Pat Kelly shows Fiona Russell where the original tennis court was in Bracewell.
Pat Kelly shows Fiona Russell where the original tennis court was in Bracewell. Mike Richards

Residents rejoice as street finally gets name

FIVE years of living on a street with no name, Fiona Russell can finally give visitors a street address when they drive into Bracewell.

The mother of four has been fighting Gladstone Regional Council for a street sign since 2010.

"If something happened to me and the girls were home, could you imagine a six-year-old trying to explain to an ambulance where we live?" she said.

"It's just ridiculous."

She said she was over the moon when she received the news her street would be named Tennis Court Lane.

It was a feeling shared by 96-year-old Pat Kelly. As a young girl she played tennis at two courts on this road.

Her strong memories of that time was valid reason, no doubt, for councillors to vote unanimously at last week's council meeting to give the road a name.

Mrs Kelly remembers hitting tennis balls with other children in the district for years.

"We played tennis every Sunday at our club. I used to love it in those days. It was quite competitive," she said.

"Nobody played football. It was tennis and cricket that everyone played.

"Nearly every farm had a tennis court on it."

Mrs Kelly first learned to play at the Bracewell State School court when she was in primary school in 1923.

"The court was made out of termite nests. It was a good court to play on," she said.

"All of our kiddies and grandkids went to the school.

"The teachers used to teach (classes) on the step. There were 80 students at the time."

She worked on the family dairy property and learned to cook at 17, then worked at the Mt Larcom Hotel as a chef.

Her first job was washing people's clothes for three shillings and cooking for families.

Mrs Kelly married Michael when she was 23. She continued to play tennis during her 20s and early 30s.

She has lived at the 32-acre property for 65 years.

The mother of three wouldn't swap the country life for the world, despite living through a depression and drought.

"We never had much money but I had a loving husband and father to my children," she said.

"I would do it all over again. I like the quietness of the country, you live with the nature."



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