Historic scribe launches More Abell Men

9th July 2017 11:58 AM
Author Colin Abell, member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan and Naomi Abell at the More Abell Men launch. Author Colin Abell, member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan and Naomi Abell at the More Abell Men launch. Peter Carruthers

HIS father told the story of the pioneering families who settled Airlie Beach from the sea in early 1900s.

That book, called Three Abell Men, was compiled by Colin Abell and told the riveting and at times harrowing story of former English tenant farmers who immigrated to Australia seeking a better life.

Arriving at the Whitsunday from the Lockyer Valley the Abells had plans to grow sugar cane to crush at the recently built Proserpine mill.

They arrived at Shingley Beach to learn of a mountain range between Airlie Beach and Proserpine and no road.

They eked out a living working as cane cutters and timber getters on the islands and in the Cedar Creek area.

Colin was born in Mackay when his ancestors resettled in the Pioneer Valley west of Mackay.

More Abell Men tells the tale of what happened to the family when they left the Whitsunday region.

Years in the writing Colin said the first book was launched at the Proserpine museum and the volunteers had done a great job in helping him sell the book.

So the sequel was also launched in Proserpine on Saturday.

Colin said he and his father helped record the first history of mainland settlement in Airlie Beach and it was important to the region that this information is not lost.

"It is history that is not available," he said.

Colin said he was pleased with the second book and hoped it would be read by the people of the Whitsundays.

"It came up well. I'm pretty happy with it."

Colin said there were plans to have a memorial dedicated to the pioneering families at the yet-to-be-built park at Abell Point marina.

The book is available online as an ebook and hardcopy, it is also sold at the Proserpine Museum.