Early Canberra

Odds & Ends including Schools

 Creative Commons License
Early Canberra-Odds & Ends by Ann Gugler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://earlycanberra.webs.com/.


Above is a section of the 1913 strip maps with three of the main avenues imposed (courtesy of Peter Kimber).  Kurrajong and part of Camp Hill are now Capital Hill.  Kinlyside farm - Briar Farm - now covered by the Southern Cross Yacht Club buildings is now next to Lotus Bay.  The Kinlyside family moved towards the end of 1913 to Oaks Estate.  Klensendorlffe's farm villa is just out of the picture to the north of Commonwealth Avenue.  The following photograph was taken in 1913 from the north side with in the background on right, Klensendorlffe's (Kaye's property from 1854-1924) and Briar Farm near the centre.  The hills are the Gura Bung Dhaura (stony ground) hills that today are Stirling Park, Yarralumla.  The waters of Lake Burley Griffin cover most of the open ground. 


The search for the site of the territory is well documented.  This section refers to the works of the early surveyors and the time when the infrastructures were being put in place in readiness for the arrival of the main force of construction workers who came to build the city.


In 1926 an enterprising 'Bottle-Oh' came to Canberra, went around all the camps where he found the very neat stacks of beer bottles awaiting his collection.  Returned beer bottles attracted a reward of either one penny or threepence each.  He collected the bottles that made up a good train load and returned to Sydney with his haul.  Sergeant Cook in his retirement speech referred to this enterprising bottle-oh and the following article in the local paper also refers to this worthy activity.  12 pence = 1/-; 10/- = $1 - so work it out. [Average wage of a labourer between four and five pounds per week - 20/- = one pound]

Queanbeyan-Canberra Advocate 21 October 1926


The Acting Prime Minister (Dr Earle Page) and the Acting Minister for Defence (Mr Marr) have flatly contradicted the assertions made by a clergyman to the effect that the members of the Empire Parliamentary Delegations were ‘lavishly entertained with strong liquor at Canberra,’ and that ’76,000 empty bottles had to be removed from the capital city in a few days.’

Both Ministers said that the functions at Canberra were strictly in accordance with the ordinance which made the Territory dry.  Mr Marr said that he saw nothing in Canberra during the visit to which exception could be taken. Respecting the 76,000 bottles, Dr Page remarked that while liquor could not be sold within the Territory, it was not an offence to take liquor into the city and consume it there. A local opinion poll, Dr Page added, would be taken as soon as possible after the official occupation of the city.


Liquor returns to Canberra 1928


In 1910 the sale of alcohol in the Federal Capital Territory was banned.  Following the opening of Parliament in May 1927 and the arrival of the government departments and others required for the running of the Federal Parliament the locals again began to speak out against this legislation.  Mr John Butters, Chairman of the Federal Capital Commission and First Commissioner accepted this move and in late 1928 a vote was given to the people of the territory who voted in favour of the return of alcohol.  However, instead of accepting the usual arrangements for the sale of alcohol that the remainder of Australia had, it was decided that the Government would sell the alcohol.  Three café’s were set up – at Kingston, Civic Centre and Manuka and licences granted to Hotels Canberra, Acton and Wellington. The cafés were furnished from the Hotel Acton.  No barmaids were allowed and no usual bars of the type that one still sees in local pubs.  Instead lounges with tables were used and the drinking hours restricted to 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday.  Places serving meals which had to be two courses, contain meat or fish and two vegs could serve alcohol with meals.  Travellers who managed 25 miles or more could also be served out of the usual hours.  The following articles give an overview of the move from DRY to WET.

The Argus Melbourne Vic 8 December 1928


CANBERRA, Friday. – Although the Federal Cabinet to-day devoted several hours to the further consideration of the regulation of the sale of liquor in Canberra, that approval was not given to the ordinance which it is proposed to put into force. It is likely, however, that it will receive approval in the next few days, and it is probable that the sale of liquor in the Federal Capital Territory will be made legal before the end of next week.  It is proposed to license in the first instance two or three of the existing hotels and later to extend the sale to other premises. Bars of ordinary design will not be added to the hotels, the serving of liquor in special lounges being more favoured by the authorities.  In other premises provision will be made for supplying liquor to working men and residents who do not live near the hotels. The hours of sale will be from 9 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock in the evening.

The Argus Melbourne Vic 12 December 1928


CANBERRA. Tuesday. Within a week the restriction on the sale of liquor in the Federal Capital Territory which have existed since 1910 will be removed, and liquor will be on sale at the Hotel Canberra, the Hotel Acton, the Hotel Wellington, at Sydney Building city, and at Kingston and Manuka.  The Prime Minister (Mr Bruce) announced this evening that an ordinance would be published in the ‘Commonwealth Gazette’ this week making temporary provision for the sale of liquor, and effect would be given to the ordinance as soon as possible.

Under the ordinance, Mr Bruce said, the present prohibition against the issuing of a licence for the sale of liquor in the territory would be retained, but the ordinance would give power to the Federal Capital Commission, to ‘sell liquor in such premises as the Minister approves, by notice published in the Gazette.  While this temporary ordinance was in force the provision of the liquor laws of New South Wales would apply.  The hours of trading would be from 9 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock in the evening.

Mr Bruce made it quite clear that the ordinance giving control of the sale of liquor to the Federal Capital Commission would remain in force only until permanent provision for carrying on the trade had been made.  He declined to give any indication as to the policy that would be adopted as the permanent ordinance but it is certain that it will provide lot the …(?) of preferences to private individuals or companies.  When the permanent ordinance has been framed, applications will, it is understood be called for the leasing of hotels at present conducted by the commission. The Victorian Ministry has agreed to allow the chairman of the Licenses Reduction (?) Board (Mr R Bar?) to visit Canberra to advise the Minister on the framing of the permanent ordinance and steps to put it into force.  He …(/) that the permanent ordinance would be introduced about the beginning of the new year. The Minister intends to have all liquor served at tables in lounge rooms. The ordinary type of liquor bar will not be erected at any of the hotels.

The Canberra Times 13 December 1928


Additional details of the arrangements for the sale of liquor in Canberra confirm the conclusion that the Government has, in the temporary provision, disregarded the decision of the liquor poll by foisting the least-wanted form of public control on the community.

Three shops have been leased in Canberra by the Federal Capital Commission, which is setting up trade as a vendor ‘of fermented and spirituous liquors,’

The whole of the sale of liquor in Canberra under the promised temporary system, will thus be in the hands of the Federal Capital Commission

The proposals were roundly condemned yesterday by leading members of all those leagues concerned in supporting the various issues submitted to the poll.

Although the temporary liquor regulations are now practically ready, no information was available yesterday as to the precise day upon which sales will be made. It is believed that liquor will be on sale to the public by the end of this week, however.

Premises in shopping centres are being leased by the Federal Capital Commission in the Arcade at Manuka, at the ..air, Kingston and on the north western corner of Sydney Buildings City.

The control of all sales of liquor will be under the Commissariat Branch of the Federal Capital Commission which will place responsible members in charge of shopping centre premises, but the managers of the Hotels, Wellington, Canberra and Acton will have charge of their respective hotels.

The Canberra Times 21 December 1928


The preparation in the three Canberra hotels and in each of the shopping centres for the sale of liquor are expected to be completed on Saturday and it is anticipated that the sale of liquor under the new ordinance will commence this week-end.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Mr CLA Abbott has approved the sale of liquor at the Hotel Canberra, Hotel Acton and the Hotel Wellington. The Commission has arranged leases of a corner block ground floor shop at the corner of Alinga Street and Northbourne Avenue City; the premises known as ‘The Fair’ at Kingston and a ground floor shop in the Arcade, Manuka.

Regulations have been framed under the new liquor ordinance and aim particularly at the control of the sale of liquor with meals. The ordinary hours for sale in each of the six liquor premises will be from 9am to 6pm but the regulations provide that in any premises in which the Commission is authorized to sell liquor and bonafide meals to the public, the Minister may issue a permit to the Commission or any person authorized by the Commission to conduct liquor sales to sell liquor for consumption with meals.

The consumption of liquor with meals will be permitted between half past twelve and between six o’clock and nine o’clock in the evening provided that the meal is not served in any bar or any part of the licensed premises other than the usual dining room.

Under the regulations , a meal is taken to be one of at least two course, in which the diners are seated at a table, and the meal has to include fish or meat, other than in sandwich form and cooked vegetables.  It is deemed an offence under the regulations for any person to obtain liquor within the above hours on the presentation that he intends to partake of a meal.

Special provision has also been made for the serving of liquor to travellers.  Under the relevant section of the Liquor Act as amended by the regulations, a traveler will need to have travelled 25 miles before he is entitled to be served with liquor as a traveller.

The Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 22 December 1928



The prohibition of the sale of liquor in the Federal Capital Territory will cease to have effect from 9am t0-morros, and will under the control of the Commission liquor will be on sale to the public at the Hotel Canberra, Hotel Acton, Hotel Wellington and at cafes at Kingston, City and Manuka. Hotel staffs have been augmented in anticipation of the increased custom that the removal of the previous restrictions will bring to the hotels.

The Canberra Times 24 December 1928


From 9 o’clock on Saturday morning when the sale of liquor commenced in Canberra busy scenes were witnesses at Kingston and City Cafes where an …is being made in de… at the sale of liquor witnesses in other parts of the Commonwealth[article too faint to read]


The Canberra Times 4 April 1929


That the present system of vending liquor in the Canberra Cafes has its disadvantages has been demonstrated during the period the system has been in vogue by the number of cases of drunken men who have appeared at the Queanbeyan Police Court charged with misconducting themselves in these cafes, generally at the expense of the more decent frequenters who were seated at the tables.

The Federal Police and determined that this type of nuisance will not be tolerated, but he difficulty is to control the movements of these men.

A man appeared in the Queanbeyan Police Court yesterday and according to police evidence he was accosting others in the Kingston Café and demanding drink money. The magistrate, Mr EH Kelly, JP fined the offender £2, in default seven days imprisonment.

The Continental lounge system of selling liquor is desirable, if it can be properly conducted, but having never before been tried in this country it must be looked upon as an experiment. To be properly exploited the open-air café with no bar, but all drinks to be served at tables is the better system and would make for more comfort and decency. This couples with stringent measure to evict all undesirables, would be a desirable method of selling liquor in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Sydney Morning Herald  5 July 1929


CANBERRA. Thursday

Conditions under which the sale of liquor is to be permitted in the Capital Territory are to be contained in a newly framed liquor ordinance, which is published in the Commonwealth ‘Gazette’.  The ordinance is to commence on a date to be fixed by the Minister.  Generally it is on the conventional lines of existing liquor laws in force in States.

Since December, when prohibition of the sale of liquor in the Territory was removed liquor has been on sale at hotels and at liquor bars known as cafes, all of which are conducted by the Federal Capital Commission. The new ordinance will enable licensed premises to be conducted by private individuals.

The ordinance provides for a licensing magistrate who will grant, renew and cancel licenses and authorize the transfer of licenses and changes of licensed premises.  Four kinds of licenses are provided for – residential, hotel, café and booth and club licences.  The number of residential hotel licenses which may be granted in the city area is limited to five and the number of café licenses to three.  At present liquor is on sale at the Hotel Canberra, the Hotel Acton and the Hotel Wellington and during Parliamentary sessions at the Hotel Kurrajong. It may also be sold at the Hotel Ainslie when these premises are open. There are two cafes, one at City and one at Kingston.  A third at Manuka was closed recently as it was found to be unprofitable.  The ordinance provides that residential hotel licenses in the city areas will be granted only in respect of premises which contain not fewer than fifteen bedrooms and three sitting rooms.


At present none of the hotels in Canberra contain a bar in which liquor can be purchased and all drinks have to be consumed by the public at tables in the hotel lounges or sitting rooms.  Under the new ordinance bar-rooms will not be permitted in the residential hotels except with the express consent of the magistrate.  Café premises, however must contain a bar-room, suitable provided with tables and seats for the convenience of customers, and must have a separate entrance for bottle business.


Barmaids will not be employed in Canberra Hotels.  A section of the ordinance provides for a penalty of £5 for a licensee who ‘causes, permits or suffers any female other than his wife or his daughter, being over the age of 21 to sell, supply or serve liquor in his licensed premises.’

The hours of sale are to be from nine o’clock in the morning until six o’clock at night, except on Sundays, Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day. Liquor may be supplied on any day with meals. Booth licenses are provided for to enable liquor to be sold at athletic sports and similar gatherings.


Club licenses may be granted in respect to clubs having not fewer than 30 adults financial members.

No fees are prescribed for the grant of residential hotel licenses or café licenses but for any renewal of those licenses the fee is 10 per cent of the amount paid for all liquor purchased during the twelve months preceding the application for renewal.

It is the intension of the Commission to call for applications for the lease of its hotels.


The Brisbane Courier Queensland 4 January 1930

CANBERRA, January 3

A special ordinance for controlling Canberra liquor sales will come into operation very shortly. The only matter to be finalized before then is the appointment of a licensing magistrate who will deal with transfers, forfeitures, fees and appeals.

While the ordinance is similar to those the State Licensing Acts there are one or two innovations. Barmaids are strictly prohibited from employment. Bars in hotels will not be permitted, but cafes where licenses are granted bars are a necessity. The police are given additional powers where licensed premises are concerned. They may enter and inspect such places at any time, and have power of seizure as obtains in the States.

The Mercury Hobart Tasmania 28 March 1930


CANBERRA, March 26

From the sale of liquor in the ‘cafes’ conducted by the Federal Capital Commission in Canberra about £3,000 a year profit is made. The sale of liquor is the only business carried on at the ‘cafes’.  The Hotel Wellington where liquor is on sale only to residents, involved the Commission in a loss of about £8.000 last year.  The Hotel Ainslie, where liquor has not been sold so far involved a loss of £9,000 in the last year during which is was open.  Applications are being called for the lease of the Hotel Wellington and the Hotel Ainslie.

These figures were announced by the Minister for Home Affairs (Mr Blakeley) this afternoon to a deputation from the Methodist Church in Canberra which waited upon him in regard to the liquor business. The deputation contended that the people of Canberra had been promised an ideal system for the sale of liquor.  They had voted in favour of straight out licence and had rejected the alternative proposal of prohibition of sale and sale under Government control, but their wishes had been flouted.  There had been complaints also about the lack of cleanliness in the ‘cafes’ about the prices charged for liquor and about drunkenness.  The deputation desired to know when the new liquor ordinance gazette some time ago was to be brought into force.


