-four hour flight in the cockpit, they were delivered from the pilot’s pocket to Jack on arrival at Eagle Farm Airport! In those days there were no quarantine restrictions on Bee Imports.

How I joined the GCABS.
I had been keeping bees for about three years and one of my work colleagues who knew I kept bees, had heard of the pending meeting & thought that I may be interested. The die was cast and I went along. At that September Meeting there were nine people in attendance including John Rosser and Myself. Consensus ruled and we decided to try and hold meetings on the last Sunday of the Month because it suited the majority present. We had no premises so it was decided to hold all of our meetings at each other’s homes or any other suitable venue that was rent free like a park or in the bush etc.

How Things Evolved!
Sometime early in the peace, John Rosser suggested that we might like to hold some meetings where he had some hives. It was the home of his Parents, John Rosser Snr. and his Wife Essie who at that time was well into their late seventies. From here on, I will refer to them as Pop & Essie as they were known to all. The offer was gratefully accepted and we held a lot of meetings for many years outside and inside their home. John always kept a lot of bees and bred his own Queens there in Ashmore Rd, Benowa. He still used the site until
he passed on himself. John’s Sister Jean continues ownership of the old home and I still recall us having a meeting there with John opening hives shortly before his passing. We also were often made welcome by John & Jan at their home at Crane Court, Nerang where he had his extracting plant and bee sites adjacent in the Nerang Forest.

Back to the Beginning.
The first President of the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society was Noel Richardson and the Treasurer was Bob Harrison. At this juncture I can’t recall the name of the Secretary. One of the early Members was Syd Nichols. Syd served some time as President following the term of Noel Richardson and was a retired Builder who lived at Paradise Point. In those days, Paradise Point was largely isolated from Biggera waters by coastal wallum scrub and Syd had a lot of hives and many honey producing sites in that area. Syd also had the machinery to make his own frames and boxes and also sold blocks of wax and often traded it for new sheets of foundation.

The Emergence of the Equipment Officer.
There was one hardware store at Nerang that held a limited, but expensive, supply of bee keeping equipment for sale. Most GCABS members used to travel to Brisbane (Usually Guilfoyles at Darra) to get their bee equipment. Syd Nichols saw this need and because he was always making or purchasing bee equipment, got in the habit of taking some heavily used items to meetings for Members to purchase. Now there was a man in Brisbane called Norm Hinton who was a Bee Keeper. Norm started a Business Called Superior Bee Keeping
Supplies and Syd Nichols started purchasing some of his bee equipment from Norm. Norm suggested that he would supply a “cache” of commonly used bee equipment to the GCABS at no cost to the Society. We were in credit and as it was sold, Norm would re-supply all the stock as required.

Syd Nichols became our first Equipment Officer and Norm supplied the gear at around 10% to 20% off market price. We added 10% to our purchase price and that is how the Equipment Officer System began. It was convenient for members and became a great source of income for the GCABS Treasurer’s coffers. The only down side was at the end of every month we had to do a stock take and reconciliation which became a lot of work each month for the committee. We appointed extra equipment officers and the system became very unwieldy. Because we had become more financially stable we decided to pay Norm for the equipment we had in credit and make purchases equipment outright.

Appointment of an Auditor.
In the early days there wasn’t the compulsion or need for an Auditor. As GCABS grew, and we built up a small but workable Bank Balance, we then saw the need to appoint an auditor. The first Honorary Auditor was one of our early members and now Life Member, Bert Morris. Bert was appointed along with the other elected officers at the Annual General Meeting. Bert wasn’t a qualified accountant, but as the Bursar of St. Hilda’s School for many years, he had impeccable credentials for the position. Bert was appointed annually at
the AGM for many years until after the Incorporation of the GCABS.

Incorporation of The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society.

The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. was incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 on the 19th October 1989.

The State Government brought in Legislation requiring small non for profit Organisations to be incorporated. Prior to this the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society had no Constitution or Written Rules. We obtained a set of draft rules with the Incorporation Information and The Committee, with much agony and soul searching, arrived at a set of rules which were submitted and approved.

