Arthur Nicholi Ronlund

Born March 26 1897

Place Vassan Laani Finland

Arthur Nicholi Ronlund was the fifth child of Aksel Ronlund and Maria Matilda Peurala. The family of 2 adults and six children boarded the “Oroya” at London, England on 22 December 1899 and arrived in Sydney Australia on 05 February 1900. They then travelled to Brisbane to finish their official migration and were housed at the Immigration Depot Kangaroo Point (Yungaba) by February 24. The family were part of the 175 Finns who made use of the Queensland Colonial Government’s free migration scheme between June 1899 and July 1900. The Finnish family name was Pihlajaviita as was on the on the passenger list. Aksel changed this name to an English sounding Ronlund after arriving in Australia. 
Arthur was a young man of 18 years and 11 months when he enlisted for the Great War on 22 March 1916 at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. His occupation was a farmer at the time. He was described as 6 feet 1 inch (185.4cm) tall. He weighed 155 pounds (70kg) and had medium complexion with blue eyes and brown hair. Arthur had distinctive scars on his right forearm, right shin and left knee. He also sported a tattoo on both his upper arms. Arthur noted his religion as Methodist. He was a single man and listed his father who was living at Cooroy, Queensland at the time, as his next of kin. Arthur stated he was temporarily rejected from enlisting due to his teeth. He also had 2 months experience with senior cadets.

On 07 September 1916, Private Arthur N. Ronlund of 15 Battalion boarded the HMAT “Clan McGillvray” at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to serve his King and country. He arrived at Plymouth, England on 02 November and marched in to 4 Tng. Bn. (Training Battalion) at Rollestone, England on 16 November. Arthur was admitted to hospital with mumps on 19 November. There is no record of when he was discharged to duty. After some time of training, Arthur proceeded overseas to France on 17 January 1917 aboard “Princess Victoria”. He disembarked the same day and marched in to 4 A.D.B.D. (Aust. Divisional Base Depot) at Etaples. About a week later, Arthur began making his way to his battalion, taking on strength on 03 February. On 11 April 1917, Arthur was reported missing in the field.
The Central Prisoner of War Committee stated Arthur had been captured when he was wounded at Reincourt by Germans. He had suffered a gunshot wound to the left kneecap. Arthur was a Prisoner of War at Minden Gefangenenlager, Hamelin was later moved to Gefangenenlager ill, Group 111, Munster i/Westph. Arthur remained a P.O.W. until his repatriated arrival at England on 06 December 1918. He was granted a week of leave in early January 1919 in England. Arthur was A.W.L. ((absent without leave) from 2315hrs on 27 February 1919 to 1000hrs on 02 March 1919. He was awarded at total of 6 days forfeiture pay. Arthur embarked England on 05 March 1919 aboard H.T. “Nevasa” for his return to Australia. He disembarked Australia on 25 April 1919 and was discharged from the A.I.F. on 08 June 1919.
Arthur married Ada Ellen Gohdes on 18 August 1923 at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
He died in the Greenslopes Hospital, Brisbane on the 28th December 1952 aged 55 years. He is buried in the Tewantin Cemetery, Queensland.
Arthur as a person must have been born with an inquisitive and highly intelligent mind.


In 1933 he submitted literary work and copyright registered his work on the Magnavol Crystal Set Wireless Circuit to the government. Then in 1943, he again submitted his work as inventor/submitter of a device for the manual propulsion of boats without oars.
He was a researcher, design and constructor of radio communication equipment especially during the late 1920 and 1930s. He was a contributor of articles on the design and construction of crystal radio sets and radio in general to specialist magazines such as Teleradio. It must be remembered that radio was only publicly broadcast in Australia on January 9, 1924. Arthur Ronlund definitely was a pioneer in the use of radio for the masses as a means of entertainment and communication.

In the Teleradio of Saturday October 14, 1933 Arthur Ronlund had his article on the Magnavox Crystal Set published. 

Titled “The Magnavox Crystal Set – Will Give Loud Speaker Volume – Selectivity also a Feature”
“I notice that recently the interest in crystal sets sees to be reviving, and after all there is nothing to beat a really good crystal set for purity of tone, and listening in with a good pair of ear-phones is absolutely a delightful pleasure. 
Since introducing the Pep Trap, I have continued with my hobby of improving crystal sets and I have now perfected a phenomenally good set which I can thoroughly recommend to the most severe critic.”

Saturday June 16, 1938 an article by Arthur N Ronlund was published titled “The Bushman’s Midget Simple to Build and An Excellent Performer”. Quote from the article
“Here is a little set I designed three years ago for use with a PM22A pentode valve, and which I have now improved for use with a ID4 or a PM22AA”.


