Beaudesert’s Phil Tarlinton vividly remembers the Duck Creek Road movement of the 80s.
He was managing Beaudesert Hardware Mitre 10 for the late Don Franklin OAM at the time and was part of the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees).
“I got involved with Duck Creek Road from a Jaycees perspective, which is what all service clubs did in those times, it was just normal approach to everyday community life,” he said.
“We’d all go up there and do working bees and do our little bit to get an outcome, and of course, Don was always talking to me about the road.”
For about the last eight years Mr Tarlinton has been compiling a book about the road’s history, which he notes dates back to 1911 when the O’Reilly’s from Blue Mountains headed north to take up their selections atop what is now known as Green Mountains.
In his work in progress book, Mr Tarlinton refers to the community, O’Reilly family, council and Beaudesert Chamber of Commerce all playing their part.
Duck Creek Road, officially opened in 1988, was built by forward-thinking volunteers like Mr Tarlinton but it has been closed since Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
Mr Tarlinton is humble about his involvement, but it is clear his passion remains strong.
“I’ve had this interest since the 80s, but I was one of many people – I had no official role, I wasn’t on the committee,” he said.
“But in later times, before it was closed, I could see it didn’t have the recognition in terms of recording the history of it, so that’s when I started to get an interest in trying to put together some of the stories.”
In 2016, before the road closed, Mr Tarlinton was among volunteers who installed fences on property boundaries and more than 50 new signs through community and chamber support.
The individual and local business support was reminiscent of those 80s Duck Creek Road days and attracted a heartfelt thank you letter from O’Reilly’s stalwart Peter O’Reilly.
Mr Tarlinton is not sure at this stage when or how he will publish his book, but for now he is gathering information on the community push to reopen Duck Creek Road – a cause he naturally supports.