Sometime after compulsory incorporation the Government decided that the auditing should be conducted by someone with Accountancy Qualifications. The welcome services of Bert Morris subsequently had to be replaced by law. This was probably great comfort to Bert but as we had no Qualified Accountant to give their services on a voluntary basis it became a large
expense and an unnecessary drain on our finances.

There were many other voluntary organisations in the same position and I think the hue and cry finally reached Government Circles. The rules were changed to allow small organisations like ourselves with under $20,000 turnover to forgo the need to pay a Qualified Accountant to provide an audit which was costing the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society around $250 each year.

So Incorporation had a lot of headaches and many teething pains. The first requirement is to submit a return with details of the Elected Executive Committee after each AGM, along with the mandatory fee and then life goes on as usual. That is the simple one. Then along came the requirement to have insurance. This is very necessary in this day and age where there are people who are prone to sue at the drop of a hat. The Government supposedly sponsored a scheme that would allow small non for profit groups to be covered at minimal cost. When we made inquiries we found that we were referred to an Insurance Brokerage Firm and it wasn’t real cheap anyway. We covered ourselves this way for the first year in the start. Then the President at the time, Tim Clark made lots of phone calls and spent many hours on the phone and internet and came up with a more economical scheme.

Our Patron
About twelve months after the start of GCABS Syd Nichols suggested that we might appoint someone as our Patron. Syd knew a man called Tim Smith personally and suggested that we approach him to fill the position.

Tim had excellent credentials for the position. Tim and his Brother Bert were professional beekeepers in the Gold Coast area who were concerned about the price and marketing of honey. They got together with other beekeepers and formed a “Small” co-operative company called “Capilano”. Around that time Tim had retired from beekeeping and was President of the Board of Capilano. Tim accepted the nomination, attended meetings on many occasions when he was available, served as a good Patron and gave a lot of good advice to most of us who were very inexperienced beekeepers. Tim served for about three years before retiring. At that time he also retired from the board of Capilano and Public Office.

It was then we asked Pop & Essie Rosser to be Joint Patrons of our Society. They were already an integral part of our beekeeping organisation with many meetings now having been held in their lounge room on rainy days and around John Rosser’s bee hives in their yard in the fine weather. It was an appropriate move that Pop & Essie should be asked to be joint Patrons.

In earlier times, before John took over their bees, Pop used to work the hives out in the field and Essie used to raise the Children in the house and breed the Queens in the yard at their Benowa Home. Outside the door of their home was a small straw skep which contained a working Native Bee hive and I know that it was there long after Pop & Essie both passed on.

Pop was not only a beekeeper but was also part of Gold Coast Early History and was fascinating to talk to. He started keeping bees around the time of the First World War so there were Rossers keeping bees continuously around here for around Ninety Years here until the passing of John Rosser. Even after the demise of John, his brother Alf took over his bees and had a few hives at Benowa and in the Nerang Forest.

As a beekeeper Pop was also an inventor of many things. He had one of those smokers with the hooks on the front of the barrel that allowed it to hang on the side of the hive. He fitted a tubular extension on the front so that when it was hanging on the side of the hive the bellows could be pressed and smoke would be directed down over the frames without any need to pick up the smoker.

During the Second World War when materials were short, Pop made big cast concrete brood boxes. I saw some of them still in use at Benowa and also at a Rosser hive site in the Forest in Numinbah Valley. They sat on the ground and were about 18 inches deep and contained specially constructed brood frames with standard length top bars, but the frames were about 16 inches or so deep. The box contained at least 15 of those specially constructed frames. It
was rectangular in shape about 20 inches by 24 inches. Standard 20 x 16 inch full size 10 frame honey boxes would be placed on one end above a large sized excluder. Beside the standard box, a 5 frame half width box was placed over the remaining end of the concrete brood box with its oversize queen excluder.

