The Smyth Medal was awarded to school children in honour of Mr William Smyth, MLA.
Mr Smyth was one of Gympie’s successful (wealthiest) men from his career as mayor and alderman, mine manager, investor and company director (1). Smyth died in 1899 however after his death, his wife, Ellen donated (2) and presented gold Smyth Medals to the best overall proficient boy and girl (in only the fourth, fifth and sixth class grades) at three Gympie schools, annually from 1900 to 1917: Monkland, Central Boys and Girls, and One Mile Boys and Girls schools.
In 1909, at the Monkland School end of year breakup, Mayor Burbidge presented Smyth awards and requested three hearty cheers for each (3).
The medal itself were 15ct gold and weighed almost half an ounce (4).
The prestigious award was at times, contentious among parents, with Head Mistress Ms Hood of One Mile Girls School often having to explain or alleviate “anxious” or agitated parents. In 1907, Hood (5) had to alleviate worries via a letter to the editor in The Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette about a recipient being over the age limit. Again in 1908, Ms Hood wrote and addressed (6) confusion over the Smyth Medal examinations, which in turn received replies in further editions of the newspaper (7) (8).
The Smyth Medallist Recipients – One Mile, Monkland (Central School~ in progress)
|Year||Boys – One Mile||Girls – One Mile||Boys – Monkland||Girls – Monkland||Boys – Central||Girls – Central|
|1900||Wilfred J. Trudgian||Winifred Lloyd||Marcus Grealy||Florence Venning||John Frame||Florence Bradshaw|
|1901||George Brown||Ida Angrove||William Weller||Esther Lilian Smith||Roy Millar||Ada Dobbs|
|1902||Joseph H. Corley||Jane Fleming||Hugh Carroll||Minnie Finch||Ernest Ambrose||Ida Pilcher|
|1903||Francis Jennings Hudson||Kathleen Killeen||Stuart Scougal||Edith E. Smith||H. Jenkins||Agnes Conwell|
|1904||Andrew Anderson||Jessie Rowe||Thomas A. Smith||Mary Reid||James Cavaye||Frances E. Bradshaw|
|1905||Archie Loosemore||Alice Beck||W. W. Erickson||Elsie Younger||Cyril Mitchell||Gladys Davies|
|1906||Alf Loosemore||Grace Brown||Matt McMahon||Fanny Griffin||William McNicol||Sylvia Burbidge? (tbc)|
|1907||Alfred Percy Gough||M. Richards||Thomas Ritchie||Elsie Healy||William Kay||Mabel McFie|
|1908||Cyril Deacon||Edith McKenzie||John Brooks||Dolly McIntosh||George M. Waddell||Ethel Neal|
|1909||Jas (James). L. Graham||Ethel M. Bauer||Rudolph Power||Gwen James||Kenneth MacCallum||Stella Richmond|
|1910||Herb Kaeshagen||not published, unknown||Thomas Honeyman||Lena Cork||Edwin Foster||Edith Stitt|
|1911||C. Auchterlonie||Eva McFadden||James Florence||Bella Venning||Peter Green||Amy Draper|
|1912||H. Goldsworthy||Nellie Graham||W. B. Florence||May Wintour||William Henry Kelly||Dorothy Harris|
|1913||G. Hughes||Florence Brown||J. Saunders||Gwen Williams||Walter Foster||Evelyn/Eveline Cundith|
|1914||Wm. (William) Davies||Elsie McCormack||Brinley R. Williams||Marie K. Arnell||George Henry||Doris Sanday|
|1915||Fred Bauer||Beryl King||Edward Heiniger||Helena Broe||Blair Boddington||Ettie Dunstan|
|1916||Andrew Brown||May Dee||Sam Weller||Rose Heiniger||C. J. Nash||Merle Sedgman|
|1917||Thos. (Thomas) Milfull||Elsie Bradley||Jack Hughes||Jessie Turner||Stanley D. Traill||Thelma Thurecht|
(1) Ferguson, J., & Brown, E. (2009). The Gympie goldfield 1867-2008. Gympie Regional Council.
(2) Brisbane Courier. Thursday 17 December 1914, page 4
(3) The Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette, Saturday 11 December 1909, page 4.
(4) Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum. http://www.museum.gympiegoldmuseum.com.au/files/other/FF-1-FEB-SMYTH-MEDAL.pdf
(5) The Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette. Saturday 21 December, 1907, page 3.
(6) The Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette, Tuesday 15 December 1908, page 3
(7) The Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette, Thursday 17 December 1908, page 3
(8) The Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette, Thursday 24 December 1908, page 4