The Minister replying to the representations of the deputation said he had inspected the ‘cafes’ and he had informed the Chief Commissioner, that he was not satisfied with the way in which they were being conducted. It depended upon whether the Hotel Ainslie and the Hotel Wellington were let to private enterprise when the new ordinance would come into effect. If no outsiders offered to lease the hotels the Commission would have to conduct them and the ‘cafes’ as well.  In regard to prices, Mr Blakeley pointed out that Australian whisky was sold in Canberra probably cheaper than anywhere else in Australian. It could be obtained at the ‘cafes’ for 6d a nip though 9d a nip was charged in the lounge of the Hotel Canberra.

The Sydney Morning Herald 27 July 1933



The final stage of the Federal Government’s experience was a hotel proprietor and liquor trader appears to have been reached with the announcement today that the liquor café carried on by the Government at Kingston ,one of Canberra’s shopping centres, has been disposed of to Mr Walter McGrath of the Crow’s Nest Hotel Sydney under an agreement by which Mr McGrath will erect a residential hotel to which the license will be transferred.

The amount paid for the lease has not been disclosed but it is stated to have been about £25,000.  The disposal under similar conditions of the liquor café at Civic Centre it is expected will be announced next week.

The Government will then control only the Hotel Canberra, tenders for the lease of which are awaiting consideration by the Cabinet.

This may be the Hotel Kingston that opened in early 1936.  On the north side of the Molonglo at Civic – the Hotel Civic opened the same year.  A feature of all the hotels was the number of Balls held on their premises.



RF Tetley bus service Canberra Queanbeyan



Queanbeyan Age 11 September 1923


Mr RF Tetley intends running a regular motor service between Canberra and Queanbeyan putting is commodious Char-a-banc with commodious seating accommodation for 40 passengers on the road. He will leave Canberra at 1.30pm on Saturday next calling at the Power House and Molonglo Camp en route leaving Queanbeyan again at 5.30pm.  Ladies who will be specially catered for will thus have the opportunity of doing their shopping and getting home again in time for tea. If sufficient support is forthcoming the service will be extended to meet the needs of all centres in the Territory.


During an online search through the NLA newspapers on Westridge I came across the following advertisement in the Queanbeyan Canberra Advocate  11 June 1925 which was repeated during June and July 1925:

Canberra – Queanbeyan Night Motor Service. Leaves Westridge 7pm Monday to Friday via Westlake, Tradesmen’s Camp, Hostel, Acton Cross Roads, Power House, Molonglo arriving at Queanbeyan to meet the Mail Train from Sydney.  Leaves Queanbeyan after arrival at 4.11am Cooma Mail. RF Tetley Proprietor.

It continued to detail the Day Service that left Westridge at 8.45am and returned 9.30pm.

This advertisement drew my attention to a service that I had not heard about.  I knew about Mrs Barton’s Canberra –Queanbeyan Safety Coach Omnibus Service that commenced in 1925 and continued into the late 1930s. It is quite well documented in Australian National Archives.  She was one of the characters of early Canberra, who managed to annoy many of the officials of the day.  Dawson and Quodling Bros replaced her service in the late thirties.    

Westridge today is Yarralumla; the site of Westlake settlement is in Stirling Park, Section22 and Block 4, Section 128 and in the embassy area bounded by Empire Circuit, Forster Crescent, Darwin and Perth Avenues Yarralumla.  The Tradesmen’s Camp and Howie’s Settlement which included cottages and single men’s Hostel Camp were in the area of Block 3, Section 128 Stirling Park between Alexandrina Drive near Lotus Bay and Forster Crescent.  The Tradesmen’s Camp extended from the park area up across Forster Crescent on to land now part of the French Embassy in Darwin Avenue.

The Hostel  most likely to be the Hotel Canberra which was known as Hostel No 1. It may also be Hotel Kurrajong which was Hostel No 2 or 3.  It is more likely to be the former.

 The Acton Cross Roads, I believe, were the Cross Roads where the old Yass Road crossed the Uriarra Road opposite the Fire Station in Forrest.  The Power House is in Wentworth Avenue then known as Interlake Avenue.   Molonglo Settlement has been replaced with the buildings of Fyshwick.  The last stop was probably the Queanbeyan Railway Station where the service met trains from Sydney and Cooma. Canberra passengers from Victoria had to get out at Yass and find their way across to Canberra.

Tetley’s  Motor Service route – using modern maps - commenced around  the Yarralumla Shops, continued down the Cotter Road  (on the Yarralumla side of Adelaide Avenue) where it turned  left  just before the Prime Minister’s Lodge onto the track that led to Westlake.  The track entered the settlement near the Canberra Mosque and continued down the hill in the area of Empire Circuit where it still continues through Stirling Park. 

From the settlement the track turned right at a point near Alexandria Drive opposite the Southern Cross Yacht Club [Briar Farm site] where It crossed Haines’ Creek and continued  along a track that runs roughly parallel to Alexandrina  Drive for the pick up from Howie’s Settlement and Tradesmen’s Camp. 

From this stop the vehicle continued along the track roughly in the area of Alexandrina Drive that went up the hill to Commonwealth Avenue for the next pick up point at the Hotel Canberra .   It then took one of the tracks or roads to Acton Cross Roads near the Fire Station at Forrest  - thence to the Power House. In Wentworth Avenue that continued  along this road to join  Canberra Avenue – Next stop  Fyshwick [Molonglo}  and finally on to  Queanbeyan Railway Station.

I assume that the track from Westlake cottages to the Hotel Canberra was the one that we used from Westlake on our way to the Hotel Canberra bus stop.   However there was another  track into Westlake Settlement that left State Circle in the vicinity of Perth Avenue and joined Darwin Avenue where sites of the cottages began.  State Circle at that time had been completed between Adelaide  and Commonwealth Avenues.   This track was not in common use by Westlake residents until the American Embassy, built in the early 1940s, cut off the original entrance.   

The Tetley Motor Service called at the major  southside settlements of the time.  It travelled along tracks, partly formed roads and old roads on its route between Westridge – the brickyards and main nursery  - to Queanbeyan.  It went by the Westlake Camps & Settlements which had a population in May 1925 of 700.  Many  men working on the Provisional Parliament House and surrounds lived  here and in the surrounding area.  The service then  travelled  to the Power House Settlements – the Industrial area -  where camps  and 20 or more small brick cottages that formed the nucleus of the suburb of Barton.   Molonglo Settlement had a population of 750.  The total population of the city area in 1925 was  just over four and half thousand.

The introduction of our local bus service began in 1926.  It was recorded in the 20th August, 1926 issue of The Federal Capital Pioneer, Canberra's first newspaper. In this article Mr Butters, the First Commissioner stated: To meet the increasing demand for passenger transport a Motor Bus Service between settlements has recently been inaugurated and will be augmented on the arrival of four buses recently purchased by the Commission...   This of course, is another story about our early public transport.

What happened to Mr Tetley’s Motor Service is unknown, but perhaps he was the first to provide a public motorized service for the people of the FCT?

Reginald Francis Tetley late of Queanbeyan died 10 December 1975 aged 89 years.

More information about Mrs Barton and our local omnibus service can be found in my web page http://hiddencanberra.webs.com/Chapter%208A%20Mrs%20Barton.pdf


The Tetley advertisement reminded me of the old track across from my home at Westlake to the Hotel Canberra.  It was a long walk, but in fruit season, not an unpleasant one because the track went passed a very large old quince tree that provided us with delicious free fruit.  Another found advertisement   in the Queanbeyan Age  8 May 1904 indicated  that many before my generation also enjoyed the fruit from this tree.


QUINCES FOR SALE – Apply Briar Farm Canberra 2d, 3d and 4d per dozen.



June 1909 final choice of site

The Advertiser 1 June 1909




Melbourne May 31

The topographical report of Mr CS Scrivener on the proposed Federal capital site at Yass-Canberra is now being considered by a board comprised of Colonel Miller (Secretary to the Home Affairs Department), Colonel Owen (Federal Director-General of Works), Mr Vernon (New South Wales Government Architect) and Mr Scrivener.  The board will upon consideration make recommendations to the Minister of Home Affairs to the precise site within an area of 1,000 square miles, which should be taken as the capital.  As to the various works that Mr Scrivener has outlined such as the building of reservoirs, the making of a railway to Jervis Bay, and the construction of a harbor at Jervis Bay, the board will also, it is to be presumed make recommendations.  They will further have under notice the question of resuming the land within the area now held by private persons.  When the board had advised the Minister it will be for the latter to bring the question again before Parliament.  As the land of New South Wales Territory that State will also have to pass certain measures.


Works Necessary for Lakes 1916


(Australian Archives A792/1 17/412 - dated 31.1.1916 or 31.11.1916 - one "1"is crossed out in date.)

In keeping a due co-ordination of the works, two things are borne in mind. First, that every care must be taken to conserve public money - and consequently that all works should not only be constructed in the most economical manner possible, but also even in those features where economy is obviously subordinate to beauty as in the Ornamental Lakes - that every opportunity should be taken to utilize the economic value of the features - And that such can be done without any sacrifice of the artistic value of the work but rather to the contrary, is proved by every beautiful city in the world.

In the case of the Ornamental Lakes, the economic value of water carriage is so considerable that permanent wharves should be provided - and by deciding at an early date where these should be situated, they could be brought into use almost at once, and greatly facilitate transit during the whole of the construction from the start.

For the early construction works - as soon as the lower dam proposed at Yarralumla, has been sufficiently completed to raise the water level to 1815 wharves are requested below the brickworks near Yarralumla Dairy crossing, and below the Power House crossing. Probably these could with a little modification fit in to some permanent scheme of city transportation. But so great will the economic value of this water transport for bricks from the one wharf, and for sand and gravel from the other, that if such transport be decided on, then the Yarralumla dam should be put in hand at as early a date as possible.

Added to the economic advantage of such a step, it would at the earliest possible date, give that beauty to the Capital which it now lacks, and justify it in the eyes of all visitors as a most beautiful pleasure resort, and give amenities to the present drab lives of the workers. In other words, one of the chief features of the site annot be enjoyed till this lower dam at Yarralumla has been completed.

Then, from the enonomic attitude, the upper dam should be begun almost as soon as the lower, because its foundations would be almost impossible to secure after the water had been permanently raised by the lower dam - but having once constructed this upper dam above its foundation top level, say above 1805, by far the most secure and economical construction will be by the hydraulic fill system. This would be by a suction dredge working first on the up stream side of the upper dam, and being subsequently transferred to the lower side. Approximately, the date of construction - based on the assumed starting date as January 1917, would be as follows:-

Completion of lower dam up to RL 1815 - July 1918 - after this water transport would prevail, and the completion of the syphons and the hydraulic fill part of the dam could be rushed and the dam would be finally completed before the end of 1920. Total cost about 77,000 pounds, annual cost, say 20,000 pounds per annum.

The rate of progress of the upper dam could be much slower, but the foundations would cost about 25,000 pounds in the first year and a half. Once the dredge has been placed in the lower lakes, the balance of earthwork alongside the lakes, which has not required to be completed before then, would of course be handled subsequently by dredging - Also all gravel and sand which should be located before the river flats are submerged, would be dredged up and more cheaply transported to where they are required. This work of course would proceed at any desired rate with a view to completion say 1822- or 1830 according to the money allocation - other works such as tramways, of a remunerative nature naturally taking precedence.

One important feature is the main outlet drains, which I understand it is intended should be placed in the middle of the lakes. These obviously would be only of sufficient size to remove polluted waters, and all flood waters and sewer discharges where they are surcharged to the extent of six times their normal flow would freely overflow into the lakes. This is in accordance with well established practice, and does not cause any offence.

Should any intercepting drain such as has been proposed, be put in the Lakes for Septic Tank effluent, or polluted storm water from streets and roads, obviously this, or other masonry work in the bed of the Lakes should be completed before the shutting of the valves in the Yarralumla Dam, July 1918. But I would strongly recommend that these Septic Tanks, and the street silt wells, be so constructed that their effluent ill create no nuisance - then the only time when they might be offensive in heavy floods, their waters will be so diluted by the flow of the river that they will be less offensive than the natural river water.

While dealing with this question of river deposit, it should be mentioned that the sand banks which will be exposed during drought seasons in the Upper Lake should be carefully prepared. Probably the cheapest and most efficient way to prepare them will be by dredging up the gravelly deposits and spreading them hydraulically along the shores - These gravel beds would give a surface more likely to retain the sandy deposit required than the natural earth banks would - and where the gravel will be covered with the objectionable alluvium it can be readily planted with a protecting shade of aquatic shrubery to a foot or two below the top water level.

[The signature is hard to read but looks to be J Nolin, Manager]




Works executed 1915-1916


HM Rolland, Assistant Architect

HG Connell, Supervising Engineer

AL Richmond, Draftsman

A Osborne, Draftsman

T Oxenham, Clerk of Works

G Franklyn, Clerk of Works

JD Brilliant, Clerk of Works

HH Sanderson, Mechanical Clerk of Works

C Muir, Senior Clerk

RS Shannon Junior Clerk

LR Taylor Typist, Correspondence

JH Kennedy, Accounts Clerk

LH West, Clerk in Charge Time Sheets

Sydney Staff

GN Oakeshott, Architectural Adviser.





[Australian Archives 414/1 22/1]

Cotter Water Supply

Cotter River Weir

Designed height of Dam

100 feet


1,400,000,000 gallons

Present height of Dam

60 feet


380,000,000 gallons

Cost at present height

75,000 pounds

Estimated cost to complete the designed height in 1916

18,900 pounds

At present time

35,000 pounds

The present cost includes a Clearing of the Reservoir site, cost of Plant and preliminary work.

The cost per cubic yard, everything included to 1916 averaged 2 pounds 10 shillings.

The cost per cubic yard for the last four months of full work preceding June 1916 averaged 26 shillings and 1 penny.