But here is the interesting thing; Pop found that half bushel wooden fruit boxes were roughly the same size as the five frame box. With no tops or bottoms and frame rests fitted, they could also carry five frames. The bees would seal up any little gaps in the sides if they wanted to. These could also be stacked with a piece of fibro or a properly fashioned lid on top. Note: From experience, Members of GCABS found that the Rosser hives weren’t always in good condition with bees entering at many places. These boxes were particularly prevalent at Benowa & Nerang where the hives weren’t used for migration.

I also discovered that I had an indirect family connection with Pop Rosser. My Father in his single days was a very keen mountain climber and bush walker. He lived in Brisbane and climbed all the mountain peaks and walked in the bush around south east Queensland. One place that he often frequented was O’Reillys Green Mountains in the Gold Coast Hinterland. He first went there when the only way to get there was through Beaudesert and Kerry and on
a horse up the Stockyard Creek track. He was a personal friend of Bernard O’Reilly, went to O’Reillys on his Honeymoon and first took me there when I was two years old.

Bernard O’Reilly became famous in 1937 when he located the wreck of the Stinson Airliner a week after it crashed. He found the two survivors, Proud & Binstead still barely alive. Two months later, My Father went back to the wreck site with Bernard O’Reilly. When I was a lad My Father gave me the book “Green Mountains” which was written and is autographed by its author, Bernard O’Reilly. So now to the connection with Pop Rosser.

I had read the story of the Stinson Crash in the book and where Bernard O’Reilly describes a tall bushman called John Rosser who led the stretcher party cutting a new and better track down through the rain forest and into the Christmas Creek valley and safety with the survivors. I was talking to Pop and asked if he was that John Rosser as described in the book. He confirmed that it was he and told me his side of the story.

Pop & Essie had their mobile extracting caravan and were working their bees in the area of the Christmas Creek valley. They were staying at the farm property of Bob Stevens who was Essie Rosser’s brother and living in the house with them for a couple of months while the honey flow was running. Bernard O’Reilly came down into the valley with his news of the wreck and survivors. Men of the valley assembled immediately and went with Bernard to the wreck site. They fashioned stretchers with saplings cut on site and corn sacks that they had taken with them.

Because the path they had taken in with Bernard was virtually straight up a cliff face, Pop Rosser decided to lead them up to the top of the ridge and then along its crest until they could make it down an easier route into the valley below and safety. The rest is history.

Pop Rosser was a nature lover and was against the massive development of the Gold Coast. I sat with him one time on the balcony of his lounge room which looked over the forty or so acres of land which he owned. I asked if developers ever wanted to buy him out. He said that he had refused all the high priced offers so often that they had given up. As we sat there the little birds were feeding and chirping in the shrubs beside the balcony. Pop & Essie later gave those forty acres to the Gold Coast City to be used as a conservation park. It bears their name as Rosser Park and I am sure he would not have approved part of it being used as a dog exercise area. Pop was a pacifist and believed that politicians were wrong for having a Minister for War instead of appointing a Minister for Peace. Pop & Essie subsequently passed on and no doubt went to a more peaceful place.

The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society elevated John Rosser Junior from Honory Member to replace his Father as Patron. He held that position until his untimely passing with illness due to cancer. 

   Presidents of GCABS.
The position of President is always the first on the list to be Elected at the AGM. They are the leader and very important to the smooth operation of the whole operation!

There have been many Presidents of The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society and all have filled the position with various degrees of ease and difficulty as the Society progressed through the ages. I served under them as an Ordinary Member and Committee Member, and was also President for one term. They were always good, better, but I couldn’t say that any one of them was “Best” because they all served in their best way. As I look back, I have many thoughts and opinions and I couldn’t and won’t say any of them was better than any other. The point is that they served, were each dedicated in their own way, all had different opinions and ideas, and they were all Elected Volunteers!

I have listed them below. For reasons of memory, they may not necessarily be in the order of their serving. I may have forgotten someone and if so I apologise for that.

