Although many roads, parks and prominent features in the Coolum and North Shore area bear names which reflect our local history, less is known of the back stories to these names. Sometimes original names are changed to something more desirable – there is an early map of the area which features “Halfway Lump”, a name which has fortunately been superseded by “Mt Coolum”!
Early settlers are often commemorated. Coolum features Perry Street and Point Perry, honouring Harold Perry-Keene, a landholder and prominent citizen in the first half of the 1900s. The first Perry-Keene land in the Coolum area however, was purchased by his wife and mother-in-law.
Jack Morgan Park was named for a Coolum farmer who arrived in 1915, became Coolum’s first life-saver in 1919 and the first Maroochy Shire councillor from Coolum area in 1946.
David Low, Maroochy Shire chairman from 1952 to 1967, is remembered by David Low Way, which linked Maroochydore with Noosa from 1961.
Some names alter with time – Surveyor Robert Abbot named Stumers Creek after his young assistant, Fred Stumer, whose father farmed the area known as ‘Meadowlands’, a term rarely used today.
Yaroomba, established at the time of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, was initially ‘Coronation Beach’, but this name was changed because the same name was used for a West Australian development.
Others can still be dated by their names – “Centenary Heights” marked the 1959 centenary of Queensland, while the arrival of television in August 1959 led to a proliferation of American names such as Malibu, Daytona, and Santa Monica.
Groups of names such as this can define the establishment of different housing estates, and engender community spirit within a localised area.
Frances Windolf is co-author of “Án Island Surrounded by Land. The history of an earlier Coolum.” Adrian Just is Archicology. They both sit on the Cultural Heritage Reference Group.