Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eastwood, East Brisbane


I just stumbled across this superbly presented Federation house in East Brisbane that is currently listed for sale. It appeared in The Weekend Australian Magazine of 13 April.
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(Photo: realestate.com.au)

The house, Eastwood, was built in 1908 for Llewellyn Stephens, a Brisbane lawyer and council alderman. It was designed by the distinguished architect Robin Dods, who must have done a good job because three short years later he was engaged to design nearby Kitawah for the same client. 

The Stephens family was prominent in Brisbane. Llewellyn's father Thomas Blacket Stephens was himself an alderman and mayor as well as being elected to the Queensland parliament. His business interests were diverse, evidenced by his owning of a tannery at Ekibin and the newspaper The Brisbane Courier.

Llewellyn's older brother William took over the family interests after their father's death, and he was instrumental in the construction of two other fine residences that we have seen on these pages, Waldheim and Cumbooquepa.

About Eastwood, the newspaper piece says "Shifted to one side of its sizeable block to make way for townhouses, the owners set about restoring four-bedroom Eastwood to as-new 1901-style. They used the plans of the architect, Robin Dods (1868-1920), whose designs still pervade the city in the form of homes, schools, hotels, churches and public buildings." The photographs for the real estate advertising are spectacular.

Click here for a Google Map.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Submariners' Walk Heritage Trail, Teneriffe

Of course, Anzac Day always makes me think of young men going to war, and in particular those who didn't return. I have never experienced armed conflict first hand and have absolutely no desire to do so. My (almost) 21 year-old nephew is a soldier and I hope that he never gets sent off to some overseas military operation. I know we have to have armed forces and that we therefore need people to join the military services, but while I acknowledge their service and thank them for it I hope that most of them never have to be involved in an actual war.

Recently a ceremony took place quite close to where I live. It was a memorial to the Australian and US submariners who were based at the Capricorn Wharf at Teneriffe during WWII. 

At the sunset ceremony on 23 March, the Governor of Queensland opened the Submariners' Walk Heritage Trail along the river where the subs used to dock. Along the trail are plaques commemorating the men, the ships and their service during WWII. In a cute idea there are seats shaped like submarines for people to sit on while they reflect on the sacrifices of war-time service personnel.













(Photos: © Harry E Haxton)

The following photograph shows some of the American subs with their tender at the wharf during the war.
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(Photo: ozatwar.com)

Submarine warfare was dangerous. Five of the US submarines that left Teneriffe to go on patrol never came back - lost with all their crew. USS Growler, part of the US sub fleet based here, was involved in action against a Japanese convoy when it collided with the convoy's escort Hayasaki, almost sinking the sub. After the collision the Japanese ship opened fire on Growler, wounding her commanding officer Howard W Gilmore and killing two others. Selflessly Gilmore gave the order for the submarine to dive, even though he was unable to get off the bridge into the vessel. The boat submerged and Gilmore perished, but Growler was able to return to Brisbane for repair. Gilmore was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the first submariner to receive that award. Here is a photograph of the damaged USS Growler at Teneriffe (that's the Powerhouse in the background). USS Growler was lost in action in November 1944.  
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(Photo: wikipedia)

About seventy US submarines used the Capricorn Wharf for maintenance and repairs during the war, and for the last three months of 1942 there were as many US submarines operating from Brisbane as from Pearl Harbor. About 800 US service personnel were involved at Capricorn Wharf and there were further men and women at the store depot at Windsor. In addition, Archbishop Duhig's Benedict Stone factory was acquired for torpedo maintenance and storage.

The walkway along the river is now a beautiful and peaceful place, used by cyclists, runners, walkers and sightseers alike. I hope that the Submariners' Walk Heritage Trail reminds them of the sacrifices made by others so that they are able to enjoy it.

Click here for a Google Map.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Commander's Residence, Enoggera

In 1908 the Australian Government acquired some 1200 acres of land about seven kilometres from Brisbane for the purposes of military training - we know it now as Gallipoli Barracks, but when I was younger it was referred to as the Enoggera Army Barracks.

