Friday, March 17, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Nestled at the lower end of Fadden Street lies a way of life that's truly unique - living "on the creek"! For generations, the children of Fadden Street have spent countless hours near or in the creek, waiting in anticipation for the inevitable overflow that comes after a good spell of rain. There was never a dull moment, with activities ranging from constructing makeshift boats out of corrugated iron or rafts from bamboo branches found along the creek bank, to engaging in endless "wars" fought in boats or bamboo forts.
Though times have changed and access to the creek is now limited by property fences, the memories of those bygone days still linger. Backyards were once combined to create sprawling park-size spaces perfect for football or cricket games and camping in tents with fires by the creek - it was truly the life!
Fadden Street has weathered its fair share of "proper wet seasons," with some particularly devastating floods from the "Scrubby Creek" - known to locals and beyond as Baker's Creek due to its passage through Scrubby/Walkerston. Floods in 1951, 1979, 2008, and 2017 left their mark on the homes lining the creek's banks. The 2008 flood, in particular, was caused by a heavy downpour of over 600mm in just six hours in the Baker's Creek catchment area, causing the water to rise at an astonishing pace.
Despite the creek's destructive capacity, causing massive, fast-flowing rivers that sweep away everything in their path as they rush to the ocean, it's equally as beautiful in its serene state. It's teeming with wildlife and features cool, clean water that babbles like a brook, offering a calming and soothing effect.
For the residents of Fadden Street, living alongside the remarkable "Scrubby Creek" is a way of life like no other, rich in history, memories, and an appreciation for the power and beauty of nature.
1984 flooding over the street
23 March, 2017 flooding
1948 St Andrew's Church to the left of the picture, houses were built there in 1974. Photos supplied: Bente McDonald
Fadden Street 1951, viewed from top end at Albion Hotel. At the top corner of the image is the lacework railing of the hotel. Albion burnt down in the 1960s and was replaced with O'Shea's Motel