Golden Circle: A Sweet Legacy Rooted in Northgate

Long before Golden Circle became a household name across Australia, its roots were firmly planted in Northgate. In 1947, the suburb welcomed the opening of the company’s first canning factory, an event that would forever etch Golden Circle’s name in the records of Queensland’s pineapple industry and the nation’s food heritage.

Read: Greet the Morning With Delectable Baked Goodies at Flour & Chocolate Northgate

The grand opening of the Northgate facility on 28 October 1947, was a significant event, attended by 1,500 people, including 500 fruit growers from the Sunshine Coast who arrived on a special train. 

The then Premier of Queensland, the Hon Edward Hanlon, officially inaugurated the factory, which was initially named ‘Queensland Tropical Fruit Products,’ with ‘Golden Circle’ serving as their brand name.

Golden Circle
Pineapple cannery under construction at Northgate, 1946 (Photo credit: State Library of Queensland)

Since its inception, the Northgate factory has been the heart of Golden Circle’s operations, processing and canning a wide range of fruits and vegetables, from iconic pineapples to an array of other produce. 

Process workers at work at the Golden Circle cannery in Northgate (Photo credit: Brisbane John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

Over the years, the company’s product line has diversified, now encompassing fruit cordials, juices, carbonated beverages, and baby food, but the Northgate facility remains the company’s main production hub.

Photo credit: Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 1076737

Golden Circle, once one of the few remaining Australian-owned food companies, was acquired by international corporations. In 2007, Coca-Cola Amatil made a conditional bid to acquire 100 percent of the company’s shares. 

However, in 2008, Heinz launched a competing takeover bid, offering $1.65 per share, totaling $288 million. This bid was deemed attractive by Golden Circle’s chairman, Phillip Cave, especially given the challenging economic conditions at the time. 

Photo credit: The Pineapple Pantry by Golden Circle/Google Maps

Ultimately, Heinz’s takeover bid succeeded, and the acquisition was finalised on 19 December 19 2008, marking Golden Circle’s transition from an Australian farmer-owned company to an international ownership.

Whilst Golden Circle’s ownership has changed hands over the years, most recently acquired by Heinz in 2008, the brand’s connection to Northgate remains a point of pride for the company and the local community. The factory’s presence has been a constant in the area, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the suburb’s identity.

Golden Circle factory at Northgate, 2008 (Photo credit: CC BY 3.0/Enya2008/Wikimedia Commons)

In 2023, Golden Circle revived its Pineapple Pantry at Earnshaw Road, offering locals a unique opportunity to purchase select products from the company’s extensive range at discounted prices. The in-store offerings vary weekly, featuring items nearing their best-before date, product lines discontinued from supermarkets, or surplus inventory.

Photo credit: The Pineapple Pantry by Golden Circle/Google Maps

Read: Massive Discounts as The Golden Circle Pineapple Pantry Re-Opens in Northgate

Today, Golden Circle’s Northgate facility stands as a testament to the company’s rich history and its deep-rooted ties to Brisbane. As the brand continues to evolve and expand its reach, the Northgate canning factory remains a cherished landmark, reminding Australians of the company’s humble beginnings and its commitment to quality and innovation.

Published 17-May-2024

Copper Wire Theft Plagues Geebung Industrial Site

Authorities are asking the public to be on high alert after a string of brazen copper wire theft cases hit an industrial site in Geebung.

According to Queensland Police reports, the site on Bilsen Road was first struck between April 24th and April 26th, with thieves making off with an undisclosed amount of valuable copper wiring. The property was then hit again in the early morning hours of May 6th.

The thieves blend in the industrial sites wearing high-vis clothing, camouflaging with construction vehicles.

Copper wire theft is considered especially dangerous, as live wires can deliver lethal electric shocks. Cutting into electrical lines also creates fire hazards that put both perpetrators and legitimate workers at great risk.

In an effort to crack down on the thefts, police are urging any witnesses who notice suspicious activity around construction sites, power substations, or other potential targets to immediately report it by calling 131 444 or going online at Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers.

