History – Stories from the Burgess Family

Charles C Burgess
Charles C Burgess

Henry C Burgess was one of the first contacts made with the outside world by Bernard O’Reilly coming down Christmas Creek during the Stinson Rescue.  

Henry took Bernard and the two Buchanan boys, Ray and Charlie, to the Buchanan home by car.  Henry was also responsible for the donation of the land now known as Burgess Park, having advised the Beaudesert Shire Council that the Beaudesert Rotary Club would complete the work of providing necessary BBQ sites, toilets and seating.  Burgess Park was opened before a crowd of 200 people by the Chairman of Beaudesert Council, Mr EM Tilley, in November 1972.

In the early 1900s Charlie Burgess and Eric Buchanan cut a track from the top of Lamington Plateau along the Border Rim and then via Roberts Plateau (now called O’Reilly’s Plateau) down to lower Kerry.  

It was this track that Lord Lamington was taken along, in part, to support a move to declare a large area of the Border Ranges a National Park.  

This was accomplished on 30 July 1915.  

At the time of the Stinson Rescue Charlie Burgess was a volunteer who Bernard O’Reilly said “Did splendid work scouting for John Buchanan’s party”.  

Charlie Burgess, severely wounded in World War 1, was searching for meaning and survival and he joined an American movement called The House of David – possibly formed in reaction to the needs of returned men after the slaughter of trench warfare.

He lived by its precepts that would provide him with the outline of a life of meaning and survival in his hour of need.  He grew corn and ground it into flour from which he made cakes, bread and biscuits.

He was intelligent, contented, with a freedom from care, a love of animals and birds.  His food was wholesome and palatable.  

In 1938 Charles C Burgess left his home for the last time and went to Brisbane suffering weakness and breathlessness.  

Admitted to the General Hospital 9 April 1939, he died two days later and was laid to rest in Toowong Cemetery.

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