Works from the Dam to the Pump Station -

Tunnelling and Pipes

27,195 pounds

Pump House and Transformer House

3,500 pounds

Pumps and Motors, Switches etc purchase price

2 Centrifugal Pumps (Gwynne & Co London)

Capacity each 100,000 gallons per hour under a head of 840 feet, electrically driven 1500 revolutions per minute. Plant … 9,419 pounds

Rising Main

18 inch Cast Iron Pipe 3 and quarter miles long cost 33,000 pounds

Pipe Head Reservoir, Stromlo

3,000,000 gallons capacity in 3 chambers - total cost 11,877 pounds

Gravitation Main

Stromlo to Red Hill - 6 and half miles long cost 58,000 pounds

Red Hill Service Reservoir

Capacity 3,000,000 gallons cost 13,628 pounds

Total Cost of Water Supply

270,000 pounds





Length of sewer undertaken, from near original City boundary to outfall - 16,000 feet

Main Tunnel - Total length of 6,004 feet has been deiven. 1,516 feet of Tunnel have been lined with concrete and in addition 970 feet of Concrete Invert has been laid

Cost: 33,532 pounds

The Main Sewer is oval shaped 5 ft 6 inches x 3ft 8 inches

Cost to complete (present day)………





Actual development in Road Making Work under Federal Territory since the roads were taken over.

Forming and Finishing 92 miles

Gravelling and Metalling 88 miles

Maintenance, Gravel and metal - 94,657 cubic yards

Cleaning and repairing culverts - 161 and half miles

General Road Repairs - 176 miles

Water Tables, Drains, etc - 145 miles

Cost… 72,279 pounds, 6 shillings.





Present installation-

Staffordshire Kiln and 2 Brickmaking Machines with Mixers, Grinding Mills, Screens, Rock Breakers and all necessary gear - Capacity 5,000,000 bricks per year. This kiln is also suitable for roofing tiles

Total Expenditure including all experimental work 40,997 pounds

(This prime cost should be reduced by crediting sales and assets on charge.)



Power Station

Power House, Steel Frame Structure, Concrete Envelope

Structure, etc

40,000 pounds


38,250 pounds



This plant consists of two (2) Belliss and Morcom Triple Expansion Steam Engines of 860, 870 BHP capacity, direct coupled to Brush three phase, 5,500 Volt, 50 Cycle 600 KWT Alternators.

One Robey Hall Compound Steam Engine direct coupled to 150 KWT 3 Phase Alternator, 500 Volt, 50 Cycles.

One Linde Type Half Ton Ice-making Plant with Babcock and Wilcox Water Tube Boilers, Stokers, Super Heaters, Coal and Ash Handling Plant, Economiser and all necessary accompanying gear.

Transmission Lines-

28 and half miles

12 miles 11,000 Voltage

16 and half miles 5,500 Voltage

Including 5 Sub-stations

32,365 pounds





Acton Bridge

936 pounds 19 shilling and 2 pence

Murrumbidgee Bridge

7,826 pound 2 shillings and 9 pence

Uriarra Bridge

125 pounds, 8 shillings

Point Hut Ford

214 pounds, 4 shillings and 1 penny


9,102 pounds 14 shillings




Buildings Erected at Canberra Prior to 1916

Acton Nursery Buildings

1,843 pounds

Administrative Offices


Main Office

4,733 pounds


1,120 pounds

Residency (brick building)

5,987 pounds

Bachelors Quarters - Canberra (including detached buildings)

4,200 pounds

Commonwealth Bank

2,273 pounds

Bank Manager's Quarters

1,647 pounds

Married Officers Quarters (8 @ 1,100 pounds)

8,800 pounds

Hospital, including all buildings on site and external services including drainage, fencing, hot water and sterilising systems

7,745 pounds

Post Office - Canberra

785 pounds

Engineering Workshop at Power House

4,000 pounds





Storage of Joinery Timbers for Seasoning


250,000 super feet


115,000 super feet

Celery Top Pine

200,000 super feet


180,000 super feet


36,000 super feet

Huon Pine

50,000 super feet

In all approximately

830,000 super feet

Total purchase price

21,000 pounds

49.3/- per 100 feet sup.



Works Executed From 1916 Onwards

Constructional Tramway

Constructional Tramway Bridge over Molonglo

Commonwealth Avenue - Bridge over Molonglo

Roads round Civic Centre

Roads round West Basin

Northbourne Avenue

Roads round Neighbourhood No 1 [Civic Area - Braddon]

Cut off Road (Commonwealth Avenue to Adelaide Avenue).

Pipe Line - Camp Main to Duntroon.

Pipe Line - Cotter Supply to Acton Nursery and Yarralumla

Purchase Physical Testing Plant.

Extension Electric Light Main to Queanbeyan

Experimental Syphon at Cotter

Moving Molonglo Camp Buildings to form Quarters Foreman Ryan, Acton

Timber Storage Shed

Bulk Store - Canberra Co-operative Society [opened 1916].

Jerrabomberra Creek Diversion.





Australian Archives A414/1 22/1



List of Principal Works and Services Executed Up To The End of 1920

Surveys - Survey and making by permanent monuments the boundaries of the Federal Territory; field work for the Minor Triangulation Survey; 5 feet contour survey over a large area, including the city site; descriptive surveys over a considerable portion of the Territory; layout on the ground of the axial lines of the accepted city plan; longitudinal sections over the principal streets in neighbourhoods 1 and 2.

Roads - General development throughout the Federal Territory - Forming and finishing 92 miles, gravelling and metalling 88 miles, repairs and maintenance; provision of water tables and drains, 145 miles. In connection with City Plan - Formation around Civic Centre, around West Basin, Northbourne-avenue, Neighbourhood No 1, Commonwealth-avenue to Adelaide-avenue.

Bridges- Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River. Point Hut Ford on Murrumbidgee River. Bridge over the Molonglo River on Commonwealth-avenue. Construction of tramway bridge over Molonglo River. (Not seen by the Committee - Low level temporary bridge over Molonglo River destroyed by floods. Small low level bridge over Murrumbidgee River, part built and destroyed by floods during construction.)

Power Station - Steel and concrete power house building; Plant including two Belliss and Morcom triple expansion steam engines, direct coupled to three phase 5,500 volt 50 cycle, 600 kw brush alternators. One Robey-Hall compound steam engine, direct coupeled to 150 kw, three phase alternator, 500 volt, 50 cycle. Babcock and Wilcox water tube boilers, with super heaters and automatic stokers, coal and ash handling plant, automatic weighing machines, and other accessory gear. High tension 5,500 bolt switch gear for control of plant; station switchboard for Power house auxiliaries; Step-up transformers, for supplying the Cotter Pumping Station and necessary lighting arresting gear. Linde type ice making plant.

Transmission Lines - About 30 miles of high tension line and necessary sub-stations.

Water Supply - Cotter River Weir (dam 380,000,000 gallons storage capacity); tunnelling and pipes to Pump house; pump house and transformer house and equipment (including two electrically driven centrifugal pumps, (Gwynne & Co, London), each with capacity of 100,000 gallons per hour under head of 840 feet; Rising Main (18 inch cast iron pipe), 3 and quarter miles; pipe head reservoir, Stromlo (3,000,000 gallons); gravitation main - Stromlo to Red Hill - 6 and half miles; reservoir - Red Hill - capacity 3,000,000 gallons; temporary pipe line to Molonglo Camp; temporary pipe line to Royal Military College Duntroon; temporary pipe line to Acton, Nursery and Yarralumla.

Sewerage - Main Sewer from City boundary to outfall, Western Creek. 6,004 feet of tunnel driven, of which 1,516 feet lined with concrete, and 970 feet of concrete invert laid.

Brick Works- Staffordshire kiln and brickmaking machines, with Miser's grinding mills and necessary equipment. Capacity, 5,000,000 bricks per annum. (Not seen by the Committee - Trial open kilns for burning bricks for initiatory works.)

Railway to Queanbeyan-

Constructional Tramway to Civic Centre Area - (Work suspended, but recently carried to completion.)

Buildings - Administrative buildings Acton (comprising main building and separate work office).

Commonwealth Bank

Post Office


Bachelors' Quarters Acton

Married officers' quarters (eight houses)

Bank manager's house

Hospital - comprising a number of buildings with special services

Engineering workshops near power house and equipment.

Works Department, with numerous temporary stores and other buildings.

Temporary quarters for married and single officers (Works Department).

Molonglo Internment Camp- Built for the Imperial Government during war. Administrative buildings for a personnel of about 100 and hutments for about 300 families (internees), with water and sewerage reticulation, storage water tanks, electric supply, bakery, butcher's store, grocery and meat distribution store, baggage buildings, fire station, military barracks, including mess rooms, barracks and kitchen and small hospital. (The original depot was for about 600 families, but the Commonwealth Government sold to State Government activities the hutments for about 300 families.)

Provision of Joinery Timbers - Approximately 1,000,000 super feet of joinery timber, including Maple, Cedar, Celery Top Pine, Blackwood, Blackbean, Huon Pine - Timber storage sheds provided for considerable quantity.

Physical Testing Plant -

Plant - Large quantity of constructional plant of all kinds….





Canberra's Co-operative Store 1916-1923

The Canberra Times 26 July 1938



Co-operative Experiment

28,000 pounds LOST IN SEVEN YEARS.

(By ‘Old Timer’)

Like the sundial which records only sunny hours, Canberra’s history is concerned with achievement rather than failure.  The endeavour that was lost is forgotten because there is so much to be remembered that has succeeded.  Nevertheless, profitable instruction is to be had from some of the forgotten pages of the past, and perhaps one of the most interesting is the story of the Canberra co-operative store.

Few citizens of modern Canberra realise that for seven years before the entry of private enterprise to Canberra, there were no private stores in Canberra.  But there was a co-operative store owned by the residents. It had a monopoly and enjoyed trading conditions that would be the envy of any business in Canberra.

Right opposite the Railway station, just about where the Big gun, is today, a wooden store was erected on a lease at a nominal rental. In June 1916, the Canberra store was registered as a co-operative company under the Building and Co-operative Societies Act of New South Wales.  Then commenced eight years of trading in which the Canberra store enjoyed practically a monopoly of trade. The store appeared so attractive that the paymaster resigned his official position in the Government offices at Acton to take up the position of manager.  Canberra residents eagerly subscribed the capital and those so highly thought of in the community that residents transferred their custom to the store.  Naturally there was a great deal of credit, but the balance sheets also showed that there good profits, at least on paper.  No cash distribution of profits was ever made, but the profits which appeared on paper were capitalised until the total capital owned by the Canberra residents in their co-operative store was 7,395 pounds. This sum indicates the extent of the monopoly which the Canberra store enjoyed and the unique advantages it had compared with trading in Canberra today, with cartage costs, rents, high building covenants for shops and above all, very keen competition.

Perhaps it would be as well to draw a veil over the details of the company’s operations because the people involved in the company were all good people whose names do not matter and to recollect which might give unnecessary pain. They were enthusiastic and public spirited and endeavoured to assist their fellow citizens in the spirit of true co-operation. But they had never had experience of business and they found that no one can run a business who lacks experience.

We come to the month of November in the year of Our Lord, 1923, when a balance sheet showed that the company had capital of 7,395 pounds, loans by members of 1,169 pounds, a bank overdraft of 148 pounds and owed trade creditors a total of 22,774 pounds. On the other side of the balance stocks were stated at over 14,000 pounds and book debts amounted to 6,900 pounds. The trade creditors were not exactly pleased with the position.

In January 1924, the largest creditor approached the court and disclosed that he was owed 1,195 for goods supplied in the last six months and that he had not been paid.  But, there were 235 other creditors who had something like the same experience. Moreover, when they came to realise on book deubts they found that they could get very little of the 6,900 pounds owing. Similarly they found that the stocks could not realise anything like 14,000 pounds.

Begun with high hopes, privileged by favoured circumstances and conducted in a decade of prosperity, the Canberra co-operative store plunged to disaster.

The shareholders lost every penny. The guarantors of the bank overdraft had to find 148 pounds for which they got nothing. The members of the society who had lent it 1,169 pounds and the 236 trade creditors who were owed more than 22,000 pounds got 2/6 in the pound and had to consider themselves fortunate.

Soon after the crash, retail shopping leases were offered for sale in Canberra and in 1925 the first stores were being erected at Kingston and Manuka. Even in 1926 there were still the old grey buildings opposite the railway station. Like a grey ghost it waited until the new era of trading had opened in Canberra, and then one day demolishers arrived and the corpse of the co-operative store was finally given a decent burial.

Canberra, to quote ‘Enoch Arden’, ‘Seldom had seen a costlier funeral.’


Foundations Stones

The Canberra Times 16 February 1938


In June, 1920 when the Prince of Wales laid the commencement column of the ultimate Capitol building on Capital Hill, he made a remark that has often been quoted against Canberra, ‘I think that Canberra is largely a city of foundation stones.’  The remark is still true to-day.  In Canberra, some foundations have been well and truly laid and are still being laid, but these are not expressed in stone so much as by individual and community effort in the establishment and development of institutions which should play a useful part in the life of the city.  There can be no question that the people of Canberra have contributed worthily not only to the laying of foundations, but to the superstructures. But there are stone foundations on which building does not proceed but is being continually deferred.

It is almost 25 years since the first foundation stone was laid on Capital Hill and the federal city was named. Building on that actual foundation stone is not advocated now, but t he occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of our city definitely calls for some outward and visible evidence of building on other foundations.  The foundations of the Commonwealth Offices were laid in 1927.  The Government was committed in 1924 to the completion of that building before 1930.  It is now 1938 and no brick of stone has been added for ten years to the foundations. Unless the Government commits itself to a more definite programme in connection with the building and completion of the structure we may expect further delays.  Delays are much easier to explain than the failure of the Government to proceed with the building. Within the last year, delay became a definite Government instruction. It is timely that this order should be reversed.  Moreover March 12, 1938, should be the occasion for a definite advance by the Government towards completion.  The Prime Minister recently complained that his name was not associated with any stone in the capital except on a private building. No one is more to blame than Mr Lyons himself.  There is a very obvious opportunity for him to lay a foundation stone for the new Commonwealth offices and to see that the stone is but one of many others required to completed the building.  The fact that the Prime Minister has not since his advent to office at the beginning of 1932 laid the foundation of any public building in Canberra is not a personal but a public tragedy. But it can be repaired by an obvious course. Let Mt Lyons without delay order the building in Canberra of the key building on which the growth of Canberra attends.

