CAPTAIN’S REACH AND HUMBUG
On the upper level of the Wienholt masonry extension, access is gained back into the original Heath built building via a slightly awkward but quirky staircase that bridges the ‘old and new’. This is really the entry to the ‘attic’ space that Heath developed after the original construction of the house. To better perform his Portmaster duties of observing ships on the River, Heath installed dormer windows in the roof of this attic space – two to the east and one to the west. Originally one large space, two rooms now exist in this section and are Marisa’s tributes to the man himself, Captain George Poynter Heath.
The first room at the top of the unique staircase is named HUMBUG. This name simple derives from the stretch of the Brisbane River that Hanworth overlooks – Humbug Reach. Captain Heath would have spent hours gazing up and down those very shores. Today the room functions as an office but in the days of the Hospice it was a bedroom.
The next room along has a somewhat narrow entrance cloaked on one side by an old chimney stack – original old hand made red bricks of course. This is THE CAPTAIN’S REACH. Formerly the lookout zone (and likely escape or ‘man-cave’ for Heath, it is now a modern, office decorated with a powerful but feminie style. Whether by coinci-dence or irony or both, this is where Marisa chose for her private office to be built – a Captain of sorts herself.
Because of its location in the roof space of the original home and the extraordinary path the fire of 2013 followed, Marisa’s first renovation of this space was completely and utterly destroyed. One piece of good fortune associated with the rebuilding of the roof and attic space after the fire devastations, was the revelation of an 1860’s-70’s WIDOWS WALK, built into the roof above the ‘attic’. Marisa has reinstated this incredibly rare feature. It is accessed via a drop-down ladder in front of the preserved chimney stack in her office. George Heath would have utilised this landing to make finer observations at his tasks as Portmaster.
THE GOVERNORS BLOCK — THE INTER-WAR EXTENSION
Mary Wienholt added a 2-story masonry extension, with four more bedrooms and bathroom facilities for her Hospice operations. It was constructed after the First World War and completed before the Second, but specific dates have not been uncovered as yet. It sits at the southern end of the NORMAN WING.
In recognition of the grand past of Hanworth House, with the height of social and political society frequenting social and official occasions at Hanworth and to honour the contribution of women to the development of Queensland, the four rooms along with the grand staircase of Mary Wienholt’s extension are dedicated to five very significant Queensland women, all Governors of Queensland, or their wives.
THE GOVERNORS BLOCK
Jeannie Lucinda or Lady Musgrave was the wife of Sir Anthony Musgrave KCMG, Governor of Queensland 1883 – 1888. The couple attended Cecelia’s wedding and enjoyed the celebrations at the reception afterwards, here at Hanworth. More details on this can be found in Everybody Loves A Wedding. Take a look.
Penelope Wensley AC was Governor of Queensland (2008 – 2014), taking the reins from Quentin Bryce. This made Penny the Queensland Governor at the time Marisa purchased Hanworth House in 2012.
Penelope was appointed an AC in 2011 but previously an AO, in 2001, to honour her service to the development of Australia’s international relations, particularly through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Penelope became the first woman to be Australian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York in 1997 and in 2004 was appointed as the first female Australian High Commissioner to India.
The internal staircase of the NORMAN WING is a dedicated space for photographs and memorabilia for events that take place at Hanworth House. This gallery of sorts and the foyer area on the ground floor is the LENEEN AREA, after Queensland’s first female Governor, in office 1992 – 1997, Leneen Ford. She was the 22nd Governor overall. Interestingly, Leneen was born Mary Marguerite Leneen, the same names as Hanworth’s 2nd owner Mary Marguerite Wienholt. In 1993, Leneen was appointed as AC in recognition of her service to the law and to improving the status of women (economic and business development). She was International President of Zonta from 1990 until 1992, and 1991 was Queenslander of the Year.
Diamantina Di Rosa or Lady Bowen was the first wife of the first Governor of Queensland’s, The Right Honourable Sir George Bowen GCMG (1859 – 1868). Bowen’s tenure was during the time Hanworth was built (1864/5).
Diamantina was born to Venetian parents on the Ionian Islands in Greece that was a British Protectorate at that time (formerly part of the Republic of Venice). The Greek community of Brisbane adored her. It is said her private conversations with her husband were always in Italian, but her English was excellent, with a soft accent.
Diamantina ably fulfilled the ceremonial role of governor’s wife. In 1864, she ‘turned the sod’ for Queensland’s first railway-line with a silver spade and a cedar wheelbarrow. She was also an exemplary hostess at Government House. Diamantina’s dinner parties soon became the highlight of the social scene and she is credited with raising the tone of Brisbane society. How Hanworth!
Most admirably however, Diamantina was a tireless charity worker. She was patroness to founding the Lady Bowen Lying-In Hospital, Brisbane’s first maternity hospital (Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital, Herston). Diamantina was also involved in estab-lishing the first Sunday School for children.
