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Canberra Builder Promotes Canberra 1927

Posted on September 17, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Another article added to CANBERRA TIMES ARTICLES PT 2 -

1927 Report of a lecture given in Sydney to an audience of around 2,000 promoting Canberra. The lecturer, Mr Dawson was a Canberra builder. He supported the actions of the First Commissioner ,Sir John Butters and also supported the building of blocks of cottages that had a maximum cost allowed - this led to the suburbs of North Ainslie [now Ainslie], Ainslie [now Braddon] and South Ainslie [now Reid] used to accommodate the lower paid officials transferred to Canberra and construction workers.  The latter were houses in the weatherboard section of Corroboree Park Ainslie.  The upper class officials were houses at Blandfordia [Forrest].  The other block of weatherboards was at Westridge - now Yarrralumla. 

 

Canberra in the early years was a class society and people were accommodate in suburbs and hotels that reflected their incomes and social place in society.

 

Even if a workman had the money to stay at the Hotel Canberra he could not - this hotel was for politicians and visitors -  Hotel Ainslie - the first, renamed Gorman House in 1927 was for single women transferred to Canberra who worked in postions such as typiste (femine - male typist) and a few married couples -  Beauchamp House [now Ian Potter House] also used to accommodate young ladies - most of the teachers were moved into Brassey House and the Lady Hopetoun Club for single women domestic servants and other single women used three cottages in Blandfordia.

 

Sir John Butters was against the sale of alcohol in the territory until the arrival of the public servants in 1927 - in one letter he even stated following the arrival of the public servant -  that now there was a better class of people ...

 

Mr Dawson also lectured in Melbourne promoting Canberra - one wonders who asked him and was he paid.  That there was a Sydney audience of around 2000 suggests a keen interest in the new capital city - perhaps by people who were in danger of being transferred?

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