Monday, April 28, 2014

Kiosk and Bandstand, New Farm Park

The bandstand in New Farm Park was constructed in 1915 to a design by AH Foster, the city architect of the time. It was built in conjunction with a kiosk which has since been destroyed by fire. The bandstand was built in July of that year, with the kiosk being built in September. Both were of the Federation Queen Anne style. Here is a glimpse of the kiosk in its sylvan setting a few years prior to its destruction.
(Photo: Brisbane City Council; BCC-C35-961290.20)

The following excerpt from the Brisbane Courier of 30 September 1916 shows how much fun Brisbane citizens could have at a park bandstand.


Tomorrow afternoon, at 3 o'clock, the Brisbane Excelsior Band will render the following selections in the bandstand at New Farm Park: -March, "Light Guards"; overture, "Rou e et Noir"; suite, "Les Fleurs d'Austialia"; hymns, selected; selections, "Memories of the   Opera"; overture, "Humours of Donnybrook"; march, "Black Fury. " At the same hour, at Bowen Park, the Brisbane Labour and Union Band will play :- March, "Queen of the North" (Lithgow); selection 'Sons of the Sea" (Rimmer); waltz, "Star of Love" (Round); sacred selection, 'Peace and Good Will" (Greenwood); selection, "Songs of England" (Rimmer); intermezzo, , Queen of Dreams" (Lithgow); march, "Bravest of the Brave" (W S Ford).

Here are a couple of photographs of the bandstand, which is now maintained by Brisbane City Council.

(Photo: Brisbane City Council; BCC-C120-9563.6)

(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)

For more information on Australian Bandstands of the Federation era, click here to go to a post at the wonderful blog ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly.

Click here for a Google Map. 


Friday, April 25, 2014

Lest We Forget - Sir William Glasgow

Just recently one of my favourite blogs, ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly, posted a piece on scholar, engineer, decorated soldier and famous Australian Sir John Monash. It got me thinking about one of Queensland's famous soldiers and a Monash contemporary, Sir TW (William) Glasgow. Glasgow is commemorated in this Daphne Mayo sculpture that stands in Post Office Square overlooking Anzac Square in Brisbane. This statue was her last major work, but unfortunately it has been reported that she was not overly happy with the finished product.
(Photo: © 2014 the foto fanatic) 

The Glasgow statue was completed in 1964 and has been moved around a bit - first it was placed in the police reserve on the corner of Ann and Roma Sts at a dedication on Anzac Day 1966. In 1968 it was shifted to a spot near the Roma St tunnel (below).
(Photo: BCC-B54-28702)

Finally in 2008 it was moved to its present spot in Post Office Square facing Anzac Square. This placing is eminently suitable as it overlooks the Anzac Day marches - Glasgow led the Brisbane march for twenty years. In the following photograph you can see the old general standing behind the crowd observing an Anzac Day march past.

Glasgow the man was a soldier, as well as a grazier, politician and a diplomat. As a teenager he joined the Queensland Mounted Infantry and later volunteered for the Boer War, participating in some of the major actions there. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1901 as a 24 year-old lieutenant.

By the time WWI erupted Glasgow, by then married and the owner of a cattle property in Central Queensland, had been promoted to Major in the Light Horse Regiment that he had formed in the town of Gympie. He left for Egypt in September 1914 as a Major in the 2nd Light Horse, training there until landing at Gallipoli on 12 May 1915. He was involved in brutal action that saw heavy losses at Anzac Cove in August 1915. He participated in an attack on Dead Man's Ridge where 154 of the 200 men he led were killed or injured. Glasgow was the only officer who had not been hit, and he ordered a withdrawal. Glasgow himself was amongst the last to retreat, and he carried a wounded digger back to safety. This resulted in Glasgow being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and command of his regiment on the following day.

In March 1916 Glasgow was sent to the Western Front as commander of the 13th Infantry Brigade. He subsequently saw action at hell-holes like Messines, Villers-Bretonneux, Flanders, Amiens and the Hindenburg Line. In April 1918 Glasgow and his 13th Brigade excelled themselves at the Villers-Bretonneux second battle, wresting back control of the town from the Germans in a daring night-time raid orchestrated by Glasgow, who by then had risen to the rank of Briadier-General. Monash described the Villers-Bretonneux victory as the turning point of the war, and said this of Glasgow:

"Of strong though not heavy build and of energetic demeanour, Glasgow succeeded not so much by exceptional mental gifts or by tactical skill of any high order as by his personal driving force and determination, which impressed themselves upon all of his subordinates. He always got where he wanted to get - was consistently loyal to the Australian ideal, and intensely proud of the Australian soldier."
(Photo: © Australian War Memorial via wikipedia) 

There is no doubting that Glasgow was a tough commander. He was a disciplinarian who was especially hard on deserters, whom he thought deserved the death penalty. But his own heroism and sense of duty was unquestioned - he was Mentioned in Dispatches 9 times; the French government awarded him the L├ęgion d'Honneur and the Croix de Guerre; he also won a Belgian Croix de Guerre.The successful campaigns that he led saw him awarded a series of Australian/British honours - CMG, CB; and finally KCB (Knight Commander of the Bath) that was published in the 1919 New Years' Honours List. 

