Friday, September 23, 2016

Postal Arrangements at Kingsborough - 1877

Queenslander (Brisbane), Saturday 17 February 1877, page 6
Postal Arrangements at Kingsborough
A public meeting was held at Kingsborough, on the 20th ultimo, to take into consideration the existing postal arrangements, more especially as affecting that township. Mr. T. Jackson was voted to the chair, and resolutions were adopted unanimously as follows :
(1). ''That it is the opinion of this meeting that the postal communication between this township and the seaboard is unsatisfactory, the last mail having been delivered by the mailman on his way from Thornborough to Cairns (the port for this district); thus not giving the inhabitants time to reply to return mail"
(2.) "That the Postmaster-General be communicated with requesting him to instruct the Postmaster at Cairns to make up a separate bag for this township, to be delivered either an hour before or an hour after the one delivered at Thornborough.''
(3.) "That this meeting is of opinion that it would be nearer for the mailman to go to Thornborough via Kingsborough than to go to Kingsborough via Thornborough."
A resolution was also passed that the Minister for Works be requested to put on a road party to improve the communication between the various townships, reefs, and crushing mills; and a committee was appointed to forward the resolutions of the meeting to the respective Ministers to whose departments these matters belong. The request for roads calls for no special remark; but the censorious tone adopted in reference to the postal arrangements is scarcely justified by the facts. The resolutions are so framed as to convey the impression that a permanent postal service was at the time in existence, and working badly; but this is not exactly true.
There was some time since a mail running between Thornborough and Byerstown, connecting at the latter place with the Cooktown and Palmer line; but representations having been made to the Postmaster-General that this branch line would be uncertain, if not utterly valueless, during the summer months, owing to the swollen state of the Mitchell River at its crossing place on this road, the mail contract was terminated on the 31st December last, and tenders were invited for a service between Cairns and Thornborough. Meanwhile, to maintain postal communication with the Hodgkinson, two or three special mails were despatched between Byerstown and Thornborough, and on the 15th ultimo a special mail started from Cairns for Thornborough, at the exorbitant cost to the Government of £20 the trip; and this mail, the first from Cairns, and of an experimental character, must have reached the goldfield a few days before the meeting, and is evidently referred to in the first resolution passed at the public meeting, as "the last mail having been delivered by the mailman on his way from Thornborough to Cairns"—that is, on the return trip, the two townships being within a short distance of each other. The residents of Kingsborough must be aware that permanent postal arrangements cannot be made in a day with a new district, by a track which cannot yet be dignified with the name of road, and which is at present so far from being definitely determined, that its course may be considerably altered a few weeks hence. We feel perfectly sure, however, that the authorities will not fail to use every diligence to meet the reasonable requirements of the new goldfield.
Tenders were invited for the conveyance of a weekly mail between Cairns and Thornborough for a term of two years; one of the tenders received has been recommended for acceptance, and the matter will probably be decided at the next meeting of the Executive. The successful tenderer will we are informed, on commencing the service, be instructed to run the mail between Cairns and Thornborough via Kingsborough, although the information to hand regarding the track is so conflicting that no decided opinion can at present be formed of the desirableness of serving the Hodgkinson townships in the particular way indicated. Possibly the arrangement most convenient to Kingsborough would not be suitable for Thornborough. However, when the permanent mail is actually established —probably two or three weeks hence —every effort will doubtless be used to make it as far as possible satisfactory to all parties concerned.