What do Boondar and Life Saving have in Common with Deception Bay?

Koopa Brisbane Tug and Steamship company

Alexander Webster had a business interest in the Brisbane Tug & Steamship Company which, among other enterprises, operated the excursion steamer called the Koopa which plied the waters of Moreton Bay for over 40 years. Webster’s holiday house was called Boondar after what he believedwas an indigenous name meaning kangaroo. Boondar was a typical gentleman’s seaside residence in proximity to Brisbane – a high-set weatherboard Queenslander with a central brick fireplace.

A survey of the property in 2000 recognized it to be surrounded by a garden containing an ornamental lake, mature bunya, fig and mango trees as well as a bamboo clump, guavas, roses and clivias. A section of the split rail fence had survived and the grand driveway leading up to the house was lined with camphor laurels. A dense stand of cotton trees separated the house garden from the esplanade with a boat shed built on the foreshore and a channel cut for access to deep water.

Despite it being only a holiday house, Alexander Webster took an interest in the local Deception Bay community. He established the first life saving patrols at the Bay in 1924 , and in 1929, also constructed a bowling green and tennis court for public use.

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