Published 10-May-2024

2024 Houses Awards Shortlists Wavell Heights Mansion

Among the diverse and talented field vying for the prestigious Houses Awards in the Alteration and Addition over 200m2 category is Owen Architecture’s remarkable Wavell Heights Mansion. This ingenious design takes the traditional Australian suburban brick home and translates it into a stunning modernist statement.

Photo Credit: Owen Architecture

Located in the leafy Brisbane suburb of Wavell Heights, the two-story residence presents a crisp, white sculptural facade accented by brickwork. A series of broad arches frame windows and arched doorways, lending an air of understated grandeur.

Photo Credit: Owen Architecture

The arched motif continues inside, where light-filled living areas open onto an elegant outdoor terrace and pool area surrounded by lush tropical landscaping.

Photo Credit: Owen Architecture

What makes this project so compelling is how Owen Architecture has taken the familiar forms and materials of the conventional suburban house and reinterpreted them in an exquisitely composed, contemporary manner. Traditional architectural elements like arched windows, verandahs, and bricks are reimagined and synthesised into a cohesive, livable design of restraint and refinement.

Photo Credit: Owen Architecture

By deftly straddling the line between fresh and familiar, Owen’s Wavell Heights Mansion project exemplifies how to revitalise an established residential archetype without resorting to imitation or excessive ornamentation. It represents suburban domestic architecture recalibrated for the 21st century through an intelligent, highly-considered design approach.

Photo Credit: Owen Architecture

This daring yet grounded design holds a well-deserved place among the exemplary projects shortlisted for the Alteration and Addition over 200m2 award category. Owen Architecture’s ability to extract new meaning from the ordinary epitomises housing design at its most skilful and transformative.

Published 6-May-2024

Back By Pup-ular Demand: The Doggo Day Markets Return to Virginia

Get ready for a tail-wagging good time, Virginia! The wildly popular Doggo Day Markets are making their pawsome return to VEND Marketplace in 2024. This pet-centric extravaganza is the ulti-mutt place for four-legged furry friends and their two-legged companions alike.

Read: Float Away Stress at Virginia’s New Merse Wellness Spa

Back by popular demand, the Doggo Day Markets will once again take over the charming indoor-outdoor venue with a pack of pooch-oriented activities, vendors, and treats galore on Saturday, May 18. 

The canine-themed festivities kick off at 9:00 a.m., allowing early birds to get first dibs on the incredible array of local dog businesses.

Photo credit: VEND Virginia/Facebook

Vendors will be popping up throughout the marketplace’s outdoor areas, hawking an irresistible selection of gourmet treats, stylish accessories, smart toys, and more must-have items for our beloved barkers. You’d be barking mad to miss out on stocking up for your pup!

Photo credit: VEND Virginia/Facebook

In addition to the open-air market, the day will feature a dressed-to-the-nines dog fashion show, giving dapper doggos a chance to strut their stuff on the runway. A panel of judges will award prizes in multiple categories, so start planning your pooch’s lewk now!

Photo credit: VEND Virginia/Facebook

When your dog needs a break from all that glamorous posing, swing by the day’s signature photo booth to capture some memorable mutt-shots. This is the perfect opportunity to update that outdated pup pic on your holiday cards.

doggo day markets
Photo credit: VEND Virginia/Facebook

And no dog day would be complete without lapping up the chance for a good ol’ fashioned scrub-a-dub-dub! Stop by the on-site dog wash station to get your stinky pup freshened up and smelling like a million biscuits.

doggo day markets
Photo credit: VEND Virginia/Facebook

The fun doesn’t stop there, though! The indoor VEND Marketplace will remain open throughout the event, allowing humans to browse the impressive vendor lineup selling clothing, art, home goods, and more while their furry friends sniff around the pet-friendly premises. When you’ve worked up an appetite from all that shopping and pup-watching, take a load off at the venue’s cafe, which features a spacious outdoor patio for you and your cuddle buddy to nosh together.

