Early Canberra


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Posted on April 30, 2010 at 10:33 PM Comments comments (0)

Another person has been added to the PEOPLE section of this web.  It is HAROLD LASSETER of the gold reef fame.   He came to Canberra to work in 1925 and by 1926 was in Northbourne single men's tradesmen's Camp.  The following year he was joined by his wife who had recently given birth to a baby girl, Betty and son, Ronald.  Lasster had built a house for his family at Russell Hill Settlement which is near the Campbell shops in north Canberra.



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From Barber-Green Lane Power House

Posted on April 10, 2010 at 3:33 AM Comments comments (0)

Frank Dunshea has written his memories of his years of apprenticeship and working in the Power House Area Canberra.  He began his apprenticeship in the 1940s as an Electrical Mechanic and then changed to Electricl Fitter.  He remained in this work until his retirement in 1988.  During the first twenty odd years the headquarters of his work was in the buildings that were part of the Power House Complex in Kingston, Canberra. The Power House was one of the first settled areas in ...

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Canberra Molonglo Internment Camp & Power House

Posted on April 9, 2010 at 6:57 PM Comments comments (0)

Two new articles have been added to my other web Hidden Canberra - one is a draft chapter for a revised publication of Builders of Canberra 1909-1929 on Molonglo Internment Camp and Settlement.  This settlement was the first established after World War One and used the remaining buildings built in May 1918 of the Molonglo Internment Camp.  The second major settlement established at this time was Westlake, which today is Stirling Park, Yarralumla.  In 1925 Molonglo had a po...

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Jo Grimsley PE Teacher Canberra High School

Posted on March 27, 2010 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (1)

The Canberra Times 27 March 2010 has the death notice of Joyce Marion Grimsley 25.12.1916-24.3.2010.  Jo Grimsley was a PE teacher at Canberra High School between 1942-1974.  My tribute to Jo is in the PEOPLE section of this web page. 


Canberra High School opened in 1939. Students of the school remained at Telopea Park for the year 1938 until the new Canberra High School was ready.  The building today is part of the ANU School of Art.  The...

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Canberra a dual city - the hidden & permanent

Posted on March 24, 2010 at 11:44 PM Comments comments (0)

Further to the earlier entry   - 1919 was the year when the politicians and others were thinking again about whether or not they should continue building the city.  Fortunately those of us who live in the city of Canberra the answer was yes.


However, as a person who lived at Westlake between 1942 and 1959 - the site of my house today is Stirling Park, Yarralumla in Section 22 - I am continually amazed that so many people do not know about the temporary settle...

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Canberra 1913-2013 Celebrations

Posted on March 19, 2010 at 12:41 PM Comments comments (0)



The centenary celebration of the naming of Canberra in 1913 is soon upon us. The rhetoric of the celebrations dwells on the permanent city and its beginnings. It dwells on the history of the decision makers and planners who had the vision to build and design a Federal City. Neglected is the Canberra of the builders and where they lived. Forgotten are our first settlements – the first ...

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Canberra's Arsenal Factory & Township

Posted on March 13, 2010 at 6:01 PM Comments comments (0)

During World War One, Canberra was selected for a small arms factory.  There were a number of sites chosen.  One, selected by the Departmental Plan men was on a site marked by Walter Burley Griffin as a public park next to the Lake.  I wonder if this was in the area of Stirling Park Yarralumla on the south side of Lake Burley Griffin. Fortunately the Commission set up to examine the problems of the Departmental plan versus Walter Burley Griffin's plan, and King O'Malley support...

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Canberra's Rose Garden Old Parliament House

Posted on February 7, 2010 at 7:27 PM Comments comments (4)

Canberra's Rose Garden in the grounds of Old Parliament House Canberra were planted under the supervision of the second Superintendent of Parks & Gardens, Canberra, Mr Alexander Dickson Essen Bruce.  They were tended by the many men who worked for Parks & Gardens Canberra that included Eric Menzies, Tom Smith and John Foster.   One expects that the 'workers' who tended the roses and other public plantings would mainly be recalled by family and friends and not be noted i...

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Canberra' Forests

Posted on January 18, 2010 at 2:06 AM Comments comments (2)

In the General section a new article has been added on the beginnings of Canberra's Forests.  Work began around 1913 when TCG Weston established an experimental nursery at Acton. The following year he established the permanent nursery in Westbourne Woods in Yarralulma ACT.  From this nursery and the earlier ones trees were planted and transferred to the mountains around Canberra, parks, etc.  The pine planted on Mt Stromlo were to extend across to Black Mountai...

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Canberra 1939-1950s

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 10:39 PM Comments comments (0)

New articles are being added to each section almost daily. In particular in the General Section and 1939-1950s are articles about the war years in Canberra including Anzac Day Celebrations, Rationing, and the severe housing shortage after World War II.  Westlake, the first temporary suburb built by the FCAC after World War I in Canberra by the 1950s by long neglect was in a bad way.  Jim Fraser, MP - our local House of Representatives member - worked hard and long to get basic impro...

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