Noel Richardson 
Syd Nichols 
Max Redding 
Gary Prior 
Vic Morris 
Ray Jarrett 
Col Payne
Steve Boyle 
Phil Farrant 
Ray Sparkes 
Tim Clarke                          
Graeme Correll 
Alan Betts                2011 – 2014
John Polley              2014 – 2016
John Rockley           2016
Les Thompson        2016 – 2017
Dr. Kathy Knox       2017 – 2019
Travis Green           2019 – 2020
Ross Krumbholz     2020 –

 

Honorary Members.
The position of Honorary Member is provided for in the constitution to be awarded to any non-member who has contributed or continues to contribute to the society in a substantial way. Some of the Honorary Members who were appointed in the Early Days were:-

John Rosser: John was the first Professional Beekeeper who was associated with GCABS. He of all people probably deserved Honorary Membership more than any other. It was because of John’s Beekeeping Course at the TAFE College our existence came about. John had many inventive skills that were probably handed down from his parents. He used the Rosser Hive loader on his truck that I think was invented by Pop and modified by John.

When John settled at his home at Crane Crescent Nerang, it had to be the ideal site. It butted up to the Nerang Forest where the bees had a large source of flora to choose from. With a lot of residences situated adjacently, there was another choice of flora in the vicinity. His home was built on a level area on top of the hill. To conserve energy, his extracting plant used the hill to advantage. The boxes of honey were wheeled straight off the back of the truck to the extraction floor. The extracted honey was gravity fed down into the respective tanks at the next level. Distribution drums were gravity filled and then they were loaded for transport with the vehicle down on the next level. Gravity eliminated most of the lifting!

John was guest speaker at many of our meetings both at Benowa and Nerang, where he demonstrated all aspects of beekeeping “From the fresh laid Egg to the Extracted Honey in the Bottle.” Following the passing of Pop & Essie, John became our Patron until his passing.

Murray Charlton: Murray was a Professional Beekeeper who retired to a lovely home on the hill at Terranora. Like most beekeepers he still had the Bug and couldn’t give Bees up completely. He started breeding Queen Bees and supplied many of his old Beekeeping friends all over Australia. Members of GCABS often sourced their Queens from Murray. We had many meetings at Murray’s home on the hill where he showed us the technique of grafting the grubs into the cells.

Murray followed the path of John Rosser and ran a Course on Beekeeping at the Gold Coast College of TAFE but unlike John who only ran one, Murray did it for a few years. Near the end of the course I would attend on one night and pass on the message about GCABS. We gained many new members from Murray’s courses. In the end, Murray ceased running the courses and he told me that there was no more interest in the courses because GCABS providing sufficient local education on bees. Murray did eventually fully retire from bees
and has long since passed on.

Norm Hinton: As previously explained in the section on the Equipment Officer, Norm manufactured and supplied Bee Keeping Equipment. The main point was that when we started off and had very little funds, Norm gave us around $1000 worth of equipment to hold and sell to members. It was all resupplied at the wholesale price with a shake of the hand being the only contract. We did this for at least two years until we were more financial. Because of this, Norm was given Honorary Membership. We continued to source the bulk of
our equipment from Norm until he sold the business.

As part of the History of GCABS, I have covered the Three People above who were our First Honorary Members. There have been other Honorary Members since, who have made no less important contribution to our society.

The Buzz.
One of the problems that came up early in the peace was the dissemination of information to the Membership. At the start there wasn’t a problem because there were only a dozen or so members and the members who missed the previous meeting could phone the Secretary for details. As the membership numbers grew it became obvious that we had to do something better.

I was starting my first term as Secretary and had a contact with a small Community Newspaper based on Beechmont that covered the Beechmont/Nerang area. They were always very happy for a bit of community news from GCABS along with our future meeting details. That Newsletter was soon taken over by the “Sun Newspaper Group” and we thought that our problems would be solved. The Sun covered the length of the Gold Coast. The problem was that there were different editions for the Northern, Central, and
Southern Gold Coast and Hinterland Areas. Our news was printed in the Community News Section and would often appear in one edition and not the other or miss out all together. It was unreliable and thus unsatisfactory so after a year this method was abandoned.

