Western Star founder’s legacy still lives on in Roma
ARRIVING in Roma to become a governess in 1956, Gloria Limpus (nee Galloway) knew little of her family connection to the town.
It was through copies of The Western Star that she learned more about Cornelius Galloway – her great grandfather, a founder and early proprietor of Roma’s beloved newspaper.
While her grandfather had told her some stories here and there, Mrs Limpus said she learned a lot about Mr Galloway Sr from a supplement to The Western Star.
“I saw another Galloway in the paper and realised he was my great grandfather,” she said.
“But before then I can’t remember knowing much about it, unless my grandfather told me while I was growing up with him.”
Mrs Limpus, then Miss Galloway, grew up on a farm at Pomona, near Gympie; her family had established there because of Cornelius Galloway, who was a founding newspaperman of the region’s first newspaper The Nashville Times before making his way to Roma.
Mrs Limpus’ original excerpt with information on Cornelius Galloway comes from an April 18, 1925 edition of The Western Star, which she has acquired over her 64 years in the region.
Mr Cornelius Galloway was a partner with Mr Alfred Robinson and Mr J.H. Thompson when the Star was purchased from Mr Francis Kidner in 1879.
He was born in Scotland in 1840, and was brought by his parents to Sydney when a youth.
Apprenticed to the Sydney Morning Herald, he graduated in a good school.
Attracted by the prospects of the then recently proclaimed new colony of Queensland, he set sail for Brisbane in 1860.
He worked for a time on the Courier (Brisbane), The Queensland Times (Ipswich), and was one of the first employees on the first Gympie newspaper The Nashville Times.
Severing his connection with the Times when the Imbil goldfield broke out, he started storekeeping at that centre.
Later on he took up land in the Cootharaba and Cooloothin Creek districts.
The year 1876 saw him in Roma, assisting Mr F Kinder to start the Star.
Eventually he and Mr Robinson and Mr Thompson became proprietors.
After a few years he sold his interest in the Star and retraced his steps to Gympie, where he entered the timber industry.
Always of a roving disposition, when the Palmer, Croydon, and Kalgoorlie goldfields broke out, he visited everyone of them with varied success.
About the year 1879 he, in company with two other Gympie men, went on a prospecting expedition into the heart of New Guinea.
They secured the services of 150 natives as carriers.
Both his companions went down with malarial fever, and had to be taken to the coast.
Eventually Mr Galloway also was stricken with the fever, and the natives had to take him in a canoe to Port Moresby.
Mr Galloway’s declining years were spent among his children in the Pomona district.
He died on 18th June, 1922.
His widow is still living, and the following members of the family:- Messrs B. Galloway (Lands Department, Warwick), John and Herbert Galloway (Cootharaba).
The daughters are Mrs H Armitage, junr. (Pomona), Mrs J Pearin (Woondum), Mrs John Burchill (Kareeva), Mrs H Miller (Kin Kin), and Mrs John Barrett (Marrickville, Sydney).
There are 50 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Paving her own legacy in Roma
Mrs Limpus has carved out her own story in the west since arriving in her early twenties.
After starting as a governess, she went on to work in the flour mill, and married local man Brian Limpus.
Together the pair lived and worked on a property at Pickanjinne for many years, aside from a brief stint dairying at Dirranbandi.
After the demise of the southwestern dairy industry, Mrs Limpus returned to her roots as a qualified music teacher, running lessons and selling painos in Roma for many years; her business began at home, but quickly moved to a shop in the main street.
Not content with having any spare time, Mrs Limpus also toured the west as a travelling musician.
Together with her guitarist and drummer she would play dance halls all over Queensland.
While she sold the shop in the 1990s, Mrs Limpus still enjoys teaching. In addition to piano, she often teaches ceramics at the Roma on Bungil gallery.
She is an active member of the show society, and as a gifted painter and potter, is chief steward of the art section each year.