In 1910 when the first buildings were erected on the land, this one in the photograph below was constructed for the purposes of weapons training and as a magazine for small arms ammunition. 
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(Photo: © 1979 National Trust of Queensland; R Stringer)

WWI saw the building become Northern Command Training School, a tactical training centre for all ranks, and the building was used for this purpose until after the Second World War. During WWI accommodation for soldiers must have been scarce - many of the men lived like this.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #35264)

After WWII the building became a supply depot, and in 1960 it was converted into a residence for the senior RAEME officer in the state. It now operates as a chapel - the sign on the lawn in front says "All Saints Chapel erected 1910 as School of Musketry".
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(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

I took advantage of the Army's Open Day on 14 April to visit Gollipoli Barracks to take this picture of the chapel which is in terrific condition. It was a busy scene on the grounds with people clambering over helicopters, trucks and all manner of huge guns. Although I didn't see it, I believe paratroopers dropped in as well, making the army's first open day here in a decade a great success.

It is Anzac Day on Thursday and I thank all military personnel, past and present, for their service. 

LEST WE FORGET

Click here for a Google Map.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Grangehill, Spring Hill

This expansive home situated on Gregory Terrace opposite Victoria Park was built in the early 1860s for Alexander Raff, a Scottish immigrant who arrived in Brisbane in 1851. He bought the land on which the house has been constructed in 1860. This first photograph we have of the house is from 2008.
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(Photo: DERM)

Alexander Raff was quickly active in the Brisbane community after his arrival. He was treasurer of the School of Arts and also of the Queensland Philosophical Society; he was a director of the National Mutual Life Association and the Brisbane Gas Company; he was on the Board of National Education and the steering committee for the Children's Hospital.

Later he was a partner of Smellie & Co and from 1884 until 1910 he was a Member of the Legislative Council, Queensland's upper house of parliament. He married in 1862 and The Courier reported that the birth of his first child occurred at Grangehill on 18 April 1863.

Grangehill may have been designed by fellow Scott James Cowlishaw who was a friend of Alexander and his brother George. The Brisbane tuff and sandstone residence had verandahs added to it in the 1880s or 1890s, giving it more of a Queenslander appearance. Here is a current photograph. 
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(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

Alexander Raff died in January 1914 and the property was passed to his son James, the eldest of the Raff's six surviving children. James Raff allowed the Red Cross to use Grangehill as a convalescent home after WWI. Then in 1924 James engaged architects Chambers and Ford to prepare plans to convert the house into two flats. It was later used as a boarding house and was inhabited by US servicemen in WWII. James Cluny Raff, the nephew of James Raff sold the property in 1949. It was bought by the Carmelite Fathers who owned it until 1995.

Click here for a Google Map.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Coorparoo Shire Hall, Coorparoo

Just up the road from Coorparoo State School, the building once known as Coorparoo Shire Hall was opened on 7 October 1892, four years after the proclamation of the Shire of Coorparoo. A memorial roll of honour for the shire's WWI fallen soldiers was hung inside in 1916.
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(Photos: www.qldwarmemorials.com.au)

 In 1925, when the various local councils were amalgamated into the Greater Brisbane City Council, the Shire Hall became the School of Arts, and local residents agreed to purchase the building from the City Council for £1,000. After WWII, Brisbane City Council demanded payment of £750 still outstanding on that debt. Community action and assistance from the local RSL club enabled the community to keep the hall, now renamed Coorparoo School of Arts and Memorial Hall.
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(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

The hall still stands on Cavendish Road.

Click here for a Google Map.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Victoria Flats, Spring Hill

Kilroe was here.

