Bannockburn

Bannockburn

Bannockburn was the name of Alexander Watt's original sugar lease, which was taken up in 1869 with Colin Munro and John Young. Munro's property was known as Fisherfield. It operated from at least 1868 and possibly earlier. In 1872 the Queenslander newspaper reported that Colin Munro had installed new sugar milling machinery on his property Fischerfield.

Alexander and Susan Watt arrived in Brisbane aboard the Ghengis Khan in August 1854. Alexander was listed as a farm labourer. He was one of the pioneers of the sugar industry in the Brisbane area, initially at St Lucia. He then relocated to the Beenleigh district, taking up land on the Albert River. A visitor to his mill in 1885 described it as the oldest style mill at that time, meaning that Alex Watt had not seen the need to update his equipment as others had done. He had won numerous prizes for his sugar over the years and supplemented his income with horse breeding.

In the late 1860s James Carter operated a cross river ferry at Bannockburn Road.

Alexander's son John Stevenson Watt later established a wheelwright and blacksmith business in Beenleigh. At the 1886 Beenleigh Show he was awarded the Queensland Champion prize for Agricultural Implements and in 1887 won the prize for buggies and dog carts. This business evolved into the Watt Brothers Coach Body Works initially with works in Coomera and Beaudesert. In 1924 the business moved to Woolloongabba, where it remains today under the management of Barrie Watt, (grandson of John Stevenson Watt) in Lotus Street.

A park named after Alexander Watt was established in 1987 on both banks of Belivah Creek in conjunction with the development of Richland Drive and Old Mill Road.