He also was also an artisan first being recognised in the Brisbane Exhibition of 1925. The following is taken from the Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939),

Saturday 10 October 1925, page 20.
Note should be taken of the last sentence “It is intended to arrange for its use in broadcasting from 4QG wireless station”. 4QG was the Queensland Government station which started operation on July 27, 1925. There is reference to where the manager Mr. J W Robinson had been contacted to have music played from the violin so readers and listeners could judge for themselves. 

At the last Royal National Association's Show in Brisbane, a violin, made by Constable A.N. Ronlund, of Sandgate, was exhibited in the Forestry Department's collection. It has since been, suitably polished, and has a very attractive appearance. It is made from Blush Coondoo (Siderolxylon Richardii), a tree that grows plentifully in the scrub lands at Cooran, Gympie district, and in other localities. The portion of the instrument technically called the back and ribs is from an old, well matured tree, specially selected in the scrubs, and the belly from a rapidly grown tree, with a straight grain, and suitable sounding qualities. The instrument furnishes a fine example of what may be done with Queensland timbers, when intelligently handled. From a musical point of view, the instrument is said by experts to be all that could be desired, with a good tone and wonder-flu carrying power. It is intended to arrange for its use in broadcasting from 4QG wireless station.”

Queensland Police Service

After leaving the army in 1919 Arthur went back to farming before entering the Queensland Police Force in 1922. He served as a policeman until the end of 1934. He was stationed at the following Police Stations.

1922 Brisbane Police Depot Petrie Terrace

August 1922 – Roma Street Brisbane

April 1923 Ipswich

December 1924 Sandgate

January 1926 Roma

July 1927 Roma Street Brisbane

He was given two Favourable Records on his police record for outstanding service.

On Friday 1st November 1929 the Telegraph newspaper in Brisbane gave the results of a rofle shooting contest between Tramways and Police at Enoggerra. A. N. Ronlund was first for the Police Team over the firing range of 700 to 900 yards.

Community Contribution:

In August 1938 he was elected President of the Tewantin Sub Branch of the R.S. S. I. L. A. or the Returned Sailor's & Soldier's Imperial League.
In February 1940 he and his wife were elected to the committee of the Tewantin and District United Progress Association.

Taken from the Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld), Friday 5 November 1937, page 15 

“Move to Form Fishing Club at Tewantin A move is being made in the Tewantin district to form a branch of the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of Queensland in order that the (claims of the locality as one of the best line fishing spots In the State will be recognised. Mr. A. Ronlund who played such a Jig part in the organising of the Tewantin and United Progress Association, has the project in hand."

On Tuesday April 15, 1941 Arthur Ronlund had the following published in the Brisbane Courier Mail concerning fish conservation.

“Diminishing Mullet

Sir,— Mullet is diminishing to the detriment of the fishing industry and the food supplies of the people There is no question about that, and Just as little doubt that we ourselves are responsible. During the winter months the mullet migrates northwards, travelling up the coast to spawn in the rivers. Net fishermen await the mullet schools at the entrance to the rivers and creeks, and what fish are not caught are frightened out to sea, to continue their northern migration and perhaps to be eaten by sharks. A few sneak into the rivers and creeks but because of continuous netting the numbers are becoming smaller each year. The Noosa River at Tewantin used to be a prolific breeding ground, and Tewantin was famous as a fishing resort. But because of the extermination of the fish by these methods, this centre is fast losing its attractiveness for fishermen. I suggest an inquiry by a small committee of qualified men whose findings should become the basis of an amendment of the Fish and Oyster Act of Queensland. Unless something of the kind is done the fishing industry will be doomed within the next 10 years, perhaps in less time than that. — Yours, &c, Tewantin. ARTHUR RONLUND.”


There is a school photograph taken by Arthur Ronlund in 1917 of the Tinbeerwah School students. The original photograph is now housed by the Noosa Shire Council Libraries, Heritage Section.

The first recorded newspaper reference to Arthur’s photographic work is in the Daily Mail (Brisbane) of Saturday, October 9, 1926. In the section Nature Notes, Arthur provided a photo of five young quarrions. It was sent from Roma where he was stationed as a policeman. 

FROM Roma Mr. A. N. Ronlund writes ' on September 20 : — ''l am enclosing a snap taken by myself of five young quarrions or cockatoo parrots these birds were taken from the nest a fortnight prior to the taking of this photo, and are being fed on the spoon."
Arthur did have his own home photographic studio where he made his own cameras and developed his own prints. There is evidence of his photographic work just after Brisbane became a municipality and the opening of the Brisbane City Hall. Photographs taken at that time have the embossed words Photo By Arthur N. Ronlund.