Another foundation awaits attention. It is that of the National University of Canberra. To some extent foundations have been laid, but a greater foundation awaits constructive action. It is notable that the New South Wales Government is pressing on with the establishment of a University College at Armidale.  It is notable too, that the University of Sydney is wholeheartedly behind the new college.  This contrasts with the attitude of the Commonwealth Government towards the National University at Canberra and the scarcely veiled sufferance of the University of Melbourne is extending its tolerance of the college but already the term is approaching the end without a visible sign of movement in Canberra for t he realisation of the objective of a full university.  The Government has reappointed the University College Council, but by asking too bluntly or criticising too directly the failure of the Government to advance the university movement by specific action. That must apparently be left to others.  There is a strong feeling that new blood on the University Council would accomplish a great deal, but perhaps the Council may redeem itself.  It has within its reach the chance of putting into Canberra another foundation stone, a stone on which may be raised and edifice meaning as much to Australia as all the public buildings elsewhere in the city.

The Canberra Times 26 March 1946


Lord Louis Mountbatten here in 1920

Lord Louis Mountbatten took part in the Commencement Column ceremony at Canberra in June 1920.  He revealed yesterday, that on Monday June 21, 1920 as a sub-lieutenant nearing his 20th birthday, he had the privilege of witnessing the Prince of Wales laying the central foundation stone on Capitol Hill.

‘After the master mason has lowered it in place,’ he said, ‘ he handed a spirit level to the Prince and invited him to declare the stone ‘well and truly’ laid. HRH took the spirit level, tried it, and shattered the proceedings by saying, ‘But it isn’t truly laid, look at the spirit level.’  It was not until the master mason explained that it was an historic spirit level which had been used by King George V in 1901 and was no longer expected to be accurate, the HRH agreed to declare the stone ‘well and truly laid.’

‘We gathered round. The words,  ‘Prince of Wales’ appeared in the middle of the inscription. In the centre of the letter ‘O’ there was a small gold dot, which was to be the centre of the entire city, all avenues and roads radiating from it.

‘I visited the site yesterday and was sentimentally pleased to find Capitol Hill unchanged after all these years, except for the foundation stone itself, which I gather now reposes in a store for safe keeping!’


The Second World War Two Years

I was born in 1937 and came with my family to Canberra in 1941.  The Great Depression that officially started in 1929 continued into the early 1940s.  My father's job running a small garage in Collarenebri in northern NSW had finished in 1941 and his boss found him a job in Canberra.

We travelled to Canberra in a little Vauxhall Tourer and were fortunate to find accommodation sharing a house with the Dunn family in Kennedy Street Kingston.  Many Canberra families shared their homes at this time.

Dad's work at Brodie's Garage in Wentworth Avenue was not far away.  The Storen family ran it at this time.  This garage which is in the process of being pulled down, was the first to be erected in Canberra in 1926.  The sum paid for the site was the most ever paid for a block at that time - well over a thousand pounds. 

This garage had a lantern on top - with the idea to light the way to Canberra.  At the time it was built it was out in the middle of a big open area.

A short time after arriving we were allocated a house at 27 Westlake.  I commenced school at Telopea Park Infants and Primary School in June 1942 when I turned five.  I was tall and was moved from the Infants' line into first class and that started a time of being a year younger than the rest of the class for my school years.

I grew up in Canberra in the war years and the early years after it when the New Australians arrived in big numbers - 'Populate or Perish' was one of the 'cries' promoted at every turn.  There was a fear of the red peril - Communism (and China was Communist from 1949) and that we would be over-run.  The White Australia Policy was still in full operation at this time too.  My husband, Florian, was one of the New Australians who arrived in the early 1950s.  Both my close girl friends also married Austrians.

Back to the war years - My memories are of very few men not in uniform - fathers, brothers, uncles, away at the war. Dad, who was born in 1896 - went to Darwin as head of the Fitters and Turners Shop in the Civil Construction Corp and my girl friend, moved with her parents to Sydney were her father who was medically unfit for armed services, worked in a factory.

Rationing was a big part of our lives.  Men's suits went from double breasted with waist coat to single breasted no waist coat and trousers lost their cuffs.  Women's dresses also used less material (all rationed) and because stockings were in very short supply many young women used a brown stain on their legs and drew with eyebrow pencil, a thin line up the back of their legs to represent the seam line (at least this line stayed straight).

Food and petrol was also rationed and I remember the time when chocolates were no longer readily available and worse for children - chewing gum rarely appeared in the shops. Word would go around when a store had some in and the small packets were opened and sold with part of each (2 instead of 4 pieces).

Canberra became a city of bikes and the street signs were removed and night time street lights went too.  Houses had to have black-out blinds.  Dad when home during the war did drive us to the pictures on Friday night at the old Capitol Theatre. The headlights had a metal 'devise' over them that allowed only a slit of light to show.  When he was away in Darwin, the car went up on blocks as were the cars of many others.  Some converted to gas and many continued to use the horse and sulky and horse and dray.  Others used shank's pony (walking) and the bus service.

Most of the school children at Westlake either rode their bikes or walked to school.  The short cut was over Capital Hill passed Capitol Hill Camp.  We could catch the bus which cost one penny (1d) each trip, but had to walk to the bus stop on State Circle below the American Embassy.

When I went to Canberra High in 1949 I went across the track to Hotel Canberra and caught the bus there - most times I rode my bike or walked via Acton. (to be continued)



Russell Hill School 1927-1929

Above: opening of Russell Hill School. 

The Canberra Times 11 October 1927





The fourteenth school of the Federal Capital Territory was opened at Russell Hill this morning by Mr CS Daley, Secretary to the Federal Capital Commission.  The school was commenced a week ago with 100 scholars.

Mr Daley pointed out that Russell Hill was a temporary settlement but that the establishment of the school was in pursuance of the educational policy of the Commission, which was responsible for the education of the children of the Federal Capital Territory.

The cure and importance which the Federal Capital Commission attaches to the welfare and training of the children, those citizens of the future in whose hands will lie the further moulding of the destinies of this great young nation was again exemplified by the opening of the new school at Russell Hill this morning.

It was a pleasing little ceremony, and one that both parents and scholars largely appreciated. The parents for the reason that with the establishment of a school at the settlement they would be able to have their young charges under their own supervision during their leisure hours.  Instead of having to be sent further afield to attend a distant school and the children because it was their own school.

Under the leadership of the headmaster, Mr W Gee the scholars numbering some 100 boys and girls were drawn up in ranks facing the newly erected flagstaff.  At a given signal the Australian emblem was broken from the mast, and the children stood at the salute and gave voice to the loyal sentiment, ‘I honour my God, serve my King and salute my flag,’ after which they sang ‘Advance Australia Fair.’

Inspector Newling in addressing those present, said that if the boys and girls would excuse him he would sepak first to the mothers and fathers. It was a very hopeful  to see new schools being opened up in all parts of the Territory and showed the interests and foresight of the Federal Government took in providing such ... buildings as the class of school now before them.  He urged fathers and mothers to take interest in the progress of the boys and girls by asking questions as to how they were advancing in various studies and above all sending them to school regularly. The schools were established in order to give the youngsters the best start in life.  Let t hem feel sympathetically towards the teacher’s work.  He had heard parents expressing delight when holidays were over and it was time for the children to go back to school again.  They only had a few children to look after, but teachers had 40 or 60 and it was no easy task.  Inspector Newling said there was practically nor corporal punishment used at the school.

He wished on behalf of the Department that this school would achieve a high place and that the progress of the boys and girls would be a credit to the Department, the Territory and Australia.

Mr CS Daley, secretary to the Federal Capital commission, who officially unlocked the door and opened the school spoke of the development of the Territory and said that the opening of this school showed that there was no chance of any shortage of providing for educational facilities. Russell Hill was not a permanent district but at the same time the Commission did not desire any district to be without a school.  In the past the children of Russell Hill had to attend school in another district and their parents would be glad that they now had a school established at their own centre.  It also was a great privilege for the children demonstrated in their own centre.  It also a great privilege for the children  .... (?) and they would take great pride in it. There was special responsibility attaching to the children of the Capital Territory. In New South Wales or Victoria the children were children of that State alone, while in the Federal Territory they were Australians pure and simple. The Federal  Capital Commission was responsible firstly with the seeing the children thoroughly well educated for their start in the battle of life and secondly and perhaps more important to ensure the formation of ...character and sound principles in the boys and girls so that they may become worthy citizens. Mr Daley the.... of the Latin quotation of C... Motto which he said was ‘For the King, for the Law and for the People.’  They had ...saluted their flag which would be left flying from their staff to remind them of their duty to the King.  The second word of the motto meant that the children must stand up for all that was right and honourable, and with t heir teachers’ help distinguish right from wrong. The third word, ‘for the people’ contained the idea of service .  They all had their own interests at heart, but they must also seek to do things for other people. Therein lies the source of true happiness. He wished the school and scholars every success.

Mr C Francis, chairman of the Children’s Welfare and School Committee assured the inspector that the parents would take the greatest interest in the progress of the school and the scholars and he called upon the youngster to do their very best to reflect credit upon their school, their teachers and last but not least, themselves.  He was certain that the parents would regard the establishment of the school in their centre as a great boon.  Some of the children  no doubt would rather play outside and play and wondered why they were compelled to get ... and learn lessons, but they must remember when they grow up to men and women if they had not received a good education in school and ....children of ...

Mr Lloyd secretary to the School Committee also wished the school and ...with every success.

The children were presented a half holiday in honour of the occasion.  Photographs were taken of the new school hall, scholars and visitors which included Canon Ward, Rev Mr Fletcher and Mr JH Honeysett.


Telopea Park 1927

The Canberra Times 16 December 1927


Progress of Telopea Park School


That the year 1927 has been one of achievement and rapid progress for Telopea Park is evidenced by the annual report of the Headmaster (Mr CL Henry) presented to parents and scholars at the school speech day on Wednesday.

In the course of the report, Mr Henry stressed the fact that there is now no need for children whose parents wish them to continue studying up to the Leaving Certificate standard to leave Canberra.  The school curriculum now takes pupils to the commencement of the university courses.

A large number of parents and friends of pupils at Telopea park School were present at the annual prize-giving and speech day at the school on Wednesday.

His Excellency the Governor-General and Lady Stonehaven were present for the initial portion of the function. Attended by Captain Curtis ADC. Their Excellencies arrived at the school at 10.30am and were received by the headmaster (Mr Henry). The children were drawn up in front of the school buildings and it was here that Lord Stonehaven presented to the Commission’s gold medal to Yvonne Boller, dux of the primary school.

His Excellency then briefly addressed the children, urging the younger children to make an effort to win the medal next year, and wishing them all the compliments of the season.

In company with Lady Stonehaven, the Governor-general then inspected the exhibition of school work on view in two of the class rooms, and departed at 10.50 am.

A number of the children and the visitors then assembled in the western wing for the annual speech day ceremonies. Mr CE Francis (chairman of the School Committee and president of the Parents and Citizens Association) presided and the official guests included Mrs Francis, Hon JG Latham (Attorney-General), Commissioner Colonel Thomas, Mr CS Daley (Secretary to the Federal Capital Commission) and Mr HR Waterman (assistant secretary to the Commission), Rt Hon W M Hughes MHR was unavoidably detained.

An Australian flag was presented to the school by the Hon JG Latham for Mr Kelso King of Sydney on behalf of the English speaking Union to replace the original flag presented by the Union last year.  The headmaster received the flag on behalf of the school.

In presenting the flag, Mr Latham, explained that the aim of the English-speaking Union was to cement and preserve the bonds existing between English-speaking countries throughout the world. He urged the children to be proud of the language and pointed out that the flag represented the ideals and traditions of the Empire as well as of Australia.

The school song was then sung by pupils led by Mr Kaye.

The annual report of the school which was presented by the headmaster, recorded great progress during the year, and provides and interesting summary of the achievements of the school, both in scholastic and sporting activities, and of the advance of higher education in the Territory. The full text of the report appears below.

Commenting upon the report, the chairman said it was one of achievement.  It showed that the children had been equally successful on playing field and in the classroom. Referring to the advanced status of the school, Mr Francis said the school was now able to vie children in the Territory the highest educational facilities which would be greatly augmented in the New Year by the establishment of a trades school.

Continuing Mr Francis said the report reflected the greatest credit upon Mr Henry (headmaster) and all members of the teaching staff. Unfortunately the school was about to suffer a severe loss by the transfer of Mr Henry to Singleton.  Parents recognised that Mr Henry had performed very wonderful work on behalf of education in the Federal Capital Territory. In no other place in Australia had such a difficult task confronted a headmaster as in Canberra when Telopea Park School was established with Mr Henry in charge.  The fact that the pupils included many children who had been partly educated in different States under varying standards in the one curriculum. It had been a difficult task, but the new order was working smoothly. He offered words of advice to those children who embark on various careers in the New Year and in conclusion expressed his hearty good wishes for the continued success of Mr and Mrs Henry in their new sphere.

The children then combined in giving three cheers for Mr and Mrs Henry.


The general prizes were presented by Mrs CE Francis.  On behalf of Mrs Gorman and the late Commissioner CH Gorman, Colonel Thomas presented silver cups to Edna Williams and Robert Knights. The cups were donated for the boy and girl who displayed outstanding merit during the year.

In the absence of Mr WM Hughes MHR Mr CS Daley presented the prizes donated by Mr Hughes for general proficiency to Ednor (Elinor?) Ordish, Jessie Orr, Lucy Williams and Charles Wardrop.

The prizes of a half-n-guinea each donated by the Misses Moore of Caufield for essays on ‘What Should be Life’s Aim’ were awarded to Ednor Ordish and Robert Knights

To Colin Williams was awarded the prize given by Mrs Goodwin for an essay on ‘Recent Improvements in Transport Facilities.’ The presentation was made by Mrs Goodwin.

At the conclusion of the general prize giving Mrs Francis presented Intermediate Certificates gained at the 1926 examination to Kitty Petley, Leslie Butler and Edward Waterman and presented Permit to Enrol Certificates to 51 children who were successful in the 1927 examination.

Following is a list of the prize winners:-

Silver Cups for boy and girl of outstanding merit (presented by Mrs Gorman and the late Commissioner Gorman); Edna Williams and Robert Knight.

Rt Hon WM Hughes prizes of general proficiency (four volumes): Ednor Ordish, Jessie Orr, Lucy Williams and Charles Wardrop.

Special prizes for general proficiency (donated by Mr Southwick): Roy Smith.

Gold Medal for Dux of Primary School (donated by Federal Capital Commission): Yvonne Boller

President of P and C Association’s prizes (donated by CE Francis Esq): Eric Whelan and Fay Cox.

