By Karen Costello
Thank you for the opportunity to offer some notes on the wonderfully informative talk given by well-known historian and author, Gerard Benjamin held on 24th June 2023 ,which complemented the walk around Bowen Hills that I attended on Saturday 17 June along with my husband, Dan, and a group of friends (including two from Trim, Ireland, who have lived in Australia for over twenty years).
It was great to see the photos Gerard presented at the talk which enhanced the stories he told on the walk.
The walking group met under the tall iron structure on Skyring Terrace, Newstead, a remnant of the Gasworks, which was established in 1887. On the walk we visited the Cloudland Memorial Arch in Cowlishaw Street and were entertained with stories of Cloudland’s history and its surprise night-time demolition.
We walked Cintra Road where the Twelfth Night Theatre remains an important part of the performing arts scene in Brisbane. We saw the beautiful stained glass of the Roman Catholic Our Lady of Victories Parish Church in Roche Avenue overlooking the Brisbane River and heard the story of the memorial to the Polish Prisoners of War.
There were many historic homes on the way, and we shared in the stories of the residents and visitors of these beautiful homes, including Cintra House in Boyd Street used by the US Army during WW2, where a young boy by the name of Arthur MacArthur was photographed enjoying a visit during his time in Brisbane with his famous father.
Montana, the residence of aviatrix, Lores Bonney, evoked stories of this remarkable woman’s pioneering aviation exploits, while examples of different architectural styles were displayed in Taishan and Miegunyah on Jordan Terrace, now the headquarters of the Women’s Historical Society.
We came away with a much greater appreciation of the history relating to Bowen Hills.