Read: Wavell Heights Queenslander One of the Key Filming Locations for Netflix’s ‘Boy Swallows Universe’

Best of all, entry to this awesome canine carnival is completely free, so you’ve got no excuses to skip out. Mark your calendars for May 18,  from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and get ready for a day celebrating all things doggo at the Doggo Day Markets in Virginia!

Visit VEND Virginia’s Facebook Events Page for more details.

Published 23-April-2024

Northside Stamp Fair Brings Collecting Craze to Geebung

Geebung is gearing up to welcome stamp enthusiasts and collectors from across the region for the highly anticipated Northside Stamp Fair. 

Read: Wavell Heights Queenslander One of the Key Filming Locations for Netflix’s ‘Boy Swallows Universe’

Organised by the Enoggera District Stamp Club Inc, this event promises to be a haven for those fascinated by the world of philately.

The Northside Stamp Fair is set to take place on Sunday, 21 April 2024, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 pm at the iconic Geebung RSL, conveniently located at the intersection of Cr Newman Road and Collings Street. This centrally located venue ensures easy access for visitors from various parts of the city.

Northside Stamp Fair
Photo credit: Geebung RSL/Google Maps

For seasoned collectors and newcomers alike, the fair offers a diverse range of activities and opportunities. One of the main attractions is the sale by tender, which will feature a maximum of 200 lots, with a limit of seven lots per person. This allows collectors to bid on rare and coveted stamps, making it a thrilling experience for those seeking to expand their collections.

Savvy dealers will be on hand, peddling their most prized possessions. Get ready to dive into a marketplace brimming with treasures waiting to be unearthed. And for those with a keen eye for bargains, the fair’s Bargain Table promises to be a goldmine of steals and deals.

Photo credit: Lynda Parker/Google Maps

Need a break from the buying frenzy? No sweat! Club Circuit Books offer a curated selection for your browsing pleasure, whilst refreshments keep you fueled for the philatelic fun.

Here’s the kicker – this stamp extravaganza is totally FREE! No admission fee, and plenty of parking to boot. It’s a stamp enthusiast’s ultimate fantasy, happening right in the heart of Geebung.

Read: Geebung’s Platypus Packaging Founder Leaves Legacy of Hard Work

Those interested may email to get all the deets on this unmissable event. Get ready to catch a serious case of stamp fever in Geebung!

Published 2-April-2024

Wavell Heights Community Mourns Retired School Principal Killed in Hit-and-Run Tragedy

The close-knit community of Wavell Heights is reeling from the loss of retired school principal Ian Colwell, 72, who tragically lost his life in an alleged hit-and-run incident in Chermside.

Described as a beloved figure within the neighbourhood, Mr Colwell’s untimely passing has left friends and neighbours devastated. A dedicated walker, he was struck and fatally injured while crossing Kittyhawk Drive and Murphy Road during his routine morning walk at approximately 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, 21 March 2024. 

Having resided in Wavell Heights for over two decades, Mr Colwell was a familiar face known for his regular walks, undertaken thrice daily.

Community Remembers a Remarkable Man

Fondly remembered for his years of service as a teacher in Papua New Guinea during the Vietnam War, his impact extended far beyond the classroom. 

His friend and former colleague, Terry Edwin Smith, reminisced about their time together, highlighting Mr Colwell’s quiet demeanour and profound knowledge. They served as instructors in military subjects and areas such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Mr Smith expressed disbelief at the tragic circumstances surrounding his passing.

David Innes, a neighbour, portrayed Mr Colwell as a well-regarded community member, noting that he was universally respected. He emphasised that his positive influence was widespread and that no one would speak ill of him. 

Allegations and Arrest

Joshua Alexander Scott, a 35-year-old forklift driver from Joyner, stands accused in this tragic event. According to court documents, Scott allegedly confessed to police that he felt the impact and observed Mr Colwell’s body falling in his rear-view mirror, indicating he knew the pedestrian was injured. 