General Proficiency Prizes (donated by JB Young Ltd, JA lea Esq and R Shannon Esq) Class 5A Ruth Williams and Desmond Sheen; Class 5B George Temperly and Ivy Roots; Class 4;  Len Jackson and Peggy Clark; special prizes Eric U’Ren; Class 3 William Smith and Mary Oldfield.

Special Prizes: Two prized of half guinea each donated by the Misses Moore of Caufiled for essay on ‘What Should be Life’s Aim?: Ednor Ordish and Robert Knights.

Prizes donated by Mrs Goodwin for an essay on ‘Recent Improvements in Transport Facilities’: Colin Williams.

Following is a list of pupils who gained Permit to Enrol Certificates for 1927:

Harold Beadman, Arthur Boag, Yvonne Boller, Constance Booth, Neville Canhaum, Corinne Carter, Fay Cox, Jack Davis, May Dorman, Nonie Dunn, Phyllis Durie, Robert Durie, Norman Elliott, William Evans, jack Goodwin, Patrick Gowing, Brian Green, Mollie Hicks, Frederick Hoskings, Reckkn Johnson, Margaret Kennedy, Charles Laws, Jean Lea, Milton lewis, Zilla Loughrey, Andrew Menkin, Mary McCann, Alfred McDonald, Blen McJannett, Ben McNamee, Sydney Millar, George Munns, Lucy Nelson, Florence Nobel, Jean Oldfield, Maxwell Phillips, Charles Prowse, Neville Reid, Edward Ryan, Allistair Scott, Bernie Smith, Allan Sweetham, Beryl Swinburne, Made Swinburne, Edna Tong, Charles Waterman, Eric Wheelan, Colin William, Gerald Wright, Elizabeth Wylie, Phillip Young.


1931 Intermediate Certificate Results

The Canberra Times 12 January 1932





Sydney, Monday

The results of the Intermediate examination was announced to-night.  The following are the subjects referred to:-

1 English, 2 History, 3 Geography, 4 Math 1. 5 Maths II, 6 Latin, 7 French, 8 German, 9 Physics, 10 Chemistry, 11 Elementary Science (Physics and Chemistry), 12 Botany, 13 Geology, 14 Physiology, 15 Business Principles, 16 Shorthand, 17 Technical Drawing, 18 Woodwork, 19 Metalwork, 20 Art, 21 Music, 22 Needlework, 23 Agricultural Botany, 24 Agriculture 1, 25 Agriculture II, 26 Practical Agriculture, 27 Greek, 28 Home Economics.

‘O’ denotes a pass in the oral test in French or German. ‘S’ denotes a pass in shorthand speed tests.




Margaret Barrie 1A, 2A, 6B, 7B

Nancy Barrie 1A, 2(?)A, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A, 11A

Arthur E Blakeley 1BM 2BM 3A, 4B, 5B, 7B, 15A

Corinne F Carter 1B, 4B, 5B, 11B, 21A

Lennox Cole 1B, 2B, 5B, 7B

Dora M Cumpston 1A, 2B, 4B, 5B, 6A, 7B, 21A

Edward Dullard 1B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 11B

John T Goodwin 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B, 11A

Campbell Grey 1B, 2B, 3A, 14B, 15B

Frank Hartley 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B, 11B, 17A, 18A, 19B

John R Israel 1B, 2B, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7B, 11A, 21A

Beatrice James 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B, 7B, 22B

Norman Jobson 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B, 6A, 7B, 11A

Frank Kerr 1A, 2B, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A, 11A

James King 1B, 4A, 5B, 6B, 7B, 11B

Isabel Muir 1B, 2B, 3B, 5B, 15B

Stephen Rodda 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B, 11A

Desmond Sheen 1B, 2B, 3B, 5B,11B, 15A

Charles Strong 1B, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7B, 11B

Alan Sweetam IB, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 9B

George Temperley 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B ..(obscured), 11B

Richard Try 1B, 2B, 3B, 5B, 15B

Rodney Whyte 1B, 2B, 4A, 5B, 6A

Colin Williams 1B, 2B, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B, 11B



Brian Bootes 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 9B

Ronald Campbell 1A, 2B, 3B, 4B, 6A, 7B

William de Salis 1A, 2B, 3B,4A, 5B, 6A, 7B, 9B

Garnet Ellis 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 6B

Brian Green 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 9B

Mervyn Jones 1B, 1A, 6A, 7B

Clive Richards 2B, 3B, 4B, 6B, 7B

Peter Sautelle 2B, 4B, 5B, 9B

Charles Waterman 1B, 2B, 3B, 4(?)B, 5B, 6B


ST GABRIEL’S SCHOOL (later Church of England Girls Grammar School)

Ruth Brackenreg 1A, 2B, 3A, 7B, 13B

Marjorie Curtis 1B, 3B, 6B, 7B

Sheila Elvins 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5B, 7B, 13B, 21B

Clarice Metford 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5B, 13B

Maisie Mollison 1B, 2B, 3B, 5B, 7B, 13A, 21A

Phyllis Somerville 1B, 2B, 3B, 5B, 7B, 21A



Eleanor Doig 1B, 2B, 4B, 7B

Kathleen Keefe 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B, 21A

John Kelly 1B,2A, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7B

Brian Martin 1B, 2B, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7B, 20B




Florence Rain 1B, 2B, 3B, 20B

Kathleen Kaufline 1A, 2B, 3B, 4B, 20B

Joan Uther 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 20B



Olive King 1A, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 20A, 21A

Roma Lamacchia 1A, 2A, 3A, 5B, 20B, 21A

James Tamsett 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5B, 15B, 16B




Ainslie Armstrong  !A, 2B, 7B, 22B

Denver Barnes 1B, 2B, 4A, 5A, 15B, 20A,

Joan Barnes 1A, 2A, 3B, 4B, 5B, 15B, 20A, 22B

James Beasely 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 15B

Caro Borrowman 1B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 20A, 22B

James Cargill 2B, 3B, 5B, 20B

Audrey Charlton 1A,2A, 3B, 4B, 5A, 15B, 20A, 22B

Jean Davis 1B, 2B, 3B, 5B, 15B, 20B, 22B

Raymond Esmolnd1B, 2B, 5B, 7B

Owen Filmer 1A, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5A, 15B, 20B

Merlin Freebody 2B, 3B, 5B, 15B, 20B

Alan Clifford 1B, 2B, 4A, 5A, 15B, 20B

Bernice Griffiths 1B, 2A, 3B, 15B, 20B

Keith Janson 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B, 15B, 20B

Cecil Martin 1B, 2B, 5B, 15B, 20B, 22 B

Amy Moore 1B, 2B, 3B, 5B, 15B, 20B, 22B

Alice Neiberding 1B, 2B, 5B, 10B

Mable Norton 2B, 3B, 5B, 15B, 20A, 22B

Albert  Payne 1B, 2B, 4B, 5B, 15B, 20B

Gladys Taylor 1B, 4B, 5B, 15B, 20B, 22B

Gladys Thompson 2B, 3B, 4B, 5A, 15B, 20A, 22A

Lionel Weather 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5A, 15B, 20B



Una De Salis1B, 2B, 4B, 20A, 21B,22B

Kitty Smallhorn 1A, 15B, 20B, 22B

Winifred Thornton 1B, 3B, 15B, 16B, 20A, 21B, 22B


[Results continue on with Yass- Yass District School, St Augustine’s Boys School and St Joseph’s High School



Up until 1976 Education in the Territory was run by NSW.


Road Construction 1929

The Canberra Times 29 April 1929



An extensive programme of work is in hand by the Engineer Department of the Commission.

A portion of the programme has involved the application of bitumen seal coatings to a number of macadam and bituminous macadam road surfaces in the city are.  The following roads are treated in this work:- Pialligo Avenue, Coranderrk Street, Gallipoli Avenue, Anzac Park, Canberra-Queanbeyan Road, Macquarie Street, Brisbane Avenue, East Row, Doonkuna, Cuyrrong and Batman Streets, roads in Governmental area.  Entrance road to Hotel Canberra, Commonwealth Avenue, between bridges, Acton and opposite Hotel Canberra and Elouera Street.

A new type of road surface undertaken is the ’retread’ or surface mixing tar or bitumen method and a successful length of this material has been had(?) on the Canberra Queanbeyan Road near Black Creek [opposite Harman].  Following on the success of this experiment, Ainslie Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue from the bridge to London Circuit were similarly treated.

The Commission’s hot mix plant, used for the manufacture of bituminous macadam, has been put into operation and commencement made with the surfacing of roads in the vicinity of the Kingston shops.  On completion of this work, a similar type of construction will be carried out in Commonwealth Avenue between Griffith Street and the Billabong Bridge [first of two Commonwealth Bridges] and in Lennox Crossing from Commonwealth Avenue to the vicinity of the police station.

A pre-mixed cement roadway is being completed at Giles Street Kingston between Canberra Avenue and the shops.  The construction of both roadways of Wentworth Avenue (formerly named Interlake Avenue] from Eastlake Circle to Gosse Street near the power house, will also be carried out with similar material. A commencement has been made with the work. [I came to Canberra in 1941 and remember both Wentworth Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue were concrete – The stone from Klensendorlffe’s stone villa built circa 1838 was spawled and used as part of the base for Commonwealth Avenue.]

Tenders are to be called for the construction of the undermentioned road in cement concrete:- The North-Western roadway of Kings Avenue from State Circle to Griffith Street (old nomenclature), Commonwealth Avenue – both roadways from State Circle to Griffith Street, including portion of State Circle but omitting that section of the western roadway fronting Hotel Canberra, London Circuit , outer roadway from Gordon Street to Ainslie Avenue, Northern Avenue, both roadways between London Circuit and Alinga Street from East Row to West Row; East Row from London Circuit to Alinga Street. London Circuit, outer roadway from Commonwealth Avenue to Ainslie Avenue.

A large amount of work has been carried out in the War Memorial area.  This includes the construction of Flanders Avenue, Anzac Place and Peronn..(?) Crescent.

The most important bridge work undertaken was the construction of the low level bridge at Scott’s Crossing, together with approach roads. The main approach road is about one mile long, and is treated with bitumen penetration.  With the completion of this work a new roadway between the north and south districts of the city has been provided.

University Avenue has been completed and is a gravelled roadway providing access to the building for the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.  A three-span timber bridge which will be erected over Sullivan’s Creek is included in this work.

Attention has been devoted to pedestrian traffic and throughout the city the construction and improvement of pathways has been undertaken.  Bituminous footpaths were made on the west side of the Commonwealth Avenue near Billabong Bridge and will also be provided on the northern approach to Lennox Crossing Bridge, and at the new Works Offices, city. A considerable amount of concrete footpaths  paving work has been carried out or is in hand in the vicinity of Hotels Acton, and Ainslie, Gorman House, Beauchamp House [now Ian Potter House], Brassey House, Commonwealth Avenue, Short Street, Lennox Crossing, on the east side, Manuka, Albert Hall and Ainslie Public School. Most of the work is being carried out by contract.

Contract labour is also responsible for a large mileage of kerb and gutter works in the various city districts.

From National Circuit to Eastlake Circle, earthworks, grading and graveling has been commenced. Similar work was undertaken from Eastlake Circle to Molonglo. This marks the commencement of the permanent construction of one of the city’s main routes.

A new road leading to the new cemetery is under construction and will connect with the Cotter Road in the vicinity of Yarralumla.

Operations are in progress for the construction of sub-divisional roads, paths and plantations in Barton, Forrest, Kingston, Griffith and Yarralumla.

To provide for an improved drainage of footpaths and plantations a considerable length of brick footpath drain is being made by contract.

The bowling green at Forrest has been almost completed and work was commenced on a green at Braddon district, the latte by contract.

At Manuka Oval, regrading and soiling work has been completed. Several improvements have been made to the roads and drains at Duntroon Military College which includes the grading and levelling of the Parade Ground.

The Chief Commissioner said yesterday that he was unable to say what amount of money would be expended on the programme of works.


State Circle extension 1934


The Canberra Times 24 April 1934




A motion was carried by the Advisory Council yesterday, requesting the Department of the Interior to give consideration to the question of providing easier access to Government offices and the north side of the river  generally for residents of south-western suburbs, either by completing State Circle from the back of the Presbyterian Cathedral to Westlake and extending Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart Avenues to meet it, or by extending Melbourne Avenue further in still and completing a section of Capitol Circuit.

The subject was introduced by Dr Cumpston, who pointed out that the completion of State Circle would convey a better conception of the city plant to visitors, save miles of travelling to residents of the extreme south-western section of the city, and provide a more direct traffic route through the city.


1928 four new bus routes

The Canberra Times 24 August 1928




Following the recent addition of two ‘buses to the Commission’s transport fleet a new time table will be in operation in the city omnibus service as from Monday next.

In the preparation of the details the representations made by various organisations and individuals have been taken into consideration with the result that the total mileage of the service has been considerably increased.  Other improvements are the provision of shelter sheds at various points of the routes, and of time table notice boards at the recognised stopping places, indicating the time of the ‘buses departure from these points. In addition each ‘bus will bear a route indicator number, and destination indicator signs which will be illuminated at night.

The ‘buses will operate on four routes as follows, the more frequent service being provided on routes 1 and 2, which will pass through the shopping centres at Kingston, Griffith [Manuka] and City:-

Route 1 – Canberra Railway Station to Corroboree Crescent Ainslie via Kingston shops, Capitol Theatre, Griffith shops, Arthur Circle, Melbourne Avenue, Westlake [bus stop on State Circle], Acton, London Circuit shops, ‘Canberra Times’ building, Doonkuna Street, Reid (Methodist Church), Hotel Ainslie and Lister Crescent to terminus.

Route 2 – Canberra Railway Station to Corroboree Crescent Ainslie via Kingston shops, Griffith shops, Hotel Wellington, Brassey House, Post office, Hotel Canberra and thence as route No 1.

Route 3 – Canberra Railway Station to Ainslie via Wentworth Avenue, Hotel Kurrajong, Post Office, Hotel Canberra, Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, City Square, Ainslie Avenue to Gorman House, Methodist Church, Hotel Ainslie and Lister Crescent to terminus.

Route 4 – Canberra Railway Station to Ainslie via Wentworth Avenue, Brisbane Avenue, Hotel Kurrajong, Post Office, Hotel Canberra and thence as in route No 1.


