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The Beach House

By Paul Stirling

Tony and Dale Hull are long term residents of Trinity Beach and it was a pleasure to sit down and have a chat about the days of old and new.

Tony and Dale have been married now for 46 years and were married in Atherton, where Dale originated and was working as a Nurse at the time. They began their family early with the addition of a Son – Steven and Daughter – Kerie. Unfortunately Steven lost his life at the early age of 19 in the Moura Mine disaster of 1986. Kerie started out Teaching and then became involved in Journalism, which is what she continues to do to this day working with a local Member of Parliament in Cairns, as well as raising her two little men – Fletcher who’s 9 years old & Hugh is 10.

Tony’s Dad – Tom Snr and his Mum – Beryl purchased the first block of land at the southern end of Vasey Esplanade, Trinity Beach in 1937 which is now known as Peacock Street. They were the only house at this end of the strip, with around 6 -7 other houses at the northern end of Vasey Esplanade. The beautiful Queenslander was completed in 1939 and was used as a family ‘Beach House’ on the weekends. It wasn’t as easy trip to get there, as original residents would remember, they didn’t have the luxury of having bitumen on the roads. Vasey Esplanade was a dirt track leading into the bushland of where the house was sited. At least the locals had entertainment at the local Pub, which was affectionately known as the ‘D.I.’ (short for Double Island, as Vasey Esplanade had been previously named).

In later years, Tom Snr. built a ‘Care Takers’ quarters beside the ‘Beach House’ which to his surprise, the Army took possession of for a short time during the 1942 – 1945 for their Amphibious Training. When the family were able to visit their Beach House during this time, they were under strict instructions that no cameras were to be taken to the premises.

Tony and Dale moved to Bundaberg where he continued his Career in the Trawling business, taking him away from his family for up to 7 weeks at a time for a period of around 30 years. Tony’s Brother – Tom has previously mentioned that this ‘may be the reason behind their long and happy marriage’.

The ‘Beach House’ was always something that Tony had wanted to retire in and when his Mum passed away in 1992, leaving it to the three Brothers, Tony took the opportunity to buy his Brothers out. This then gave way for Tony and Dale to uproot their previous life and head back to Trinity Beach. Tony worked a few more years in Cairns, still in the Trawling Industry, before retiring in 2002.

The beautiful house that stands there today was built in 1997 after the original one had to be demolished due to its not so fair weathered stature. Meaning, it was safer to demolish and rebuild than renovate.

Tony and Dale have enjoyed many years at this magnificent home and who would want to live anywhere else. With the cooling breezes, the beach front at your door step and the ocean view at your every turn, I’m certainly envious. Not to mention that the day I was visiting, the QE II was floating by, now that’s something you don’t see every day…

Pretty much the only time Tony leaves this magic sight, is when he goes Camping at his favourite spot – Princess Charlotte Bay, to continue his passion of ‘crabbing and fishing’. He confessed that he would ‘get away as many times as I can’ to go camping when possible.

Noting that they younger generation don’t get out of the house as often as his childhood, with examples of the simple things in life such as; Fishing, backyard Cricket/ Footy, Bush exploring/ making Cubby Houses, Tony had a few words of wisdom for them, get out of the house, get away from the T.V, get active and use your imagination.

Tony is from one of the iconic Cairns families who were the owners of Tom Hulls Mans World. The Clothing Boutique was in operation from 1929 to 2004. A big thank you to Tony and Dale for their time.

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