Townsville Popular Variety Amateur Minstrels










Picture published in the Townsville Daily Bulletin Monday 9th May 1994

Picture Caption reads:

“In 1918 the Townsville Popular Variety Amateur Minstrels entertained in and around Townsville. Comprised of local identities including the musical Foley family, the Minstrels began as a fund-raising arm of the Oddfellows in 1889 and remained active for over 40 years. Although some names have not been positively confirmed, those in the photograph are from the back:
Left to Right: Gordon Mearns, T. Ansell, Frank Mackay, H. Hitchcock, A. Cameron, Tom Gavaston, R. McSwain, Frank Hanran.
2nd Back Row: Jimmy Lamb, Harry Lewis, Dave Foley, Miles Foley, George Coates, Tom Foley, Fred Feather, A. J. Francis, and Arthur McNaught.
3rd Row: George Waite, Will Thurling, Will Cassidy, George Haseler, George Tideman, Agnes Rawes, Will Griffiths, Lionel Nicol and Ted McGovern.
The two adults seated on the floor in the front are Dave Buchanan, left, and Will Buchanan.”

Townsville minstrels 1880s








The above picture thanks to Graham Husband (Warwick Qld) who also gave PAHST this information:
“I am writing with regard to my grandfather Richard Josiah Husband who settled in Townsville in the 1880 – 1890’s. He was born at Cape Province, South Africa and worked his way on a sailing ship arriving with his brother Jack in Melbourne about 1878, and in Townsville a few years later. In partnership with his brother Jack they operated a Cordial factory in Townsville. When he and his brother dissolved their partnership he joined
the Telegraph Department. His first wife Patience Therese (nee Wilson) Husband died in 1888 and his second wife Olga Mathilde (nee Malvorsen) Husband died in 1893 and are interred in Townsville Cemetery. He married my Grandmother Margaret (nee Power) Husband in Rockhampton in 1899. He was a founding member to the T.P.V.A Minstrels together with Bert Brown and George Waite. He was a member of the Townsville Mounted Infantry and was closely associated with Captain Fred Johnson.”

Obituary of Richard Josiah Husband 1935 supplied by Graham Husband
RJ (Dick) Husband obituary 1935“A contributor write: Many old residents of Townsville will have kindly remembrances of Mr. R. J. (Dick)Husband, who with his brother Jack, conducted an aerated water business first in Walker Street and afterwards in larger premises in Denham Street for years. Dick was a genial soul, a man of infinite jest, full of wit, a born comedian and clever performer, a fine long shoe dancer, gifted with the art of wonderful “Make ups” which often simply brought down the house. Dick was one of the founders of the old T.P.V.A. Minstrels and with Mr. Bert Brown and George Waite, constructed a proscenium, wings, a drop curtain and back cloth for their first performance. Dick was also a member of the Mounted Infantry and closely associated with the late Captain Fred Johnson in its activities. On their brothers dissolving partnership Dick joined the Telegraph Department and assisted in the removal of the old telephone exchange in
Denham Street to the present post and telegraph building without any interruption to the subscribers services. He was after employed in many parts of Queensland, finally retiring from the G.P.O. Brisbane, about 13 years ago, disposing of his property, he has resided with a daughter at Camp Hill, Brisbane. He was an enthusiastic angler and indulged in his hobby with great success. Dick played many parts on life’s stage, and played them well. He was born at Cape Town, South Africa, and was 78 years of age when he died on December the 23rd last. He leaves a widow, two sons and two daughters and some grandchildren, with whom his numerous friends will sincerely sympathize – Vale, Dick Husband.


(above) – Members of the Townsville Popular Variety Minstrels, 1890.
Back row:  W.H. Brown, J. Brandt, J. Smith, F. Mackay, T. Wilde, A.J. Brown, W. Bird, J. Poultney, J. Flannery.
Centre row: (sitting) H. James (Hon. member), G.A. Head (secretary), R.J. Husband (stage manager), D. Williams (interlocator), H. Russell (scenic artist).
Front row:  E.J. McGovern (Hon. Treasurer), H. Snee, C. Woosnam, G.D. Waite, J. Jenkins & H. George.

              The orchestra of the Townsville Popular Variety Minstrels, 1911.
The conductor was Mr. Tarratt. The only lady in the group was Miss Florence Smallwood, the pianiste.

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