Transport Enqiry & Mrs Barton

Mrs Barton ran the first bus service between Canberra and Queanbeyan.  She is referred to in the following enquiry and included in this section is her obituary written in 1938.   She and her husband lived first at the Hotel Canberra and later moved to Hotel Acton.  She was a character and there are many letters in National Australian Archives from her to the Commission and their replies.  She and her husband are buried in St John the Baptist Churchyard in Reid.  They do not have head stones.

The Canberra Times 29 November 1927



Interesting evidence regarding the City Bus contract was given before the joint committee of Public Accounts which is enquiring into the transport services of Canberra.

Mrs Barton tended evidence to show that she was interested in the tender which had been accepted for the city service in a letter from the Federal Capital Commissioner acknowledging that it understood her interest in the tender.

Mr Francis (Controller of Stores) continuing his evidence, said there had probably been a dozen used cars disposed of since the commission had started operations. The practice was to call tenders by advertisements in the local press.  At one time advertisements were published in the Sydney press; but it was found that there was little response, or none, and for that reason the advertisements were discontinued.

Mr Harrison replied that there has been no complaints to the commission. Buses always waited for passengers unless they were unduly crowded.  There may have been some ‘talk’ but there were no direct complains.

Senator Kingswell: It has all been more or less a case of mild discussion? – Yes

The witness said he thought the special duty system was satisfactory.  It formed the only means of transporting officers from place to place.  He had not known of any cases where such cars were put to wrong use, but he had heard of instances where that had occurred.  The officer in charge of a particular car had to supply details of the petrol he used and in some cars the practice ...meters were attached and provided a further check.

Mr Harrison said it was possible for a speedometer to be detached by to replace it was a work of art.

Passenger cars, he said, were immediately under his observation, and he was satisfied with the way in which they were being used.

Mr Prowse: The officer in charge of a car would use a car for ‘joy rides’ if he supplied his own petrol? – Yes, but if I saw a man using his car that way I would make inquiries to find if he had entered the mileage used.

Mr Lister: is it a fact that commission cars are held up while work is provided for cars secured on contract? – Not to my knowledge. I always see that work is provided first for commission cars.

Questioned concerning Ministerial cars, the witness stated that there was only one minister who drove a car himself.  For the others a driver was always supplied.  He did not name the Minister concerned.

Mr Riley asked if precautions were taken to ensure that an officer was held responsible for damage or negligence to vehicles.

Mr Harrison replied that each driver had to possess the required licences.

Mr Francis: But they are punished for any abuse to the cars?

“Yes”, replied the witness. ‘I have had occasion to dismiss men for abuse.’

Mr Riley: What about the Minister who drives his own car?

Mr Harrison: I am afraid I have no control over him. (Laughter)

Mr Harrison stated that members were not expected to sign a docket whenever they made use of a commission car.  No charge was ever made for cars to and from station at the close and opening of the week’s sittings, and no charge was made either for cars(?) which took members to their hotels after a sitting.

Mr Francis said he had been informed that after the last all-night sitting of the House of Representatives that a car had called for him early in the evening and waited at the House until the next morning.

The witness replied that he had been informed of the incident, and was informed that the driver left at 1am.


The Canberra Times 11 April 1938



A well known Canberra identity died at Canberra Hospital on Saturday evening in the person of Mrs Helen Antoinette Barton aged 59 years.

The late Mr and Mrs Barton arrived in Canberra in 1925 with the intention of engaging in road haulage service and general contracting.  However, they changed their plans and pioneered the bus service between the capital and Queanbeyan.

The service was continued until about three years ago when Mrs Barton disposed of her interests to Quodling Bros.

Since the death of her husband about four years ago Mrs Barton had continued in the hire car business acting as a local agent during the past two years for Australian National Airways.

She was particularly interested in the tourist traffic, and conducted numerous parties on sight-seeing tours of the city and district.

In December Mrs Barton was admitted to Canberra Community Hospital where she remained until her death. [This would be the old wooden hospital at Acton.]



Westlake articles

The Canberra Times 11 October 1927


Workmen Accommodated


At the end of September a total of 281 workmen were waiting for cottages in the city area. All available cottages were occupied with the exception of one condemned cottage at Howie’s [site on either side old road in area of modern Block 3, Section 128 – Stirling Park, Yarralumla] and four at Molonglo which were under repair.

Cottages occupied at Howie’s totalled 12; Causeway 120; Westlake 61; Brickworks [Westridge now Yarralumla] 11; Eastlake tenements 15; and Acton cottages 15.  Of those on the waiting list 12 were  fitters or engine drivers, 36 carpenters, 26 painters and plumbers, 27 electricians, 31 Store branch employees, 19 horse and dray drivers, 12 miners, 9 bricklayers and 106 labourers and miscellaneous. A total of 1,437 men were accommodated in camps and barracks under the control of the Commission. Of these 991 men were employed by the Commission and 446 by private contractors.

Of the barracks, Molonglo accommodated 83; Capitol Hill Mess 116; Mt Ainslie Mess 49; Tradesmen’s Mess [Westlake – Block 3, Section 128 Stirling Park] 53; Acton Survey mess 12; Mugga Quarry Mess 21 (or 31); Brickworks single 40; White City cubicles 222; Eastlake barracks 225; and Causeway Quarters 54.

Of the tent camps Russell Hill accommodated 112 men; No 1 Labourers Camp [Capitol Hill, Westlake] 92; Red Hill mess 90; Red Hill Horse Camp 101; Northbourne 124; Duntroon Labourers 24; Outfall Camp 10; Riverbourne 1; Mt Stromlo Nursery 1; Kowen Camp 1; Uriarra Camp 4. [Riverbourne and Russell Hill were married men’s quarters – built their own humpies.]

The sum of 422pounds 13 shillings and 5 pence was collected by the Commission during the month for camp rentals.


The Canberra Times 4 February 1920


Westlake Sub-branch


The second annual meeting of the Westlake sub-branch of the RS League was held in the Westlake Hall on Friday night.  Officers elected for the ensuing year were:-

President Mr W Harris, vice-presidents, Messrs RS Kinnes and L Barber; secretary Mr V Samuels; assistant secretary Mr G Bryant; treasurer Mr W Phillips; committee Messrs J Thorogood, R Ritchie and B Edwards.

The retiring president thanked the members, particularly the secretary (Mr Samuels) for the assistance given him during the past year.  The balance sheet showed despite a loss of 18 pounds, 17 shillings and 6pence sustained at a ball held in April c credit balance of 12 pounds 13 shillings and 4 pence which was considered a most satisfactory figure.

The secretary’s report stated:-

‘Membership of the sub-branch (68) although not as large as the figure for 1927, which was 79, must be considered more than satisfactory when one considers the drastic retrenchment which took place early in the year.

The sub-branch has been active in endeavouring to see that the preference  there have been a number of cases where the preference clause has not been strictly observed generally speaking members have little cause for complaint. There is not the slightest doubt that there are forces working against the movement, which is a greater reason why the diggers should endeavour to give of their best, both to their employer, and to the league, as I am certain that the executive, when putting up a concrete case, of injustice are assured of being shown sympathetic consideration by the Commission.

During the year a number of members have secured relief from the Distress Fund and although it is not pleasure to have to ask for charity for members, it is pleasing to report that not one recommendation from the sub-branch has met with refusal.

Anzac Day was observed in such a manner as to combine the memory of the fallen with  rejoicing of the birth of Australia as a nation. A memorial service was held at which a large number of ex-servicemen attended.

Mr Maunder (secretary at Ainslie sub-branch) said that he did not consider that the report did justice to the work done by the sub-branch.

He knew of assistance not stated in the report given by Mr Samuels.  Mr Avis (secretary at Causeway sub-branch) also spoke of the work done for the diggers by Mr Samuels.


The Canberra Times 12 February 1929


Clothing Wanted For Children

Following the death last week of a woman at Westlake [Howie’s Cottages] conditions of extreme poverty were revealed by police investigations of the conditions of eight children who were left without food.

Immediate action was taken by the Social Service Officer and a grant from the distress relief fund was secured sufficient to provide food for the children. They were, however, without clothing and it has been decided to appeal to the public for clothing suitable for boys 14, 15 and seven years, girls 14, 9, 4 and 2 years and a baby boy of six months.  Gifts of clothing will be received at the Social Service Office, Acton, or at the rooms of Mr KJ Ryan at City or at his residence Wentworth Avenue, Kingston.

[Mr Patrick, the father of the family was in Sydney looking for work at the time of his wife’s sudden death.  Mrs Patrick is buried in St John the Baptist Church Yard and her husband’s ashes were placed with her following his death.]


The Canberra Times 20 April 1929


To the Editor. ‘The Canberra Times’

Sir,- From the opening remarks of Dr Nott’s letter, in your issue this morning, it is not quite clear whether he refers to me as a rabbit and to the Premier of Queensland as a kookaburra, or whether he refers to me as a kookaburra and to the Premier of Queensland as a rabbit; not that it matters very much, for in the use of expletives as an adjunct to argument I am again prepared to admit Dr Nott’s superiority.

With regard to his invitation to me to attend Parliament House, in order to be shown in the library reports in certain provincial newspapers of his attempt at strike-breaking in Queensland, I would be inclined to accept but for the fact that some days ago, I applied to the officials of the Parliamentary Library for the privilege of being allowed to see the issues of these newspapers during the last Federal election and was definitely assured that, such files are not kept there. So much then, for Dr Nott’s invitation.

With regard to Dr Nott’s intimation that if I desire to know

1.       Why he spoke against the form of representation in this Territory and failed to vote against it when an opportunity was given and,

2.       Why he voted against the proposal for the extension of adult franchise to the people of this Territory. I will find the answer in his speeches on those subjects in ‘Hansard,’

I have procured a copy of ‘Hansard’ and having perused it I find that on the question of representation Dr Nott did make an attack on the present form of representation, and on a vote being taken his name does not appear among those of members voting against it, while on the motion for adult franchise, Dr Nott appears to have remained silent and simply voted against it as a matter too trivial even to raise his voice one way or the other. So much then, for Dr Nott’s reply to my two questions.

You, Sir, may wonder why I have not accepted Dr Nott’s explanations, challenges or invitations to learn of the depth of my own ignorance regarding his conduct as a public man. By way of explanation, I mention the fact that I happen to be a member of the Canberra Rifle club and this fact, even if it conveys nothing to you and the general public may indicate to Dr Nott why I did not accept him and his statements with question. I have no intention of following his tactics, and in regard to this matter unless he expressly desires the contrary, I extend to him the charity of my silence, -

Yours, etc


Secretary Carpenters’ and Joiners’ Union

Westlake, April 19, 1929

[Mr Brill lived at 22 Westlake and his wife was the first Postmistress and ran the Westlake Branch of the Community Library.]


The Canberra Times 13 April 1933


Fireplaces for Westlake Cottages

Tenders have been called by the Department of the Interior for the construction of 55 brick fireplaces in cottages at Westlake. It is intended to complete their construction before the beginning of winter.

The action follows years of agitation by residents in the locality both personally and through the Canberra Advisory Council. The reason for the delay in supplying the need has been  the question of finance, but the department disclosed that the rentals paid over a period of seven years had practically accounted for the capital value of the wooden cottages.

The tender of Mr A Mabbett, of Kingston for the construction of four open fire places at cottages at Westlake has been accepted.

[We did get fire places, but they were tin backed not brick.]


The Canberra Times 13 April 1948


The allegation that a man had built a brick house in the Westlake area without having a permit to do so and in defiance of the building ordinances was made by Mr AT Shakespeare at the meeting of the Advisory Council yesterday. [Actually it was three small brick flats built in the extended backyard of 29 Westlake, home of George Sykes.]

Mr Shakespeare said that a plan to aid in the development of Canberra was necessary. On the one hand, it must meet public demands and on the other preserve the standards which had been sought to be set up for the city.

Mr Shakespeare said that, owing to the retarding of development of Canberra a very unhealthy state of affairs had been created. Under an unbalanced programme provision for shops and community services had lagged.

He continued that unsightly industrial slums existed in the Kingston area.  They were as bad as anything he had seen in Sydney or Melbourne.

This was bad enough but in addition, people were resorting to breaking the laws by carrying on backyard industries and activities.

‘A horse and cart, or should I say a high-powered limousine, is being driven through the City Area Leases Ordinance and the Building and Services Ordinances,’ he added.  Mr Shakespeare continued that all sorts of buildings were being erected in Canberra without permits.

An outstanding example was that of man at Westlake who had built a brick house and was getting the Government to permit the installing of electricity. This house had taken essential and critical materials to erect. [This is not quite accurate – George used found bricks which he payed some of the young boys to clean – some are in the creek near his house site.]

Mr Shakespeare said that a reasonable view had to be taken of the position. It was no good intensifying the laws to the utmost because then the people would suffer.  To the other extreme laxity would mean that people who came originally to Canberra to settle, would be at a disadvantage.

I suggest t hat as a way out the Minister might accept certain advice from the Council which would provide a working agreement.  The community should be given the maximum service but at the time the City Plan should be adhered too,’ he continued.

Mr Shakespeare said that in recent weeks several complaints had been made to the department concerning a hairdressing business being carried on in a private residence. Health regulations were being broken in this instance.

Mr Shakespeare added, ‘We have got to break through this hold-up of development. Private enterprise should be allowed to do much more. If Lord Nuffield could find resources from the Disposals Commission for a factory in Sydney, then surely there is enough private enterprise to cover the needs of the Territory.’

Mr Daley revealed that he had been placed in an embarrassing position with regard to building activities in private homes. ‘People come to me and ask for a garage. They cannot have one. They ask can  they build one, and we cannot give approval,’ he added.

On the suggestion of Mr Ellis the Council decided to give more thought to the matter and it will be raised at the next meeting.

The Canberra Times 4 August 1944


Residents of Westlake held a meeting of protest against an article which appeared in ‘The Truth’ Sunday July 23 describing Westlake as one of Australia’s worst slum areas, which residents considered was a slur on the people who had lived at Westlake and made the best of difficult conditions for 20 years.

The secretary of the Westlake Progress Association (Mr Bellchambers) said the article and photo conveyed the impression that the residents were to be compared with individuals responsible for ‘slum conditions as known in city industrial areas. People were compelled to live in sub-standard houses at Westlake by the inability of the Government to provide better houses.  The article tactlessly published did not convey to readers that the residents kept their homes clean and habitable and that the area was free from fllth associated with slum areas.

He added that the article described Westlake as ‘one of Australia’s worst slum areas known by the deceptively attractive title of Westlake’.  The reference was unfair and unjustified.