We purchased a new hand duplicator and using an ancient typewriter of mine, cut stencils on waxed paper originals and duplicated the required number of copies of the Newsletter. I called it “The Buzz” and so the Buzz was born. A copy was posted to every member and the good news was spread to all. After about two years I was elected President and a new Secretary, Paul Travis took over. Paul was a Technology Instructor at the TAFE College, had his own computer and produced The Buzz with his Computer. I think it was photo
copied per the courtesy of his employer.

That ended the following year when Steve Boyle was elected President and I was re-elected Secretary, a position which I held every year from then on until I finally convinced Julie Correll to take on the Job. By that time my Family had acquired a Commodore 64 Computer with a funny little Brother Printer. With that Printer I could produce The Buzz Original and Address Labels and all the Secretary’s records were stored on floppy disks. President Steve Boyle worked as a Shift Manager at a gaming establishment on the Gold Coast that shall
remain un-named. I would drop the Buzz Original off to him and pick it up a few days later along with the required number of copies which were produced on the gaming establishment’s photo copier ready to be posted to the members.

We did it that way for a couple of years until we could afford to buy a second hand photo copier. The Buzz was copied with that copier but we found a second hand machine was false economy with many breakdowns occurring. We then purchased a new “Cannon” copier and had reliable use of that for many years.

When Tony Nathan was Treasurer I suggested that we buy our first IBM type Computer. My reasoning was that I felt that my Family Commodore 64 was on its last legs and was incompatible with modern technology. The New Office Works store opened in Southport and they had an IBM Computer special on Sale. It had a 500 megabyte hard drive and we could store all our membership records, back up on diskettes and we could print Letters and The Buzz on the Laser Printer that we purchased at the same time. “Windows 3” was the
software that came with it and GCABS had now entered the Computer age with its brand new Computer. The 500 megabyte Hard Drive is nothing by today’s standards when you consider that a CD disc holds almost 50% more data and is almost old hat today. “The Buzz” has gone on from strength to strength and is now E-Mailed to those Members who are on the Net.

The Logo and Membership Cards
Bob Harrison was the first Treasurer and took on the task of designing a “Logo” for GCABS. I am sure he was inspired by the Straw Skep housing native bees beside Pop & Essie Rosser’s front door. The logo he created was very similar to that skep. He had a rubber stamp made with the Logo, the GCABS name on it and a place to hand print the member’s Name & Membership Number. The Secretary stamped out membership cards on sheet cardboard. They were cut out and fitted into the clear plastic Name Tag Card Holders.

When we got our first IBM computer I designed a name card with a computer drawn straw skep. The cards were then printed out as required on the computer. When we updated our computer and got a colour printer I redrew the Logo in colour.

Agricultural Shows.
Our first appearance was at the Gold Coast Show when it was at the site where the Southport Primary School now exists. We had a small stand in the corner in the same Pavilion where we had our inaugural meeting. There was a display of Bee Keeping Equipment and John Rosser supplied us with different varieties of honey for sale and tasting. From memory I think we were there for two years.

What I do remember was that on the second year John Rosser had an over-supply of Wild Verbena honey. He had been working the Yellow Box flow on the Southern Darling Downs. He took the supers of Yellow Box Honey off and replaced them with empty supers with the intention of moving the hives in a couple of weeks later to a new site. When he came back the hives were all full of honey because the Wild Verbena had come into flower. Wild Verbena is a very dark honey but has a nice flavour. When people tasted it we were able to
tell them that it could be bought at the Health Food Shops that John Supplied. We did each other a favour and John used to go back and harvest wild verbena honey each year.

The Show moved to Parklands and Steve Boyle became President at the same time. Steve was heavily involved with the Mudgeeraba Show Society which was looking for new attractions. The Gold Coast Show at Parklands was to become a three day show. The Mudgeeraba Show was only two days so with the manning roster in mind we decided to transfer our show allegiance to Mudgeeraba. We were also encouraged to exhibit honey in the home craft pavilion and it was then that we sponsored the perpetual trophy for the honey exhibits. We have appeared at the Mudgeeraba Show every year since except for one year when we couldn’t get enough member support and another year when the whole show was cancelled due to inclement weather. Thanks to the expertise of Phil Farrant who designed and constructed an ingenious frame, we have a collapsible show stall with a bee proof section
to have a honey extracting display and room to dispense and sell Honey at the Show. There have been some displays at the Gold Coast Show since but because it is a three day show there haven’t been sufficient members keen enough to man the roster.