Mrs Frances (Fanny) Kilroe was the original owner of these four flats, built in 1923 on the high side of Gregory Terrace. The flats, originally known as Kilroe's Flats, have views over Victoria Park from the front and the towards the city at the rear.
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(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

Frances Elliott and Joseph Kilroe were both immigrants to Brisbane from Ireland. They married at Gympie on 13 February 1895.
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(Photos: ancestry.com)
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(Source: Brisbane Courier 23 February 1895 via http://trove.nla.gov.au/)

Joseph Kilroe was a draper. On 1 August 1899 he was made a partner at the successful firm of Finney Isles.  

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(Source: Brisbane Courier 18 November 1899 http://trove.nla.gov.au/)

The Kilroes never lived in the flats - for a time they lived in the next door property called Mirrunya and later moved to Paddington. The flats were designed by architect TBM Wightman and were among the first purpose-designed flats in Brisbane. The flats stayed in the Kilroe family until Fanny's death in 1948 when they were sold.

Click here for a Google Map.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Archibald House (Glenugie), New Farm

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #191906)

This man is John Archibald who was a successful businessman as well as a member of Queensland's upper house of parliament.

Archibald was born in 1845 near Edinburgh in Scotland and migrated to Queensland in 1863, working firstly at Cribb & Foote's department store and then joining the Queensland civil service. In April 1888 he left government employment and became a partner in a flour milling enterprise, later forming the Dominion Milling Co Ltd. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1897. He was also elected as mayor of Warwick in 1890 and 1897.

In 1902 he settled in a house in New Farm called Glenugie. Archibald passed away in 1907 and his wife remained in the house until her death in 1929. Glenugie was listed for auction on 1 December 1926, as advertised in the Brisbane Courier of 13 November that year. I can only assume that the property did not sell, as further articles in the paper indicate that the house became  "a gift" to the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches. The Archibalds were staunch Methodists and at that time the house passed to the churches to be used as a hostel for girls. It was renamed Archibald House.     
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(Brisbane Courier 13 November 1926 via http://trove.nla.gov.au/)
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(Brisbane Courier 5 July 1930 via http://trove.nla.gov.au/)

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(Brisbane Courier 1 August 1930 via thttp://trove.nla.gov.au/)

The charming house still stands. It is once again a private residence and here are a couple of photographs of it.
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(Photo: DERM)

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(Photo: google.com)

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Athol Place, Spring Hill


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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #57297)

One of Queensland's early medical pioneers was Dr Joseph Bancroft (above) who migrated here from his native Manchester in October 1864, seeking a warmer climate for health reasons. From all reports Bancroft had a nimble mind and an enquiring nature, particularly regarding flora and fauna - on the trip out to Brisbane aboard Lady Young, he dissected flying fish, examined albatross and collected botanical specimens from the ports at which they stopped on the journey.

In one of his first activities here, Bancroft built a house on Enoggera Creek that he called Kelvin Grove Park after gardens near Glasgow. Here is a photograph of that residence from 1868. The house gave its name to the suburb of Kelvin Grove we know today.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #6713)

In 1866 Bancroft commenced his medical practice on Wickham Terrace in rooms rented from Alexander McNab, a builder who had constructed three stone terraces there called Athol Place. McNab lived next door in Athol Cottage that he had also built. In this photograph from around 1882, it is stated that Athol Place can be seen in the background behind Roma St railway station - possibly the building with two chimneys above the RHS of the long structure in the foreground. Below that is a current photograph of Athol Place - still standing on Wickham Terrace and now owned and occupied by a group of doctors. 
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #6410)
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(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

Bancroft worked out of Athol Place for a couple of years before becoming the house surgeon at Brisbane Hospital in 1868. He went on to research such diverse subjects as wheat, grapes, oysters, bananas, sugar-cane as well as traditional medical areas such as leprosy and filaria disease. He also worked on a potential solution to the rabbit plague.

It is no wonder that the main building Queensland Institute of Medical Research is named the Bancroft Centre in his honour.

Bancroft was also the European pioneer of the Deception Bay area, where from 1881 he developed a 3000-plus acre site to continue his botanical interests. He also built a plant that processed and dried meat as pemmican and then canned it for sale. Dr Bancroft's wife Anne suffered from a medical condition that was helped by salt water baths, so he constructed sea baths for her - there are remnants still in existence, listed on the state's heritage register.