A resolution was unanimously carried that a letter of protest be sent to ‘The Truth’ and a withdrawal of the implication that Westlake was one of Australia’s worst slum areas, demanded.

He added that


Death of Harrie Branch of Westlake 1927

The Canberra Times 10 February 1927





At the result of a collision between a sulky and a car at Mill Creek Bridge on the Uriarra road at about 12.30pm on Saturday last, Harrie Hamilton McGuffie Branch (39) was killed.

A motor car driven by Anton Anderson and conveying Branch and four other men as passengers was proceeding from Queanbeyan to Canberra. As the car approached Mill Creek Bridge the driver noticed a horse and sulky approaching the other end, and when crossing the bridge he could see that the horse, the driver of which had pulled up before crossing to allow the car to pass, was very restive, and he accordingly slackened speed and steered a course well over on his correct side of the roadway in order to allow the horse ample space.

As the car drew level with the sulky however, the horse appeared to plunge and swerved towards the car, one shaft penetrating the hood and piercing the neck of Harrie Branch, who was seated on the right-hand side of the back seat. The vehicle was stopped but, on discovering on what had happened all speed was made to the Canberra Hospital where it was found that Branch had received internal injuries and death had been practically instantaneous.

The deceased man who resided at Westlake, is survived by a widow and one daughter aged 11 years.

An inquest upon the fatality was conducted by Mr John Gale, Queanbeyan District Coroner at t he Canberra Hospital on Monday.

In evidence both Robert Wright, a joiner, residing at Capitol Hill Camp, who was seated next to the deceased at the time of the accident and Anton Hovi Anderson, driver of the car, said that horn of the car was sounded when approaching the bridge and both denied having seen Charles Blundell driver of the horse and sulky raise his hand as a signal for the car to stop. The car was travelling at a speed of 25 miles per hour.  Witnesses Anderson considered this a safe speed at which to cross the bridge.

Corroborative evidence was given by Claude Morris Edenborough, painter, residing at Tradesmen’s Mess, Canberra.

Charles Blundell, labourer, residing at Antill Street, Queanbeyan, driver of the horse and sulky in evidence said the horse was a young one. Saturday being its third time in harness.  Only that morning it had given trouble and broken a shaft and in consequence he was driving slowly when he saw the car coming towards him.  Perceiving that the other vehicle would reach the bridge before him he reined in the horse at the roadside to avoid passing the car on the bridge.  This caused the animal to become refractory and witness held up his hand as a signal to the car to stop.  Evidently his signal was not observed, for the vehicle came on, and just as it drew level the animal swerved out across the road with the result that the end of one shaft struck the hood of the car and was broken off, and he and the other occupant of the sulky, Michael Flynn were thrown out.  He would certainly have alighted and held the horse’s head but for the fact that he did not have time to do so.  The car was travelling at about 30 miles per hour, he thought.  If the animal had been quiet there would have been ample room for the car to pass.

Dr James, medical superintendent, deposed that he examined the body of deceased upon arrival at the hospital and pronounced life extinct. Severe internal injuries has been sustained and death, which was practically instantaneous, was, in his opinion, due to hemorrhage and shock following upon these injuries.

In returning a verdict of accidental death the Coroner remarked that the accident involved two witnesses, Anderson and Blundell. He found that the former had acted throughout with great discretion and prudence, so much so that no blame was attachable to him. The same also applied to Blundell. Driving a refractory animal in traffic was a serious matter, however, and but for one saving clause in Blundell’s evidence, he would have had no alternative to commit him for trial for manslaughter.  That saving cluse was that he would certainly alighted and held the horse’s head if had had time to do so. On the evidence given, however, he did not have time and consequently the circumstances were beyond his control.


Australian Natives Association 13.1.1927

Canberra Times 13.1.1927


The debut in Canberra of the Australian Natives Association is one of which the association can scarcely be proud and which must seriously prejudice the association in the minds of every citizen of Canberra. That warring factions have existed within the various bodies under the name of the Australian Natives Association is as deplorable as their conduct in making Canberra the meeting ground for their rangling is objectionable.  People are now entitled to ask what manner of body this Australian Natives’ Association really it and where and what it stands for in the community.  There was a time when the Australian Natives Association stood for something in the land.  That was the time that a great Australian, Sir Alfred Deakin was connected with the body.  Since then the name has been associated in the minds of people as a friendly society.  The idea of an Australian Natives Association would seem to imply more than material benefits for individual members, such as any friendly society could afford, but rather something more exactly what more the Australian natives’ Association is in a position to give residents of Canberra as citizens of Australia is difficult to ascertain beyond a honeyed jargon.


To those who were present at the meeting in Canberra on Tuesday evening, the proceedings constituted an insult.  The adjournment of the meeting and the decision to form a Canberra body known as the Australian Natives Association was the only ending which the meeting could have had except possibly to have nothing to do with a body which so belied its name as to make Canberra the battleground rather than the cemetery of interstate jealousies and petty warring factions. It is for these factions to mend their differences elsewhere.


Meantime there is another aspect of the association which was emphasised at the meeting, and which can be received with mixed feelings. According to the proposed rules of the new body, known as the Australian Natives Association which has applied for registration in Sydney under the Friendly Societies’ Act, politics are barred. No person who holds or is an aspirant for political honours, can hold office.  The reason advanced – that the association may be used by such members for political purposes – is not convincing, as it might be assumed by any Australian who saw anything in the association that it should be strong enough to withstand any attempt of this kind.  On the hand, assuming that the association is one of which every Australian should be proud to be a member, the ideals of the association would be identical with those of the stamp of men whose practical interest in politics to-day is a national necessity.  From such a body the right stamp of politician is more likely to come than from the soap box or society’s drawing rooms.  As interest in politics rather than in parties is commended heartily to every Australian and if a body takes the name of the Australian Natives Association and forbids interest in politics, it is rendering its name utterly meaningless.


Australian Natives Association 1 July 1927

The Canberra Times  1 July 1927


Canberra Branch


The proposal to form a branch of the Australian Native’s Association in Canberra was re-affirmed at a meeting yesterday, and a formal resolution  to that effect was carried.  Officers were nominated for election at the installation of the branch, the date of which has not yet been decided when the charter will be presented and the branch duly launched.


The chairman (Mr CE Francis)  after briefly re-counting the history of the movement in the Federal Capital Territory referred to the objection of the British Medical Association in NSW to attend members of the ANA as a Friendly Society owing to its formation after the agreement between the BMA and other societies.  However, endeavours were being made to have the matter remedied.


In the meantime the pool system was postponed, ie benefit members, paid the medical man themselves and were reimbursed by the ANA.


Regarding finance, the Victorian Board of Directors of the ANA which was very keen on the establishment of a branch in Canberra, had promised support.  Canberra possessed a healthy climate, and he did not think it would become an expensive piece from a medical point of view, but that the subscription of 11/- per benefit member per quarter for doctors’ and chemists’ fees and 3d per week for the management fund would adequately meet the situation.  This was practically the same scale of charges as of other societies.  A member of another Friendly Society had informed him that with the exception of the treatment of accidents, the medical expenses of the society had been nil.  With the forthcoming influx of new residents from Victoria, some of whom would have a certain actuarial value, the new branch would have a good financial guarantee.


A member referred to a ‘doctors’ strike’ of a few years ago, when the branch of the ANA of which he was a member, found the pool system had many advantages, with little difference in expenditure.  In a healthy place like Canberra they would possibly soon find themselves with a healthy sum in the pool.


The following officers were then nominated for election: President, Mr CE Francis;  vice-presidents, Messrs J Bryan and RC Field; secretary, Mr EC Alexander; assistant secretary, Mr JM Whittle; treasurer, Mr Margules; auditors, Messrs JE Edwards and Keen; committee, Messrs J Bryan, JK Murray, RC Field, J Honey, W Newbold, W Bird, Lasseter and O’Keefe.


It was decided that meetings should be held on alternate Mondays.


Australian Natives Association  13.9.1927

The Canberra Times 13 September 1927


In  National Administration


The desire frequently expressed by residents of Canberra, for a voice in the control of the national affairs, was referred to during the course of the regular meeting of the Canberra Branch of the Australian Natives’ Association yesterday by the president, Mr CE Francis.


It was said, now opportune to consider whether the time had not arrived when the citizens of Canberra should be represented in Parliament and for the ANA to consider the advisability of convening a public meeting to discuss the question.  Civic affairs were administered by the Federal Capital Commission, which, in turn was subject to Federal parliament and as in the near future the residents would be called upon to bear a proportion of the cost of the Federal Capital, which was for posterity as well as the present.  It was but just that they should be represented in Parliament when that matter was debated, to provide a proper channel of expression.  The ANA was not a political association, but it had always taken an active interest in endeavouring to frame the laws of government, and it was quite within the province of the association to call a public meeting for the consideration of this subject.


Endorsing the president’s views Mr HT Shanahan said that taxation without representation was not fair or equitable. He proposed the appointment of a sub-committee to make arrangements for holding a public meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mr Margules.


Mr J O’Keefe suggested inviting the co-operation of other branches of the association.


The president said he thought they would have the co-operation of the people of Australia in this project.


Australian Natives Association 5 March 1927

Canberra Times 3 March 1927



Branch to be Registered


Interesting addresses upon the aim and ideals of the Australian Natives’ Association were delivered by representatives of the Victorian and New South Wales boards of directors at a meeting of members of the Canberra Branch on Wednesday night.


The president, Mr CA Francis, is introducing the representatives from Sydney and Melbourne, Messrs Cohen and Byrne, said Canberra should reflect the very highest form of citizenship of Australia and the ANA had as one of its aims the fostering of this ideal.  All difficulties in the way of the formation of a branch in Canberra had now been removed.


Messrs Cohen and Byrne then addressed the meeting:


In his opening remarks, Mr Cohen emphasised the part played by the evolution as against revolution in the progress of the English speaking peoples.  He pointed out that it was not revolution which brought all the states of Australia together, and made them thing of federating for their mutual betterment.  It was evolution, and he experienced a feeling of intense pride to stand for the first time in his life in the very centre of that Commonwealth.



Continuing Mr Cohen announced that the Register of Friendly Societies in New South Wales had declined to register as a friendly society any branch of the ANA, but the newly formed Canberra body.  Any question which might previously have arisen as to the legality of forming a branch in Canberra had now been settled.



Referring to the differences which had existed between the ANA and the British Medical Association, he said he had great hopes that these would soon be settled, and that members would have the privilege of medical attention for their wives and children.  The ANA Limited had been formed some time ago but the less said of that the better.  It did not express the real ideals of the ANA and he, together with a number of others had disassociated themselves entirely from it.  It had lately tried to register as a friendly society, but the Registrar refused to have anything to do with it.


Mr Cohen condemned the spirit embodied in the statement so often repeated that Australians or Australian goods would be given preference, ‘all things being equal.’  He contended and had always done so, that all things were equal.  In the fields of literature, art, science, architecture and industry Australia was equal to any nation.  To find evidence of her skill in architecture for instance, one had only to come to Canberra.  The city promised to be as fine as any other in the world.



Referring to the establishment of a branch of the Association in Canberra he said, ‘that the Canberra branch should be a power in the land.  The brainy element necessary was available, for some of the best brains in all professions were engaged in building the city and should be persuaded to help in the establishment of the ANA.  He wanted to see the ANA housed in its own home. He wanted to see in that home a lecture hall in which eminent Australians could deliver inspiring addresses to foster the national spirit and educate the people in Australian sentiment.  He wanted to see the ANA become such a factor in the progress of the Commonwealth that people from everywhere requiring information on things Australian would come to it for that information.  And he wanted to see the children of parents in limited circumstances given an opportunity to find and outlet for genius that might be in them.  These were the ideals with which he himself was imbued(?) and if those parents would only adopt these ideals he was convinced that the Canberra branch would become a powerful influence for good.


In conclusion he urged that the formation of the branch be entered into with a spirit of enthusiasm, and that members strive to make it a source of pride and honor to Australia.



Mr Byrne prefaced his address with the remark that the ANA had to him always been a living force, and had practically been his only hobby.  He then proposed to outline the progress of the association in Victoria.  In that State it operated as a friendly society and was now the ‘greatest friendly society in Victoria.’  The membership totalled 35,005 and the accumulated funds had almost reached the total of 900,000 pounds.  It had become a tremendous force in the social life of the State.  They had had in view of the formation of a branch in Canberra, for it was seen that many of the young members were going to reside in the Federal Capital and the association wished to keep in touch with them.  The legality of the Canberra branch was now unquestionable.


Continuing he said the association was not hostile to the professional  when associated with the RMA.  The differences existing were in the nature of a legacy handed down from the older body, and he was certain that they would be overcome in Canberra.



Referring to the part played by the ANA in bringing about Federation Mr Byrne said that it was almost certain that the Federal Enabling Bill would not have received the approval of the people of Victoria but for the ANA.  Just  prior to the question being submitted to the people a conversation of the association was sitting in Bendigo and a resolution strongly favouring Federation was passed.  Up to this time the Melbourne ‘Age,’  the most powerful newspaper of the day, had been silent on the question waiting for an indication of the trend of public opinion.  On the morning following the passage of the Bendigo resolution, however, the ‘Age’ appeared with a leading article lauding Federation and after that the success of the proposal was assured.  He felt sure that Australia was destined to be numbered amongst the great nations of the earth, and one of the ideals of the ANA was to foster this.  Continuing he said it was not possible to estimate just how far the association would go as a power in the land.  He pointed out that club life had been a potent factor in the social and political life of England for centuries.  Those clubs had been instrumental in inducing Parliament to effect necessary reforms and had forced their own way into politics.  If trust could be done all these years ago, it would be a difficult matter to surmise just how far club influence would spread today.


Continuing, he considered that there was the true ideal of nationhood embodied in the Federal Capital city – an ideal which found expression last week in the words of Mr HD Duroau of Melbourne, who visited Canberra with a party of touring Victorian business men which he said, ‘We came Victorians, but returned Australians.’  It was a fine ideal and one worthy of commendation to the people of Australia.  The ANA wished to be associated with the Australian sentiment and to assist in educating the youth of the nation in national problems and questions affecting the Commonwealth as a whole.  It wished to inculcate in the people of Australia the educational conscience.  For if the rights of democracy were to be exercised in the right way they should be  wielded by an educated people.  Three great questions in which the ANA was interested were Australian defence, White Australia Policy and the immigration problem.  They believed that all three were interdependent.


