from Redhill to Gympie

A tribute to Michael Christian Daly & Eileen Gertrude Green,to their descendants and to their ancestors and to the many cousins

Royal Commission into the Railway Administration 1918
Michael Edmond Daly
(1887-1937) is my grandfather, the son of Daniel and Mary Daly. He was called before a Royal Commission on the Administration of Railways in August 1917. He was an engine driver. The Royal Commission was seeking a range of views from rail employees at major rail centres including Brisbane, Ipswich, Roma, Maryborough and Gympie where Michael lived with his wife Justina Catherina Entenmann (aka Augusta Catherine Entenmann) and their 5 children. Michael and his wife "Gus" were to later have another 2 children.At the time of his appearance before the Royal Commission, his second son, Michael Christian Daly was born just one month previously. Michael Christian Daly is my father.

The determined commissioners were direct in their questioning and one can imagine the angst Michael experienced when questioned. Michael had a young family to protect from any repercussions of "dobbing in" other employees or highlighting inefficiencies in the railway. It was a tightrope he had to walk. I envisage that the commissioners' rank and language would have been intimidating to the engine driver.

Gympie Rail Station

A Gympie Train

The Report

The questions were undeviating and at times seemed to be targeting Michael Edmond about some perceived wrong. There were several issues. For example, the unfairness of the job rosters - some men (yes, they were all men on the railways in those days) were nearly doubling their pay with overtime while others were being denied overtime.

It was implied that there may have been a dispute between rival unions representing the railmen. We read about the poor construction of a rail platform in Gympie, the poor construction of the engine shed. The platform had to be moved and reconstructed at least twice - perhaps due to poor plans. (see the above photo of the platform which was constructed after the changes).

This was in 1913 when Gympie's new rail station was built. I think Michael Edmond may have been a bit rattled towards the end of his examination as he gave an answer which was not pertinent to the question which as asked by a commissioner.

We can tell how busy Gympie in days gone by from the rail schedules of the time. Read about the "very fast train" from Brisbane in the transcript.

I invite you to take some time to read part of the transcript of the evidence of Michael Edmond. This was contained in the report of the Royal Commission to Parliament. (source: State Library of Queensland, Administration of Queensland Railways 1918/v.2 1226-1230)