Why Des was given the boot

The Gympie Family History Society decorated this tree for the Winter Trees on Mary celebration. The GFHS shares lots of stories, such as that of Des Dicker and the Little Boot.

Finding the hidden history of every day items is something the Gympie Family History Society do every day.

Today, they share the story of Des Dicker and the Little Boot.

Desmond (Des) Dicker was born in Gladstone in 1924.

He was the fourth youngest of nine children born to Elizabeth Clara Long and Charles Dicker.

Elizabeth was a daughter of William Long, Chatsworth pioneer, and Sarah Lee Jones.

Charles was a labourer and later railway porter in Gladstone.

It is not known what caused Des’ mother to seek the help of the Busy Bee Boot Bazaar.

The Busy Bee Boot Bazaar operated in Mary St in the 1920s and boasted the best of boots ladies’, men’s and children’s shoes and boots.

Advertisements claim they imported fine American and English boots as well as those made on the premises. In a time when shoes were an investment they also did considerable trade in shoe repairs.

Perhaps Des’ mum sought medical advice for his foot and was advised to consult the Boot Bazaar or knew that this company could make a shoe that could correct whatever was wrong with his foot.

Whatever the reason, Des, who now lives with his daughter and will be 97 years old this year told the following story of the little boot to his daughter in May.

“Mum told me the bootmaker who made the boot originally lived at Bungendore, Braidwood in New South Wales and he used to make boots for the Ned Kelly Family,” Des said.

“I wore the boot from when I was about two years old from 1926.

“The boot was to help straighten my left foot.

“I don’t know whether I was born with my foot not being straight or it happened after I was born.

“They were a pair of leather boots, but Mum only kept one.

“The boot is now approximately 100 years old.

“Mum gave me the boot just before she died in 1982.”

Thanks to Margaret Long, Karele MacLean and of course Des for a charming piece of history and the story that goes with it.

Hopefully, this will lead to the family treasuring the boot far into the future.

The Gympie Family History Society will be holding a talk on DNA at the GFHS rooms at 1 Chapple St tomorrow afternoon (31 July, 2021) at 1.30pm.

For more information contact the society on 5482 8211.