Bannockburn

Location

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History

Bannockburn was the name of Alexander Watt's original sugar lease, which was taken up in 1869 with Colin Munro and John Young. Munro's property was known as Fischerfield. It operated from at least 1868 and possibly earlier. In 1872, The Queenslander newspaper reported that Colin Munro had installed new sugar milling machinery on his property Fischerfield.

Alexander and Susan Watt arrived in Brisbane aboard the Ghengis Khan in August 1854. Alexander was listed as a farm labourer. He was one of the pioneers of the sugar industry in the Brisbane area, initially at St Lucia. He then relocated to the Beenleigh district, taking up land on the Albert River. A visitor to his mill in 1885 described it as the oldest-style mill at that time, meaning that Watt had not seen the need to update his equipment as others had done. He won many prizes for his sugar over the years and supplemented his income with horse breeding.

In the late 1860s, James Carter operated a cross-river ferry at Bannockburn Road.

Alexander's son, John Stevenson Watt, established a wheelwright and blacksmith business in Beenleigh. At the 1886 Beenleigh Show, he was awarded the Queensland champion prize for agricultural implements. In 1887, he won the prize for buggies and dog carts. His business evolved into the Watt Brothers Coach Body Works, initially based in Coomera and Beaudesert. In 1923, the business moved to Woolloongabba. It is still managed today by Barrie Watt, grandson of John Stevenson Watt, in Lotus Street.

In 1987, a park was named after Alexander Watt. It is located between Richland Drive and Old Mill Road, where Bolivah Creek meets the Albert River.

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