Fond first recollections

John Hermann's grandfather, Albert Hermann.

Gympie man JOHN HERMANN shares more of his recollections, this time about his reactions to visiting the Gold City for the first time.

It was late afternoon some time in 1957 when I caught my first glimpse of Gympie.

I was only a toddler.

My family were driving my grandfather down to hospital in Brisbane for treatment for his cancer.

We decided to spend the night in Gympie, and took rooms at the Imperial Hotel.

I thought it was wonderful to stand on the front veranda with Grandad and my uncle and look down into the busy main street of this strange-looking old town.

Later that evening, we walked up toward the Fiveways and had supper in a cafe that was there.

The following morning, before we resumed our journey, we went for another walk up Mary Street.

We came to a toy shop where there was a beautiful ’Spirit of Progress’ train set in the window.

I feasted my eyes on the stunning blue and gold diesel locomotive and those blue carriages with gold striping along the windows.

I really, really wanted that train set.

My uncle even asked how much it was.

It was expensive, of course.

And I was far too little to have taken proper care of it.

My next memory is of a small town, a railway level crossing, a diesel-hauled train waiting at the station, and a man with a suitcase running to catch it.

In hindsight, I’m pretty sure this town was Cooran.

I’m guessing that the highway would have gone that way in those days.

It would have gone from there to Pomona and Cooroy, then over the range to Eumundi.

Unfortunately, my Grandad passed away the following year.

His name was Albert Hermann.

I remember him as a thoroughly good and decent man.

Men like my Grandad don’t usually have statues erected in their honour; but he was the very salt of the Earth.

He worked hard to keep the farm going and to put food on the table.

If I have been half the man he was, I have done well.