There is also a monument to Dr Bancroft at Deception Bay - here is a photograph.
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(Photo: monumentaustralia.org) 

Bancroft died suddenly in his city residence, this two-story house on the corner of Ann and Wharf streets on 16 June 1894 at the age of 58.
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(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #265)

Click here for a Google Map.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Springbok demo at the Tower Mill Motel, Wickham Terrace

Those of you who have followed these pages would know that I am an ex-rugby player (more enthusiastic than proficient) and still a follower of "the game they play in heaven". In 1971 I was actually playing rugby league in Maryborough, a small town north of Brisbane where I was working at the time. However, I did transport myself to Brisbane in order to see the Australian rugby union team (the Wallabies) play the South African side (the Springboks) on 31 July of that year. The occasion was more memorable than the game.
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(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

The photograph above shows the Tower Mill Motel on Brisbane's Wickham Terrace - it was the hotel where the touring Springbok team was staying. In 1971 South Africa was still governed by a white minority government which had initiated the hated apartheid regime - a method of separating and subjugating the non-white races. South Africa was subject to economic sanctions and sporting boycotts from the rest of the world anxious to put an end to apartheid.

Despite that climate of unrest this rugby tour took place, and it was bedevilled from beginning to end by protests and protestors. One of the more serious clashes between protestors and police occurred right here in Brisbane outside the Tower Mill Motel, where 500 police lined up to "protect" the South Africans from the demonstrators who only numbered about 400 consisting mainly of unionists and students, including many females. The police lined up on the Tower Mill Motel side of Wickham Terrace, facing the demonstrators who had gathered across the road on the side of the actual Tower Mill. The following photographs provide some perspective of the scene.
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(Photo: via mypolice.qld.gov.au)

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 (Photo: QLS Criminal History Tour booklet 2012)

I wasn't there, but some accounts say that there were plain-clothed police amongst the crowd who started it all. In any case, the police charged the demonstrators and hurled them down the hill behind the mill. Many of the protestors were arrested, many were injured.

Statements from those present indicate that many of the police had removed their ID badges so that they could not be called to account. Queensland's new (at the time) premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, had declared a State of Emergency - thus providing police with greater powers of arrest and detention. Peter Beattie, later to be premier of the state himself, was one who was beaten and arrested - he later said that he was verballed by the police who fabricated charges against him. Later information indicated that Bjelke-Petersen gave the police carte-blanche to deal with demonstrators and that he even told a police representative that their claim for higher wages that was in arbitration would go through if the police followed his instructions.

The result of the events of that evening was that when the match took place at the Exhibition Ground, a small crowd of only about 10,000 (including me) was all that turned up to see the football. What demonstrators that were present were kept well away from the players and spectators. It was an eerie walk down Gregory Terrace to the football pitch with police lined up virtually shoulder to shoulder.

The match? Well, it was easily won by the visitors. The unrest and protests had little effect on the clinical display of the Springbok side and they disposed of the Wallabies by 14-6. The Australian players, on the other hand, looked nervous and ill-at-ease and were never a threat to the South Africans.

At the time I did not agree with sporting boycotts. I felt that young South Africans should be able to mix with athletes from other countries to gain an understanding of how races could come together. I was proven wrong though - most South Africans felt that sporting boycotts were one of the principal reasons for the breakdown of apartheid and the move towards democratic government.

However, I always thought that people had a right to protest against apartheid as long as they were lawful gatherings and there was no violence. Police here in Queensland had a "no demo" policy under Joh's instructions, so this and other demonstrations that could have been peaceful were violently broken up by the coppers. I knew of plenty of young people who left Queensland at that time as a result of this poisonous political atmosphere.  

Here is a current photograph of Wickham Terrace, taken from the Tower Mill Motel and looking towards the Tower Mill and the area where the protestors gathered. It is a much more peaceful scene now.
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(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.

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