Backward Glance: Foote family early residents of Buderim Mountain
  • Wednesday 25 November 2015
Eric Joseph Trestrail Foote, image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

Today we step back in time to focus on Joseph Foote and his family who came to Buderim in 1907.

Joseph had recently retired from the family’s business Cribb and Foote of Ipswich.

They settled on the eastern end of Buderim Mountain on a property originally settled by William Pettigrew in 1870.

Joseph Foote and his three sons, Hubert, Eric and Arnold produced citrus, fruits, coffee, pineapples, bananas and pecans and were very active in community life.

Mr Pettigrew had sold the house and surrounding land to Stephenson Fountain who established an extensive banana plantation. By 1897, Stephenson Fountain was Buderim's largest banana producer.

In 1907, Mr Fountain sold the property to Joseph Foote who named the house “Mons Mari”. Mr Foote retained the name in 1913, when he replaced the house with a larger family dwelling built on the same site. The variety of banana known as “Mons Mari” was created on the Foote banana farm and named by Joseph Foote in 1908.

Like many other young men of his generation, Eric Foote enlisted for active service on July 27, 1915. On October 5, 1915 he left Australian shores with the 9th Infantry Battalion bound for Egypt where the Australian and New Zealand troops were being trained for the upcoming battle on the western front.

Eric had risen through the ranks and was a Sergeant in the fields of France by August 28, 1916. At the young age of 25, Sergeant Eric Foote was killed in action on September 13, 1916 at Moquet Farm at the Battle of the Somme, Pozieres in France. His service file stated that though wounded himself he returned numerous times to assist those wounded and provided leadership and encouragement to other soldiers.

He was awarded the Military Medal posthumously on April 19, 1917 for bravery and is buried far from Australian soil west of a castle at Thiepval, France in an area now known as Connaught Cemetery.

Amongst Eric’s belongings returned to his family, was an Australian gum leaf that Eric had carried with him to the battle front. His younger brother Hubert kept the leaf as a reminder of Eric’s great love of the Australian bush.

In 1948, the Foote family donated 6.8 hectares of bushland on their property which was given in trust to the community in memory of Eric Joseph Foote and other Buderim men who had died in World War 1.The family considered the donated area, covered with native flora, a fitting memorial to their son and brother who had a great love of Australia’s native flora and fauna and requested especially that the name of their son and brother should be perpetuated.

Now known as Foote Sanctuary located in Park Lane, Buderim the Eric Joseph Foote War Memorial Sanctuary commemorates the sacrifice of those who have lost their lives in war.

Throughout Buderim and Mooloolaba there are places and streets named to honour the Foote family including Foote Avenue and Foote Ridge, Buderim as well as Foote Street, Mooloolaba. Foote Sanctuary, Buderim is located in Park Lane.

Learn more about the Coast’s unique history by reading our Backward Glance series. There’s a new story every Wednesday.