Highlights from our October Meeting

June and the administration team of the Ipswich Heritage Club would like to thank everyone who helped make our October meeting a success.

We were once again hosted by the Ipswich Club and owe a big thank you to Fenton and Lisa for the delicious catering and great service. We would also like to thank MP Jennifer Howard for attending, Michael Munt of Biztopia for sponsoring the evening and the Queensland Times, our media partner.

We were honoured to have Mayor Andrew Antoniolli attend and present our first awards. One of the Ipswich Heritage Club’s goals is to support our members throughout the process of restoring their heritage properties and one way we will be doing so is by acknowledging the restoration and renovation projects of members, large or small.

Doyenne June Frank with Val Petersen and Mayor Antoniolli

The first of our awards was granted to Val Petersen in acknowledgement of the restoration of Elamang in East Ipswich conducted by her and her late husband, Ben. When Val and Ben purchased Elamang, it was several flats, having been converted by the Queensland Times for use by it’s employees. Today, thanks to Val and Ben, Elamang is a stunning six bedroom, Victorian residence.

Elamang. Photo by Open2View Photography. 2016

The second award of the night was presented to Kathryn and Michael Simmons for their extensive restoration of Frampton Villa on Whitehill Road.

Mayor Antoniolli with Michael Simmons, Kathryn Simmons and June Frank

Since purchase in 2014, Kathryn and Michael have undertaken the monumental project of restoring Frampton Villa. Kathryn and Michael have completed much of the work themselves, all while working and raising two young children.

Frampton Villa on Whitehill Road – 2014 and 2017

Finally, the Ipswich Heritage Club presented an award to Dan and Edwina Ferrett of Tokal on Harlin Road. The new fence Dan and Edwina have erected enhances the property and frames the house beautifully in a way the former, wire fence failed to do.

Mayor Antoniolli, Edwina Ferrett, Dan Ferrett and June Frank
Tokal house on Harlin Road

The highlight of the night was Geoff Thompson’s presentation on “Bleak House – the house that moved twice”. We were very grateful to Geoff for presenting and sharing both his research into Bleak House and family memories.

We hope everyone had a great time. Our next meeting will be held at 6pm on November 3rd at the Ipswich Antique Centre. We would love to see you there.

In the meantime, we are still seeking photos and information on heritage properties which were turning into flats during wartime. If you have any such photos or information, would like to find out more about the Ipswich Heritage Club, or would like to share your story, please contact us at admin@ipswichheritageclub.com.au or 0434 345 871.


Built in 1895 for Richard Watson and his wife, Elamang, is a magnificent example of Victorian architecture. Located in East Ipswich, the property originally covered 22 acres, fronting Watson Street, Fox Street and Brisbane Road, and included stables and tennis courts.

Richard Watson, with his brothers and brother-in-law, establisted the successful Ipswich butchery firm, Messers Watson Bros and McLeod. Mr Watson served as Mayor of Ipswich (1911 -1912), Councillor to Bundamba Shire (1904 to 1910) and Brassall Shire (1914 – 1916), and Alderman (Ipswich City Council 1907 – 1920). On his death in 1928, an obituary in the Brisbane Time said  Mr Watson carried out his Mayoral duties with distinction.

Photo Elemang 1900 – 1910, Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich, Ipswich City Council

In 1924, Elamang was bought by Mr H. S Cribb’s son, Rex, and his wife. Although the Cribb family maintained the stables, the property’s size decreased from the original 22 acres to 3.

The property remained in the Cribb family until 1950, when it was sold to the Queensland Times, who converted the property to four flats for use by it’s employees.

Proposed Conversion of Residence into 4 flats for QLD Times Pty Ltd Brisbane Rd Booval

In 1965, Mr C W Gorbul purchased the property. The property was later purchased by the Pisasle family.

Elamang, as purchased by Mr and Ms Petersen

In 1984, the property was purchased by Ben and Valma Petersen.

In a huge undertaking, the Petersen’s converted the property back from flats into a six bedroom residence. They unveiled the previously enclosed verandahs and restored the cast iron lacework visible in early photographs. The roof was replaced and years of work with carpenters, painters and plumbers have brought this beauty back to life.

Despite the changes it has gone through over the years, Elamang has retained many of its original features.

Fortunately, when converting the property into flats, the original central hallway was preserved and enclosed, retaining the original cedar and allowing the Petersen’s to reveal the original floor plan.  The property also retains the original four Italian marble back to back fireplaces (two of which have been converted to gas), which would have been shipped from Italy at great expense.

Outside, the original sweeping staircase leads to an outstanding central gable frontispiece with intricate fretwork with double post front and side.  Elamang also retains the original cast iron crests, adoring the roof ridges, and the chimney.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication by Ben and Valma Petersen, Elamang today is a beautiful home.

Elamang 2016, photo by Shri Adigopula, Open2View

A tremendous thank you to the current owner of Elamang and Ipswich Heritage Club member, Val Petersen, for providing this information and many of the images included.

The Ipswich Heritage Club encourages all Ipswich Heritage property owners to share their experiences of our city’s heritage property. Please don’t hesitate to share your photos and stories to our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ipswichheritageclub1/.

For more information about the Ipswich Heritage Club or to join call 0434 345 871 or email admin@ipswichheritageclub.com.au