Government House Open Day 2010

Yesterday the State Library participated in Queensland Day celebrations at the Governor’s residence “Fernberg” where thousands of visitors enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather and tours of the grand house and gorgeous gardens.

Open day stalls on the lawn at Government House. View of Fernberg and visitors to the Government House Day. Salvation Army Band playing at the Government House Open Day. Queensland Police Band pipers and visitors to the Government House Open day.

The State Library’s Dianne Byrne, Simon Farley, and Kylie Strudwick spoke to attendees through the course of the day about the John Oxley Library collection and our particular treasures on display in Fernberg’s Investiture Room. These items included photograph albums that once belonged to former Governors Sir John Goodwin and Sir John Lavarack, early panoramic photographs of Brisbane, the original design of Fernberg by architect Benjamin Backhouse,  illuminated albums, and an 18 carot gold swag necklace with five openwork carved gold hinged pendants made by Christian Ludwig Qwist for Queensland squatter John Watts.

Brisbane crowds at a fete at Government House, Brisbane, 1929. Sir John Goodwin Photograph Album APU-16. Sir John and Lady Lavarack outside Government House, Brisbane, ca. 1947. Lavarck Family Album 7571. Queen Elizabeth II on the stairs of Government House, Brisbane, 1954. Lavarack Family Album 7571. View of Fernberg in 1959. Interior of the dining room of Fernberg,ca 1950. Lavarack Family Album 7571.

Dianne Byrne delivered two well-received presentations in the morning and afternoon about the history of Fernberg incorporating images, such as those above, of the house and resident governors from the John Oxley Library collection.

With the splendid weather and warm hospitality of Her Excellency, Ms Penelope Wensley AO, the Government House Open Day 2010 was a wonderful event to be involved in this year.

Special thanks to event organiser Susy Trier from the Office of the Governor.

Simon Farley

Manager, Client Services – Heritage Collections.

State Library of Queensland