Early Canberra



Posted on September 25, 2010 at 1:15 AM

Another article published in the GENERAL section is a description of a FANCY DRESS BALL held at the Hotel Canberra in 1925. The first half of the Hotel Canberra opened for business in December 1924 and was completed in 1925.  Contractor John Howie's men who lived at Westlake in the area now known as Block 3, Section 128 Stirling Park Yarralumla, built the Hotel Canberra and parts of observatory on Mt Stromlo. 


At the time when this ball was arranged in the ball room at the hotel there were no large public halls for such functions in Canberra.  The Causeway Hall which was erected in one day in late 1926 and completed in 1926 and the Assembly Hall - Albert Hall not ready until 1928 would have been good venues if built.


The music at this ball was supplied by the Stomberra's who included Dr Duffield and Mrs Duffield. At the time they were residents of the Hotel Canberra and later moved to a house on Mt Stomlo where Dr Duffield took up his duties at the Observatory.  Following his death a few years later he was buried on Mt Stromlo. 


The article from the Queanbeyan Age published in the General Section lists a number of people who attended and what they wore as well as where they lived.  Ainslie in 1925 consisted of a number of brick cottages constructed in 1921-1922 in the area now known as Braddon. Blandfordia in this article refers to brick cottages erected in Ducane and Franklin Streets Forrest in 1923. 


Miss Southwell became the first person to manage the hotel and an article with that information has also been included in the General section.  Miss Isabelle Southwell later moved to the Hotel Kurrajong where she remained until her retirement.

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