LifeFit

OAM runs in the family..

Lately I have been finding myself becoming more and more interested in photography.  There is a camera at the ready at any given moment it seems, and the sharing of photos has gone to crazy town.

Now, I don’t know if it is possible for this interest to be heredity, but there is a fair bit of history within my family, on my mothers side, with photography and film making.

My late grandfather, George Burne OAM was a pioneer cinematographer with his father, Al, being one of the first cinematographers in Australia in the early 1900’s. 

Great Granddad on camera photographing film for Council at Coolangatta approx 1924.  The young boy in white shirt next to him is Pa.  Note buildings on side of road going around Kirra Hill.

For about 30 years my Pa was the Queensland representative of “Cinesound’ and them “Movietone” newsreels and travelled throughout Queensland and NSW chasing the news stories of the day. Some of the more well known ones were the wreck of the “Mehino” on Fraser Island, Bert Hinkler and Amy Johnson’s landing at Eagle Farm Airport and the rescue of survivors from the Stinson plane crash at the Lamington Plateau.

Remember, there were no such things as helicopters back then, it was all about driving and carrying all the camera equipment to some remote locations!

Pa with cameraand his brother Len of top of one of the first type of station wagons in Australia.  It was bought from the American Army after WW2, date late 1940’s.

Laboratories were also established to process the nightly news film for all the TV stations in Brisbane before they had their own processing equipment.  The family also established “Race Films” which provided race stewards with photographic evidence during a race enquiry.

Pa at Doomben racecourse Dec 1966

I remember visiting his house in Brisbane and going downstairs under the old Queenslander style house to his ‘dark room’ where he processed the films..oh how things have changed!  We still have some of his old cameras, that were very expensive at the time but with most including all his films now being housed at the National Film and Sound Archives in Canberra.

Great granddad, Al Burne photographing a scene from “Silks and Saddles”, an Australian film, early 1920’s

As you can tell, I am so proud of my Pa, he passed away in 1997, but he is still so such a large part of my life, as he taught me to how work hard and to go in my own direction – set my own path, because that is what he did, he was a groundbreaker.

If you are planning to go to the movies or are even sitting down to watch the nightly news, remind yourself of how far we have come, and it was all to do with the help of pioneers like my Pa. X

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