Colonial and Settlement History
1901 to 1969
1901 to 1902
On 16 September 1901 the Australian Flag was unveiled and proclaimed for the first time at a ceremony at Town Hall in Townsville. The ceremony was conducted by the first Governor-General of Australia, the Earl of Hopetoun.
The railway to Ayr was opened in 1901.
Townsville was proclaimed a City under the new 'Local Authorities Act' in 1902.
Cyclone Leonta struck Townsville on 9 March, with eight people losing their lives. The Grammar School was destroyed, St James' Cathedral was damaged, the hospital collapsed and many other buildings were damaged.
The first Eisteddfod was held on Easter Saturday
Unfurlng the Flag on Town Hall, 1901
Townsville Grammar School after Cyclone Leonta, 1903
SS Yongala, 1910
First Aeroplane in Townsville, 1913
Kennedy Regiment marching across Victoria Bridge, 1914
World War I Peace Day Celebrations Flinders Street, 1918
Townsville Airport, Garbutt
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at Civic Reception, 1954
Official Opening Jezzine Barracks, 1964
Gas lamps were installed along Flinders Street.
The Australian Sugar Producers Association formed in Townsville.
Three weirs were built on Ross River to supplement the supply of fresh water to the community.
'Moving picture theatres' came into vogue and Townsville people had the choice of two venues, My Coyle's Royal and Birch Carroll's Olympia. Within two years the operations had merged.
The Institute of Tropical Medicine was established in Townsville. The first Director was Austrian-born Doctor, Anton Breinl (1880-1944).
More than 100 lives were lost when the ship Yongala disappeared during a storm and sank. The ship was found in 1958 on the sea floor off Bowling Green Bay.
A fire in the Townsville Bulletin office destroyed many of the newspaper records.
Horse drawn buses, which had operated in the city since the 1880s, were gradually replaced by motorised buses.
A wireless telegraph station was established in Victoria Park. A 160-foot-high timber mast was erected to support the aerial.
Townsville celebrated its 50 year jubilee.
The first aeroplane seen in Townsville landed on the Cluden racecourse on 28 August.
The Great Northern Railway station opened in Flinders Street.
World War I
The Townsville-based Kennedy Regiment was heavily involved in the capture of Germany's Pacific colonies.
World War I ended. Parades were held to celebrate the declaration of peace.
An industrial dispute involving employees at the meatworks turned violent, leading to two arrests. A large crowd marched to the watch-house (the current site of the Perfume Gardens) to protest their arrest, and shots are reputed to have been fired.
A large crowd of people gathered in Flinders Street to watch the lumination of Townsville's first electric street light. The first Townsville house to be connected to electricity was 123 Mitchell Street in 1925.
The railway from Brisbane to Cairns opened. A second railway bridge was built near Lowth's road bridge in Stanley Street and a railway goods yard was established in South Townsville.
1925 - 1930
The first flying boat to land in Townsville berthed in Ross Creek in 1925.
Extensions were carried out on the Townsville Harbour in 1925.
The Central Fire Station was opened on the corner of Stokes and Walker Streets.
Large deposits of copper, lead and zinc were discovered in the vicinity of Mount Isa. By 1929 bulk ore from Mount Isa was being exported from Townsville.
Shell and Vacuum oil companies competed for leases for bulk petroleum storage from 1928 through to 1929.
Aplin's Weir was built in 1928.
Navy submarines Oxley and Otway visited Townsville, docking alongside Townsville's jetty wharf in 1929.
Construction commenced on the Mt Spec road. The work included the construction of an arch bridge over Little Crystal Creek (c.1930s).
A railway strike in November brought about the dismissal of 100 workers.
The Spanish bullfighter, Vucataro arrived to take part in Australia's first bullfight. The event was organised by Mr John Robinson, son of the famous Townsville Pioneer Mrs Catherine Robinson.
The Ross River ceased to flow.
Townsville's population reached 30,000 people.
Castle Hill Road was completed and opened on 28 February.
Townsville's first airport opened with gravel runways.
The Garbutt airfield was commissioned to become a Royal Australian Air Force base.
1942 - 1946
World War II
Townsville became a major military base, accommodating up to 90,000 Australian, American and other allied service personnel. The City was bombed on three occassions by the Japanese, and was used as a major offensive launching base during the battle of the Coral Sea.
Crowds flocked to Flinders Street when peace was announced on 15 August 1945. World War II Victory Day celebrations were held on 10 June 1946 at the Railway Station.
Childcare services began in Townsville when the Townsville Municipal Day Nursery was established in the Town Hall.
The Foley Shield competition started. The Shield is North Queensland Rugby Leagues premier competition and has been a breeding ground for a number of Queensland and Australian players including Kerry Boustead, Gene Miles, Matin Bella and Wendal Sailor.
Tobruk Memorial Pool opened 14 October.
The new Townsville General Hospital opened in North Ward on 21 April.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the city as part of a Royal tour.
The first Magnetic Island to Townsville swim was staged. A huge success, it has become an annual event.
Townsville's Tobruk Memorial Pool was used as a training venue for the Australian swimming squad for the Melbourne Olympic Games. Training camps prior to the Cardiff Commonwealth Games in 1958 and the Rome Olympic Games in 1960 were also held at the pool.
The first bulk sugar terminal was constructed at the Townsville Port.
Premier Frank Nicklin opened the new Copper Refinery at Stuart.
1960 - 1969
The University College of Townsville was opened in 1961 .
The bulk sugar terminal at the port was severely damaged by a fire in 1963.
In 1964, Col. Sir Henry Abel-Smith, Governor of Queensland, officially opened the Jezzine Barracks at Kissing Point. He also unveiled the Centenary Memorial Plaque.
The CSIRO Davies Laboratory was established on University Road on 27 July 1965.
Lavarack Barracks was established with Australian 3rd Task Force transferred to Townsville in 1967.