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2017-05-04

"Remember The Alamo," It was heard around the world

By Raymond V. Carter, Jr. BCHC Research Historian ©2017

It is hard to comprehend that actions played out here in Texas in 1836 affected other people and their actions on the other side of the world, but it did. A person can read about these things, but I don't believe one can really comprehend that fact until a person travels, lives the experiences and sees these things for themselves. It is the degree of effect that I am talking about. I traveled from Texas and the USA many years ago and had an experience that made me feel like I never really left Texas and home. I visited a place where the people took the Texas culture and history very seriously. An article I read the other day on Texas history made me think of this journey and this unique experience.
Quoting David Anthony Richelieu, Express-News Staff Writer, form the March 2, 1986, Sesquicentennial Edition of the San Antonio Express-News, page 10-P, he said that, "History records nothing else important happened on March 6, 1836, and "Remember the Alamo" was soon heard around the world." And, literally, it is a fact that "Remember the Alamo" was heard around the world, as I found out on that trip. That statement brought to mind a little town that I had once visited called Texas, which was in Australia.
In June of 1992, I made a trip down under. After staying five days in Sidney and learning to drive on the wrong side of the road, I was looking at a map of Australia and discovered a small town in Queensland called Texas. Well, being a Texan, I had to go there. I had made no real plans on traveling and just took off driving, but I marked Texas on the road map. I traveled north out of Sidney, following the coastline. On the second day I took off in a northwesterly direction toward my target, Texas, which was just across the border in Queensland.
Australia is a wonderful country and one thing I learned fast, was to watch out for the kangaroo and emus, which ran free! Being a tourist, I was looking around at the country side, taking in as much as I could. The next thing I knew there was half a dozen kangaroo in the middle of the road. I counted the dead ones along the side of the road. When I counted 102. I came to understand why all the little economy cars had brush guards on them. We have our deer they have their kangaroos and emus!!
Finally, I came to a big sign that read" Welcome to Queensland, Australia's Sunshine State", "TEXAS" (in big bold letters), "Gateway to the Southern Darling Downs!" As I drove on down the road I came to more signs. One read "The Yellow Rose Guest House & Coffee Shoppe. It was a bed and breakfast, with 1st class accommodations and good old fashion cooking and hospitality. The next sign read: "Texas Three Rivers Caravan Park, all modem amenities, Bar BQ, and on site vans." Another sign read, "Texas Motel, High Street, Texas." The last sign stated. Texas, population 900, next right." "Good," I thought. "I am here." I needed to take a pit stop and stretch.
As I drove down Main Street, I felt like I was back home in Texas, back in a small town like Bandera. I was looking for a place to spend the night, and as I drove, I notice a National Australian Bank, the Sunshine Pharmacy, a Bakery, the Texas Memorial Hall (Lest We Forget WWI & WWII), the Yellow Rose Guest House, the Dallas Gift Shop, the Texas Post Office and the Royal Hotel. There was also the Rachel Middleton Cottage, which was built in 1890. They had roping pens and an arena with a sign that read, "Texas SHOW, Sat.-Sun., July 25-26". I felt like I had never left Texas until I spoke to someone. Yep, I talked Texan and they talked Australian. I said "Howdy" and got back a "Good Day Mate." Laughing to myself, I thought, "Down right awesome!"
I found a place to eat and in the process, I asked about hotel accommodations in town. You, know, "which place would you recommend," kind of question. The owner of the Royal Hotel was there and we started talking. By the time we were finished, he had me convinced that I should stay at his hotel. He had promised a trip to the country (outback) in the morning, along with other things, to get me to stay at his establishment. Very competitive, but extremely friendly. Really kind, down to earth folks, as I learned during my stay.
As he promised, bright and early the next morning, we were off on our trip to the countryside. One of the stops we made was at a farm where a lady rescued kangaroos. Most of the ranchers considered them a pest, but she had a warm spot in her heart for them. During our journey he told me about many other "Texans" that had visited their town. His stories made me feel like all "Texans" were the same, deep down. We are very proud people, proud of our state and proud of our history. That brought me to wondering how did their town get its name of Texas? So, I asked my host/guide and he told me the story.
He said, "At about the time Texas was fighting for its independence from Mexico, two brothers (McDougall brothers) had homesteaded this place." "Well," he continued, "a big gold rush took place here at that time and the two brothers left for the gold fields. They made it to the gold fields, but evidently didn't make a big strike, so they returned to their homestead claims. When they got back they found some other people had squatted on the claims. Well, a struggle ensued and they had to fight for their land. They felt like they had fought for their rights like the Texans who had fought for their independence, so they named their settlement, Texas. "Yep, Texas, after our beloved state."
This gives credit to Richelieu's statement and to the fact that "Remember the Alamo" was actually heard around the world. It is not a brag, but a fact, that men, no matter where they are, will fight for what is right and just and to defend what is theirs. I tip my hat to "TEXAS" and all the "TEXANS" in both the United States and in Australia!