Many things are named to commemorate Lady Bowen in Queensland, including: the town of Roma, the Diamantina River, Diamantina Island near Gladstone, Roma Street, the iron paddle-wheeler Diamantina, Diamantina Orphanage, (e1883) and the Diamantina Hospital for Chronic Diseases, (e1901) – which were later replaced by the Princess Alexandra Hospital, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Diamantina Healthcare Museum (e2004) – the only remaining building of the Diamantina Hospital, Lady Bowen Hospital and of course the fore-runner of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
A statue of Lady Bowen was commissioned for the Greek Community Centre in South Brisbane (1989). When Old Government House was re-opened after restoration, the statue was relocated to the southern lawn of Old Government House (the southern side of the house being the “female” side).
QUENTIN for Quentin Bryce, Queensland’s second female Governor (2003 – 2008) and Australia’s first female Governor Genera (2008 – 2014). The QUENTIN ROOM is adjacent the DAIMANTINA ROOM. At a function at Hanworth House which Quentin attended, she was delighted that a room had been named in her honour, but thrilled she was next to Diamantina. Quentin has prepared a paper on the great Lady Bowen and holds her in high esteem. A chance pairing of good fate.
In 1968, Quentin became the first woman appointed as a faculty member of the law school of the University of Queensland and joined the new National Women’s Advisory Council. Other appointments during her career include the first Director of the Queensland Women’s Information Service, the Queensland Director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, and the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Her services to the community saw her appointed an AO, an AC and Dame. In 2011, she was invested as a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order at Government House.
In other roles, Quentin has been the chair of the National Breast Cancer Advisory Council and sat on the Australian Women’s Cricket Board and has been a member of organisations such as the YWCA, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, the Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital and a Member of the Australian Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
Off the generous private veranda on the eastern side of the NORMAN WING and across the hall from The Governors, are two prestige accommodation rooms of Hanworth House. The first is MADELEINE, named for Marisa’s niece, or more pertinently, Romana’s Granddaughter – born in the year after she had passed away.
ISABELLA is named for Marisa’s one and only child, affectionately called Bella. The room is one of the home’s most unique (not unlike its name sake) as it has triple access. It conjoins the MADELEINE ROOM through a lockable door, opens out onto the private eastern balcony of the NORMAN WING and has another internal door to the ROSE ROOM. ISABELLA ROOM is hugged on its remaining wall by two rooms in the HEATH WING: MARISA, the room named for Isabella’s wonderful Mother, and the tiny GABRIELLI, for Bella’s late gracious Grandmother, Romana Preston (nee Gabrielli).
At the time of writing, Isabella is studying a Law Degree and has just been appointed the Governor of the Australian Youth Parliament. Great things will come from this astute young Woman.
The ROSE ROOM is a space that will have an adaptable use. On occasion, it may be used as an overnight guest room and at other times as an extension to ISABELLA ROOM. The ROSE ROOM also connects externally to THE GROVE via COSY CORNER.
In the ROSE ROOM are some subtle tributes to many things to do with love and being loved. The framed wedding bouquet – a sheath of dried white roses – has a single silk rose nestled amongst the display. It was one of about one thousand that Marisa’s Mother Romana hand made for Marisa’s wedding. These flowers were used to decorate the Church and pews. In a gesture of selflessness, Marisa gifted a silk rose to each friend and family member who attended Romana’s funeral – a day of sadness but with the unmistakable ambiance of love and a beautiful life.
Roses, Romana’s favourites are also the subject of one of the artworks on the wall, painted by Romana herself. In another Hanworth coincidence, St Rita, whom the Hanworth Office is named for, asked her cousin for a rose from her home garden as her dying wish. It was January and her cousin did not expect to find anything due to the weather. However, a single blooming rose was found in the garden and her cousin brought the rose and fig back to Rita. St. Rita is often depicted holding roses. On her feast day, churches and shrines of St. Rita provide roses to the congregation.
Romana, who adored roses, also loved figs and interestingly, the anniversary of St Mary’s passing, Romana’s passing and St Rita’s canonisation are all within a day of each other (22, 23, 24 May respectively).
The north-eastern corner of the internal courtyard contains a reinstated citrus grove. Newspaper articles reference a citrus grove, purportedly installed during the ownership of Captain Heath, but certainly in existence during the custodial period of the Theosophical Society. It is reported the citrus grove included a mandarin tree, however, the existence of a grapefruit tree was also revealed during researching Hanworth’s History. Marisa has reinstated a ‘Citrus Grove’ of sorts to honour the origins of Hanworth, but has opted for a lemon tree to complete the trio (perhaps to complement a nice ‘G and T’ after a day’s toil in Hanworth’s gardens).
THE GROVE encompasses the veranda, in French café style on the NORMAN WING side of internal courtyard, COSY CORNER, the little alcove, where a tribute to the Super Star Tea Cosy hangs and the kitchen of the NORMAN WING. These environs have been designed to foster community liaison between all the Women staying at Han-worth. The morning papers are available here and it will be the only place where real-ly good coffee can be made thanks to a proper espresso machine in the kitchen!