Mr Scott is alleged to have struck the victim without braking after running a red light, resulting in Mr Colwell’s demise shortly after in hospital. Shockingly,  Mr Scott purportedly continued his journey, driving to a friend’s house where he disclosed his involvement in the incident. 

Ian Colwell Wavell Heights hit and run in Chermside
Photo Credit: QPS

He then contacted his partner, instructing her to erase CCTV footage of him departing in the car and delete their messages, as he planned to dispose of his phone. Subsequently, Mr Scott purportedly travelled to Wavell Heights, where he poured flammable liquid on the driver’s seat of the vehicle and set it ablaze within an hour of the collision.

Authorities assert that Mr Scott showed a “callous disregard” for the consequences of his actions, with the arson posing a significant threat to nearby residences. Following the fire, Mr Scott allegedly returned to his friend’s house before being driven to his workplace in Geebung. He was later apprehended by law enforcement officers at his workplace around 10 am. 

During a police interview, Mr Scott purportedly claimed that the traffic light was green, and he did not see the victim. However, he allegedly failed to provide a reasonable explanation for fleeing the scene or disposing of evidence.

Mr Scott’s court appearance has been adjourned to 15 April 2024, where he is expected to appear via video link. He faces charges of dangerous driving causing death, leaving the scene of an incident without obtaining help, and arson of a motor vehicle.

Published 25-March-2024

Ute Crashes Into Stadcor Street Home

A ute crashes into a local home on Stadcor Street in Wavell Heights Tuesday, 19th March 2024.

The vehicle, seemingly out of control, slammed into the property and left behind a trail of considerable damage.

Photo Credit: Facebook / Brisbane Incident Alerts

The driver of the ute miraculously escaped the incident without a scratch.

The usually quiet residential Stadcor Street is now cordoned off for investigation. Law enforcement is on the case piecing together the events that led to this incident.

In an unrelated event, on the same evening, another vehicle found its way into a two-storey home on Chigwell Street.

Let us hope for a swift resolution and the return of peace to our streets.

Published 22-March-2024

Float Away Stress at Virginia’s New Merse Wellness Spa

The wellness trend continues its expansion in North Brisbane with the recent opening of Merse Wellness Spa in Virginia. 

Read: Aquatic Achievers in Wavell Heights Among Swim Schools Getting $5-M SwimStart Boost

The spa, complete with magnesium float pools, infra-red saunas and more, caters to those looking for relaxation and recovery after intense workouts.

Merse is housed next to the massive Fitness Cartel Virginia gym and comes from Fitness Cartel founders Nathan James, Grace Donnelly, and TJ Groot. 

Photo credit: Merse Virginia/Facebook

James said Merse is the first location in what he hopes will become a major national wellness spa chain. They have a wide range of services, from body contouring and massage to cold plunge and compression therapy.

With an extensive background in the fitness industry, James noticed an emerging trend toward combining exercise with recovery sessions. As lifestyles become more hectic, he hopes people will recognise the importance of holistic wellbeing.

Photo credit: Merse Virginia/Facebook 

The owner of the newly opened wellness spa believes it’s not just about the gym anymore, but about finding a space that provides relaxation, recovery and recharging.

“We understand that the demands of modern life often leave us in need of relaxation, recovery, and rejuvenation. This understanding is at the core of our mission,” owners stated in their website.

The luxuriously fitted out spa features traditional and infrared saunas, magnesium float therapy, contrast therapy with cold plunge pools, and compression therapy with Normatec boots. Professional massage therapists are on staff, and there is even an automatic spray tan booth.

Merse, which only opened in late January 2024, operates 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends on Sandgate Rd.

Read: Wavell Heights Queenslander One of the Key Filming Locations for Netflix’s ‘Boy Swallows Universe’

Published 3-February-2024 

Wavell Heights Roadways Cleared Post-Deluge: Shaw Road Now Open

After the recent torrential rains that brought Queensland to a standstill, a ray of hope has emerged as Shaw Road in Wavell Heights has cleared and opened. 

