Monday, July 12, 2010

Ballow Chambers, Wickham Terrace

The photograph below depicts the home of Rev Thomas Jones, who became the pastor at All Saints Anglican Church on Wickham Terrace in 1865. The little dwelling was situated a little further up Wickham Terrace from the church towards the windmill.
(Photograph: Courtesy Fryer Library, UQ)

Over ensuing years, Wickham Terrace started to become the focal point of Brisbane's specialist medical practices. This house, known then as Bunya Bunya Cottage, contained a medical practice from the early 1880s onwards. In 1924, the cottage was removed and a purpose-built medical centre was constructed. It was one of Brisbane's earliest such buildings. The architect was Lange Powell, and the builder was John Hutchison. They were recalled to add a further two storeys in 1926. The building was named after Dr David Ballow, onetime Colonial Surgeon and then the first doctor to establish a private medical practice in Brisbane. Ballow died in 1850 of typhus as a result of treating patients at the quarantine station on Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay. There is a plaque commemorating Ballow fixed to the front wall of the building.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

This is Ballow Chambers today - click to see a larger image.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

This building has special significance to me. When (just after the Australia Day floods of 1974) I first met the beautiful woman who is now mrs tff, she was working in Ballow Chambers. The first time I asked her out was a lunch date, and I went to her office on the lower-ground floor so that we could stroll to a nearby park for a quiet romantic lunch. She is still with me after all these years - I am a very lucky man.

EDIT: I completed this post a couple of weeks ago, but delayed publishing it because of bridge openings and festivals. In one of life's delightful coincidences, mrs tff and I were dining out last week with a group of our oldest friends, including one who had worked with mrs tff at Ballow Chambers back in the day. Random chance decreed that the bloke who arrived to sit at the next table turned out to be one of my old cricket teammates. While chatting to him about his life, I casually asked him where his office was. You wouldn't believe it, but it was Ballow Chambers! Not only that, but he is chairman of the Body Corporate. Good luck finding those matching window latches, Louie! :-)

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