Around the end of 1902, David Elder Reid returned to Gympie from the Boer War in South Africa. Within a year he successfully ran for mayor in Gympie, married Ann Jannett Murray, and had a large Queenslander transported on bullock drays to the corner of Gympie Terrace and Thomas Street. The family’s holiday home on the Noosa River was named Kilkivan, after the town where Reid had first settled in Australia and the building may have been his first house there. His motorboat, Jannett, was possibly the first motorboat on the Noosa River.

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Kilkivan (right) on Gympie Terrace, circa 1918

Reid was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1864 and studied chemistry at Glasgow University before migrating to Queensland in 1885. He arrived as the manager of the small Kaboonga gold mine at Kilkivan, west of Gympie. After the mine closed, Reid moved into Gympie, introducing the cyanide process of gold recovery and becoming the director of several gold mining companies, including the Scottish Gympie Gold Mines Co. Ltd., which would soon operate Gympie’s greatest mine.


Lt-Col David Reid. Image courtesy of E. Lindley

In Scotland, Reid had been a volunteer for the Lanarkshire Rifles. In Queensland, he joined the Mounted Infantry in 1889 and rose to the rank of Captain. He then served the British Empire in the Boer War in South Africa in 1901-1902, returning as a Brigade Major of the 5th Light Horse with Distinguished Service Order and the Queen’s South Africa medals. He continued his service with the Army Reserve, retiring in 1920 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Reid lived in Gympie for the rest of his life but continued to holiday on Gympie Terrace, passing away in 1930.

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Kilkivan (right) on Gympie Terrace, shortly after the connection to electricity in 1947