1 February, 2023

Book revisits Beachmere memories

THE collective memories of Beachmere residents both past and present are being brought to life in Karen Wallwork’s compilation book ‘Beachmere Revisited’, which went on sale in December 2022.

After retiring from 20 years of running a natural therapy clinic, Karen wanted to “scratch back some of the Beachmere history” and tell people’s stories.
After retiring from 20 years of running a natural therapy clinic, Karen wanted to “scratch back some of the Beachmere history” and tell people’s stories.

Following the roaring success of ‘Beachmere – Then and Now’, which was released in May 2020 to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary, this second iteration of local stories and recounts unveils even more about the town and people of Beachmere. 

Karen said each book has close to 100 stories, all similar in size, and a number of artists have also come aboard to revive old photos and produce artwork for the book. 

“People want their little stories told,” Karen said. 

In the first book, ‘Beachmere – Then and Now’, Karen’s main focus is on why Beachmere is called Beachmere. 

“Beachmere is an interesting place. 

“It used to be the seaside suburb for Caboolture until they put the bridge over to Bribie. 

“It got somewhat forgotten then.”

Originally, Karen’s idea was to produce a “walking brochure” as there was very little information available about Beachmere. 

However, when she began to speak to locals many stories began to come to light and ultimately resulted in ‘Beachmere – Then and Now’. 

Karen said that there were several names and stories that cropped up during research but because the booked publishing deadline was the 150th anniversary of Beachmere, there simply was not enough time. 

After it was published, even more people reached out to Karen, with even more stories. 

It was at this stage that Karen decided a second book was needed.  

After having moved to Beachmere not too long ago, Karen said she therefore has no bias towards people’s stories and used old news articles and other recounts to substantiate them. 

She said she was interested in finding out everything about Beachmere, including how the streets got their names and who particular people were. 

Karen said a huge shoutout must go to her editor and publisher, Chris Sutton. 

“Because we have so many different voices and ways of telling, she is able to sort of smooth it and make it sound like one voice – the voice of Beachmere.” 

‘Beachmere Revisited’ was officially launched on December 22 at the Beach Shak Café with over 30 people in attendance, including Councillor Mark Booth and Terry Young MP.

Both Cr Booth and Mr Young were excited to attend the launch as the book features stories about their families.  

 “This book is extra special to me with the first story being that of my Granny and Grandpa Lilla and Derek Adams who came from England and called Beachmere home for the first years of their lives in Australia living on the beachfront at Coronation Ave,” Cr Booth said. 

“I took my daughters to the book launch who loved seeing their Great Granny’s story in print as well as many others for future generations to keep their memories and collective history alive.”

Mr Young said he was honoured to make a speech at the launch, especially given the book features some stories from his mother. 

“’Beachmere Revisited’ is the result of the overwhelming response to Karen’s passion for the town, the community, and its history,” Mr Young said.

“A collection of the community’s memories and experiences, told in their own words, it is supported by Karen’s meticulous research and documentation of Beachmere’s cultural, social, industrial and commercial development.” 

To date, over 250 copies of ‘Beachmere Revisited’ have been sold and over 850 of ‘Beachmere – Then and Now’, including some international sales. 

“We’re blown away that people are interested, that it’s being generally well received by the local community is very rewarding.”

Karen said that after the success of the last two books, it is very likely that a third book is on the horizon. 

In the back of ‘Beachmere Revisited’ there are some lined pages left blank for people to write their stories, so Karen expects “waves and waves of stories to come”. 

“It’ll be decided by the people if enough stories come through for a third book.” 

Both ‘Beachmere – Then and Now’ and ‘Beachmere Revisited’ can be purchased from Beach Shak Cafe and IGA Beachmere. 


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