Later in that year, after his return to Australia, he ran for and was elected to the Senate. He become a minister in 1926, holding various portfolios until he lost his seat in 1936. In 1939 he became Australia's first High Commissioner to Canada. Here he is, left of picture, welcoming Australia's prime minister Robert Menzies (centre) to Canada in the company of Canada's prime minister, William Mackenzie King (right of picture).
(Photo: Australian War Memorial; P00048.144)

During WWII Glasgow was heavily involved with allies Canada and the United States, and as Australia's representative attended the 1944 Quebec Conferences with British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, US President Theodore Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William Mackenzie King. He was also had oversight of the Empire Air Training Scheme that turned out Australian, New Zealand and Canadian pilots for the European theatre. Glasgow became quite well-known and popular in Canada, and there was even a push from certain quarters to name him as the first non-British Governor-General of Canada as a sort of half-way step towards appointing a Canadian to that post.

In 1945 Sir William Glasgow returned to Australia where he resumed his pastoral interests and served on several boards. He died in Brisbane on 4 July 1955, and was given a state funeral after a service at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

Lest We Forget.

Click here for a Google Map.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Corner Eagle & Charlotte

Today's post is a simple then and now exercise.

The first photograph, below, shows the corner of Eagle St and Charlotte St in the city way back in 1959.

The buildings visible are, left to right, Naldham House, Ryan House and the awning to the Queens Hotel. Out of picture to the left would have been the Eagle St wharf area. 
(Photo: BCC-B54-11876)

Fast-forward 55 years to today's image, below, and there is a quite different streetscape. On the far left of the image is Waterfront Place, a 40 storey building that was completed in 1990 on the site of the old wharf. Next to it you can just see the tower of Naldham House, still there, although dwarfed by taller buildings in the background. It is now the home of the Brisbane Polo Club. The gold building in the centre is AMP Place, 35 storeys, finished in 1978. AMP built this tower as its state headquarters and moved their operations down here from their older building that is now known as Macarthur Chambers. The blue building on the far right of the picture is Comalco Place, also originally built by AMP, and which was completed in 1983 and is 35 storeys high. These buildings are simply known as the Gold Tower and the Blue Tower.
(Photo: © 2014 the foto fanatic)

These buildings and the others in the background of the photographs are a visible example of the changes in Brisbane over the past 50 or 60 years. The arrival of fast elevators and modern construction methods have just about killed off the old three and four storey walkups. 


Click here for a Google Map.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll George

Here in Australia we don't celebrate eccentrics the way some other cultures do, but occasionally there comes along one who is too hard to ignore. One like Rock 'n' Roll George, a bodgie from Brisbane's fifties who was still around being a bodgie decades later. Driving his venerable FX Holden around Brisbane's CBD each weekend, Rock 'n' Roll George became a Brisbane identity. Brisbane may have changed over that time - growing from a country town to a modern city - but Rock 'n' Roll George stayed the same, representing the styles and mores of an earlier era.

George Kiprios, who lived his whole life in the inner-south suburb of West End, became a legend in his own lifetime. As the fifties matured into the sixties and beyond, George continued to do what he always did. Dressed in his stovepipe jeans and winklepickers, and with his hair Brylcreemed into a flat-top, George would start up the car his mother bought for him in 1952, turn the radio on to a rock 'n' roll station - loud - and cruise the city blocks. Here are a couple of photographs of his car, parked in Queen St near Lennons Hotel circa 1980. 
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #27286-0001-0004)

This one has George himself in a familiar pose in front of his car, with the home-made rock 'n' roll plates given to him by friends visible on the front bumper.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #27286-0001-0001)

As with all legends, the truth about George was difficult to separate from the myths. One story has him cruising round and round city streets searching for a girl he once saw leaving a coffee shop in the hope of somehow finding her again. Some people say that he was always up for a chat about cars or sport, while other reports describe him as taciturn and shy.

George never married, forever remaining the teenager driving his car up and down Main St Anytown to show off to mates or to pull a bird. No matter that he aged and that the FX Holden aged; the clothes, the haircut and the music took people back to the fifties in Brisbane, a more carefree time when you didn't need to lock your doors when you left the house. Here is a colour photo of George from the early eighties.
(Photo:; David May)

George Kiprios died in November 2009 at the age of 82. The advent of the Queen St Mall in 1982 had put an end to George's city circuits but did not stop the legend.

Rock 'n' roll George lives on in the memories of many. A book has been written about him and is on sale at the Queensland Museum. Like royalty, his car is lying in state at the museum until June this year.
(Photo: © 2014 the foto fanatic)

He even has his own Facebook page - scroll down the page a bit and you'll find a video that is a musical tribute to Rock 'n' Roll George, also containing what is believed to be his only television interview. 


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