The current weather forecast brings much relief, especially for commuters and residents around Shaw Road near the football fields and Widdop Street. Earlier submerged underwater, the area is now accessible, with Kedron Brook’s water levels receding significantly below the bridge.

Wavell Heights
Photo Credit: Glenn Barron/Facebook

However, locals have noted some residual concerns, such as intermittent digital radio signal disruptions in the vicinity of Shaw Road parks, a minor but notable consequence of the recent weather turmoil.

Previously, the heavy downpours had resulted in over 130 road closures across the state, with areas north of Brisbane, including the Lockyer Valley, severely affected. The deluge, amounting to 300mm overnight, led to an emergency state alert in these regions.

The aftermath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Kirrily was particularly harsh, leaving over 115,000 homes and businesses without power and causing widespread devastation in northern Queensland. However, dedicated efforts by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, along with other local authorities, have facilitated a rapid response to these unprecedented weather conditions.

Residents in the affected areas, including North Brisbane, were on high alert due to rising water levels and potential flooding. Evacuation centres and emergency plans were activated to ensure safety.

Meanwhile, residents are encouraged to check Queensland Traffic, especially when there are reported incidents of flash flooding. 

As much as possible, avoid flood-prone areas or stay at home if there is no immediate need to go out during a heavy downpour. 

Published 31-Jan-2024

Wavell Heights Queenslander One of the Key Filming Locations for Netflix’s ‘Boy Swallows Universe’

The recent Netflix adaptation of the bestselling Australian novel Boy Swallows Universe has brought 1980s Brisbane vividly to life on screen. Did you know that a Wavell Heights Queenslander served as the home of one of the main characters in the film?

Read: Wavell Heights Property Market Nearing the Million-Dollar Median Price Mark

In the book, Eli Bell’s estranged father Robert lives in a rundown but charming Queenslander. For the adaptation, the filmmakers found the perfect home on a corner block in Wavell Heights, with a beautiful mature Royal Poinciana tree out front. 

This quaint property, which producers deemed perfect for the requirement, was located at Thornton Parade. Its general look and ambiance helped transport viewers back to the 1980s.

Photo credit: Google Street View

Robert Bell (played by Simon Baker) is the alcoholic father of Eli (Felix Cameron) and Gus (Lee Halley). He loves his sons deeply, but his drinking prevents him from being a consistent presence in their lives. Robert is a flawed yet caring father, inspired by author Trent Dalton’s own relationship with his dad. 

Photo credit: Netflix

Though absent for stretches of time, Robert’s sporadic reappearances in the boys’ lives have a profound impact. Like Dalton’s father, Robert in the book represents a parent unable to overcome their demons yet still devoted to their children. 

The Wavell Heights Queenslander makes up just one part of Boy Swallows Universe’s diverse Brisbane filming locations. Other shoot sites included Beenleigh, Darra, Greenslopes, Chelmer, South Brisbane, Pinkenba and more. Together, they showcase Brisbane as it was in that period – a grittier, less developed city than today.

Photo credit: Netflix

The coming-of-age story follows Eli as he deals with his dysfunctional family and gets caught up in Brisbane’s criminal underworld. Author Trent Dalton’s vivid descriptions of real Brisbane suburbs and landmarks help ground this captivating tale.

For locals, seeing these familiar places faithfully recreated on screen adds an extra layer of enjoyment. Wavell Heights plays an important role in bringing Eli’s complicated homelife to the screen. It’s a testament to the care taken by the show’s creators to authentically capture the book’s sense of place. Boy Swallows Universe is proving a hit with audiences worldwide. 

Read: The Grand Kedron Lodge in Kalinga Defined the Beginnings of North Brisbane

Its Brisbane filming locations take viewers back in time, whilst offering locals a nostalgic glimpse of their hometown in decades past. Wavell Heights’ starring role connects it to this hugely successful Australian story.

Published 22-January-2024