The Field Day.
In the early days we attended the Queensland Beekeepers Association Field Days and still do so on occasions depending on their location. These were very interesting and informative and we have travelled far and wide attending QBA Field Days. We hired busses and travelled to such places as Stanthorpe, Maryborough, and Brisbane to name a few.

When the QBA Conference was on the Gold Coast we attended one Field Day at the home, apiary and extracting plant of George Mills in Central Street Southport. GCABS also held a number of our meetings there with George as our speaker. George was originally located right out in the bush, on the left hand side of Central Street just before where Olsen Avenue now exists. Unfortunately progress happened and people built around his property,
then complained about the bees. The Council forced George to move right out of what became suburbia and a residential area.

We would come home in the Bus from Our Journeys and talk about all the things we saw and learnt. The one thing that was prominent was the enormity of the scale of professional beekeeping. Most of us only had one, two, or three hives and weren’t in the market for a semi-trailer fitted with a hive lifter or a 32 frame radial honey extractor. It was all very interesting, but after discussion and deliberation, the Committee decided that we needed
something more basic and practical for our needs. We decided to organise an Annual Field Day for Amateurs. We would have a session for Beginners, a Honey Competition to help Members learn to Show Honey and Expert Guest Speakers to talk on subjects at our level of expertise.

Having put in all this work organising the day we decided to invite other Bee Clubs. The Honey Competition grew so much that we had to organise rules to make it fair for all. For instance, we limited entries to one per member per section per apiary. (That’s a mouth full) This in theory gave the person with one hive a more equal chance to win against the person with thirty hives. We also introduced a Best Novice Trophy to encourage Beginners to enter and try harder. We have to give credit to Ian Clayfield and Gil Jones for organising the rules and format. Ian Clayfield was Head Steward and with Gil Jones as his Deputy, was in charge of the Honey Section of the Field Day for many years.

Up to the present, the Field Day has been held at the Mudgeeraba Showgrounds because it was the best site available to the GCABS. I feel that Amateur Beekeeper’s Field days are necessary for the Education of Beginners and the Promotion of Beekeeping.

Summary.
I am the last remaining Beekeeper who attended the Inaugural Meeting of the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society and still attends meetings on a reasonably regular basis. I have written this short history from my memory of the events described. I think it is important to record details of how The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society began and also tell how the many parts were conceived and developed such as Our Patron, The Buzz, The Logo,
Agricultural Shows etc.

This is really a basic History so obviously, there have been many events that I have not included. Many facts have been excluded and some facts I have obviously forgotten. As the Last Original Member, I felt that I had to put my thoughts to paper while I still have some knowledge of them.

Some parts of this history refer to events concerning My Father and go on somewhat of a tangent. The events don’t directly pertain to the GCABS story but I feel that there is a link between both my personal history and that of the GCABS. This is part of my own family history but I felt it was interesting to include it because of the link with Bernard O’Reilly and the Stinson Crash. It was a rare coincidence that many years later, I should get to meet, let
alone know personally, people such as Pop & Essie Rosser who through their early life and Beekeeping Activities would become involved in the History of the Stinson Airliner Crash and Rescue!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts as much as I enjoyed trying to recalling them.

BEEcome a member

Apply here to Join the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. and receive monthly newsletters, invitations to monthly General Meetings, workshops and connect with other local Beekeepers.

In 2020 The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. affiliated with the Amateur Beekeepers Association of NSW (ABA) . The ABA’s centralised membership system takes care of most membership admin tasks. Members use the ABA  system to join our association and the ABA, pay fees and update their details.

Latest Events

The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. welcomes new members, existing members and visitors to attend and volunteer at all events.