Mr Byrne stressed the values of the ANA as a factor in social life. He said that here in Canberra it had a great opportunity of doing good work in this direction and prophesised that the time would come when it would be officially recognised by the Commission.  He urged those present to continue on and overcome all difficulties.  The Victorian Board would give them all possible assistance.



It was unanimously resolved that an application for a charter be sent to the New South Wales Board immediately.



The pool system in connection with medical services for the branch was then discussed.


Mr Byrne, who at the request of the President delivered a brief address upon the subject said that from information in his possession the average cost of medical services in Canberra was 11/- per annum.  He believed that at this rate the pool system could be successfully put into operation by the branch, and members allowed free choice as far as medical  attention was concerned.  He thought the Victorian Board might be induced to donate 100 pounds for the purpose of placing the pool on a sound basis.


In reply to a question Mr Byrnes said the Canberra branch would be attached to the New South Wales Board as there was no friendly society ordinance in operation in the Territory.


It was announced that upon receipt of advice from the NSW Board in the matter of the charter, a meeting would be convened through the press.  At that meeting nominations for officers would be received and arrangements made for the official opening of the branch.


In some people the arteries have begun to harden at the age of 40 while with others this process does not begin until fifty-five.


Proposal to built rail line across river 1927

The Canberra Times 27 September 1927




A new railway route has been surveyed north of the Molonglo River, which is proposed by the Federal Capital Commission to replace the existing city railway in the Griffin plan of Canberra.

Railway projects of Canberra were discussed at a conference held at the weekend between the Minister for Home and Territories, Mr Marr and Sir John Butters, Chief Commissioner.

If the new line is approved it will serve not only to connect the Northern suburbs of Canberra with the railway, but may act as the first portion of the Yass-Canberra line.

With the realisation that Canberra is not accessible readily by rail to Melbourne and other State capitals, construction of the Yass-Canberra line is likely to be referred again to the Public Works Committee for report.

In 1917 there was a branch running daily across the Molonglo River to a railway siding which is still extinct near Civic Centre [it was near the old Civic Theatre and the block that was later Rogers was built on the site – I remember the remains of the platform].  In 1922 a flood swept away the railway bridge across the Molonglo River and damaged the approaches. [It began near Causeway.]  Subsequent flood and fire completed the work of destruction leaving a twisted and somewhat disjointed line of sleepers across the Causeway flat and on the flats of the northern side of the river.

The line which was swept away was a temporary railway built during the regime of Mr Walter Burley Griffin in Canberra. It does not follow exactly the route laid down in his plan of the city, but was not far removed from it. Since the advent of the Federal Capital Commission, the construction of the ...developed in the future as the Market Centre, where on the Griffin plan, the central railway station is located. From this point it strikes towards the foothill slopes of Mount Ainslie and through the locality which was sub-divided about twelve months ago for home garden blocks, but none of which was leased. It was notable that these leases which were for twenty years contained a proviso regarding resumption for railway or road purposes.

It is claimed for the new line that it will obviate the crossings which would be necessary in the construction of the Griffin line. The deviation of the railway from the plan on which a large number of leases has been sold, will, however, probably give rise to protest on the part of business interests in Canberra.

The railway project was discussed by Mr Marr and Sir John Butters, on Saturday, and Sir John said that estimates of the cost of a railway to extend the present line from Eastlake across the Molonglo River to the Northern Suburbs were being prepared.

Railway laid down by the Griffin plan has not been favoured and a new route follows the old line from Eastlake to the old bridge, but at a distance of about 50 feet to the east. After crossing the Molonglo River, the line proceeds to the region which is to be determined.


The Gleaner on Royal Visit

The Community News, June 11, 1927




(To the Editor, Community News)

Dear Editor.- As a member of the Press, it was my good fortune to get in close touch with both their Royal Highnesses and I found them both charming.  The smile with which the Duchess greeted me will linger long in my memory.  Being desirous of recording my impressions from the point of view of “One of the Public.” I took my place with the procession, and I feel sure that it was marked respect for our Royal visitors that caused the cheering to be rendered in a minor key, and it speaks volumes for the orderly conduct of the residents and visitors to Canberra that the services of the police were not called into action to prevent crowding.  I believe I was the only one of all that vast assemblage who threw anything at the Duke, my contribution in that respect taking the form of a “boky” from our own garden.  I caught the Duke’s eye as I threw the flowers, but as the flowers missed, I returned his eye and exchanged smiles.  Later the flowers were retrieved by the police at the request of the Duchess, and I was honored to see her wearing one of them at the banquet, and when, at leaving for the Review, she singled me out and bestowed an individual smile on me and wished me good luck.  I wouldn’t have changed places with Sir Jawn.  Now, Mr Editor I know that some may think that it was the ribbons I was wearing that caught her eye, still among so many beribboned and bemedalled gallants, a splash of red and blue and another of salmon and red would be inconspicuous I am pleased to flatter myself that it was recognition in myself of a resemblance to the late St George that inspired the gracious wish.


But isn’t it a shame, Mr Editor, that etiquette forbids Royalty from joining in our sports.  I could see the Duke itching to get into the saddle and join the dance of police horses, which, by the way, was the best exhibition of trained horses I have seen, and I have seen the best that America, England and Germany could provide.  Now Mr Editor, if I may voice an opinion as to the reason why the camping grounds were not crowded, it is this:-


The general public of Australia were more interested in the Royal visitors than in the opening of Parliament, and as the opportunity of seeing them had been given to the residents of the big cities before their Royal Highnesses visited Canberra; the opening of Parliament was not considered a sufficient lure to entice the general public hundred of miles in the beginning of winter.


I would recommend that the next time Royalty visits us the first port of call be Jervis Bay, from which port they can be transported to Canberra without going through any of the big cities…




The visit of the Duke and Duchess is now a matter of history, and Eastlake has resumed the even tenor of its way.


The business people have expressed themselves well satisfied with the material results of the festive weeks, while the ordinary citizen arises in the morning, and goes to bed at night in the same regular and prosaic manner as before.


It is understood that their Highnesses were greatly impressed with the patriotic and progressive appearance of Canberra’s first suburb, and the magnificent bearing of its residents.


The Duke’s famous remark to the Duchess that while the spirit of Eastlake burnt in the hearts of the wind-kissed, sun-burnt Eastlakians, the Empire need have no fear – is likely to go down in history.


Anyway Eastlake extended a very hearty and loyal welcome to the Royal pair when they passed through on Tuesday afternoon.  A great concourse of people gathered at the Eastlake strongpost opposite the shopping centre and the Causeway post opposite Dr Finlay’s.


The business people co-operated in a most hearty manner with the citizens in fittingly decorating the area, and the individual decorative displays of the various shops were the subject of the most favorable comment.


A large crowd gathered in the morning, but owing to the alteration of the programme were disappointed.


Grateful appreciation of Sir John Butter’s action in arranging for the tour to be made during the afternoon so that the public would not be disappointed was expressed on all sides.


Final touches are being given to the Government Printing Works preparatory to its being put into commission next month.


The impending invasion of the Stores Area by the fair employees is causing quite a flutter in the many breasts of the store’s staff, many of whom have already assumed quite a respectable appearance.


The absence of street lights in this suburb is being keenly felt and severely handicaps the movements of the married residents after dark.  It is becoming quite a common occurrence to fall over bridges and walk into shrubs,  and other objects.  We are pleased to state, however, that it has the effect of bringing the young people together.


Bon-fire night was a complete success, and the suggestion that the valuable pine forests of the Commission had been “butchered” to make a children’s holiday, did not seem to dampen their ardour one little bit.  The fiercer the pin needles blazed, the more joyful the shouts, and the sinister and lugubrious newspaper reporters lurking in the fitful shadows at the back endeavouring to calculate the cost to the country of these revels, one by one slunk into the grateful darkness of the night.


Considerable interest is being taken locally in the forthcoming Association Tennis Tournament, and the local courts are being patronised by the aspirants for honors, who are endeavouring to secure all the practice possible before the fateful day.


We are pleased to record that the Gorman Cup is still in possession of the Eastlake club, despite the spirited attempt of the tennis giants from outback to wrest it from our grasp.


Now bring out the cat!




The local branch of the Social Service Association is receiving indifferent support from residents, which is much to be regretted, as so much good can be done for the mutual benefit and general welfare of all.  Were it not for the untiring work of the committee, the district would indeed be neglected, and so it is felt that it is up to the people to take a little more interest in local matters, and to assist those who are doing their best to make local conditions better.


The thanks of all should be given to the Branch Committee for the manner in which they arranged and organised the strong posts for the Royal Visit, which were indeed a great credit to them, and with which their Royal Highnesses were delighted, and Sir John Butters expressed great satisfaction.  It was a day of great pleasure to the district to have the honor of a personal inspection by the Duke and Duchess of the interior of one of our modern and comfortable bungalows, with which they expressed themselves in very favourable terms.  The Duchess captivated the hearts of all by her unaffected simplicity of manner, and the direct interest she manifested in all she had the opportunity of seeing.


It was a happy, memorable day for little Gwen Pinner of Ainslie, when she had the distinguished honour of presenting the Duchess with a bouquet at the opening of Parliament House.


The Ainslie School is making great progress, and general satisfaction is expressed at the fine modern structure the Commission is providing for the children.


The Civic shopping centre is going on well, and by September the locals should not be dependent upon Eastlake for their requirements.


There is no slump in cottage building, and generally Ainslie is about the busiest centre of the city.


The bus service has improved considerably, for which all are thankful.


The cricket season is now closed, and the honour of Premiership goes to our local club in both grades, to which we offer our congratulations.


The Ainslie Football (Australian Rules) Club and Social Entertainment Club, have recently formed with a very big membership, and the kick off for the season was most enthusiastic.  We hope they will emulate the Northbourne Cricket Club, and be Premiers for 1927.



A splendidly attended meeting of residents of Westridge was held at the local hall on Monday, 30th May, for the purpose of discussing various matters affecting the welfare of the community.


At the requests of residents the Social Service Officer was present at the meeting. Mr Woolands was unanimously elected to the chair.


In his opening remarks, Mr Honeysett explained the aims and objects of the Canberra Social Service Association, and stressed the importance of a strong branch functioning in each welfare district, of which Westridge was one.  He realised that it was not always convenient for the Westridge delegate to attend meetings of the Council of the Association, owing to transport difficulties, but the retention of a strong branch committee at Westridge would undoubtedly prove of great benefit in the social well being of residents.


When once the meeting had warmed up, Mr Honeysett was subject to a veritable bombardment of complaints of which he took careful note, and promised to see what could be done in the matter.


The present dilapidated condition of the tennis court was brought under notice, and it was decided to again request that the necessary material be made available to recondition the court.  Other matters strongly stressed were the necessity for the provision of street lighting on Mountain Way [Novar Street], and the provision of storm water drainage.  On the motion of Mr Taylor, seconded by Mr Shepherd, it was unanimously resolved that the old Progress Association be superceded by the new body to be known as the Westridge Branch of the Social Service Association.  The following officers were thereupon elected:-

                Chairman: Mr Woodlands

                Hon Secretary and Treasurer: Mr EP Corey

                Committee: Mesdames Turbitt, Boag, J Ware, Messrs J Dillon, M Ware, J Riddle.

Mr J Dillon was unanimously elected as a representative of the Westridge Branch of the Board of Trustees of the Westridge Hall.  Mr Woodlands was also elected as a delegate to the Council of the Canberra Social Service Association.



Our tennis court is now taking shape, and in the course of a few weeks members will be forming a club.


After several requests for an Anglican Church Service to be held here, Canon Ward has endeavoured to hold Service in Westlake Hall on the fourth Sunday of each month, at 7 pm.  Continuance of the Service will depend upon the interest taken in attendance of residents.  After so much difficulty in making arrangements for these Services, we hope to be able to maintain them.


A good many residents views the Royal Procession from our strong post.  Four flag poles were erected by some of the Social Service members on Sunday 8th May, but by Monday 9th, one flag had been souvenired.  The only regret of those gathered was the speed at which the Royal couple passed.  They were hardly recognised before they had gone.



The strongpost at Acton during the visit of the Duke and Duchess was notable for its artistic decoration, and the effective greenery and streamer display.  The splendid effect was the result of the efforts of the Acton branch whose members joined heartily in the work of erection.  A large number of residents attended to give their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess a hearty cheer as they passed through Acton, and the enthusiasm of the crowd must have been very gratifying to the Royal visitors.


The branch is very grateful to the Commission for the assistance given and the supply of poles, flags, and bunting and to the Superintendent of Parks and Gardens for the lavish contribution of greenery.



Since our last appearance in your columns we have had a feast of holidays and recreations.  First, Anzac Day with its usual parade and Requiem, to perpetuate the valour of the heroic dead that they may be a source of inspiration to the young men of to-day.  The succeeding days saw streams of visitors motoring through, which together with the elaborate preparations for the Royal Visit, made the place quite city like.  On Saturday, 7th May, we were treated to some amateur horsemanship by the light horse, which would reflect credit on professional fields.   Then, the one event of the opening of Parliament with the military review in the afternoon, amid the splendour of dress and sunshine, was certainly a sight not to be forgotten.  On the 10th everybody was on the tip toe of excitement anxiously waiting at every vantage point to get a view of the Royal visitors on their tour of inspection.  All or most were rewarded to a great extents, and, I can also add, very much satisfied.  A social where the toast to the health of their Royal Highnesses was drank rather liberally, and the National Anthem rendered in squadron formation brought the week end to a close with everybody in the best of spirits.


Back to routine work again we are somewhat set aback by the rumour in camp we believe to be partly true, that a large number of the workmen will be put off.  Everybody selfishly asks – Is it I?  Well, waltzing Matilda in the winter season is not a very enviable pastime.


We had Messrs Bodkin, Kelly and O’Neill of the AWU here during  the week, who informed us that our camp was to receive further attention regarding sanitation, the heating and lighting of the cubicles, etc.


The new billiard room is taking shape fast, and ought to prove a great boon in the long nights.


Our caterer has taken a well earned rest to recuperate his health, which we all trust will have the good results desired.


Our friend Joe has purchased a new truck.  We sincerely hope his ambition will be rewarded.


The football season is booming here just now.  The young men of the camp are representing many teams, and from the keen interest taken in the game by the various rivals we can look forward to having some well contested matches this season.