Home - Chermside & District History

About Us

Aims of the Chermside & Districts Historical Society Inc.

While our motto is "preserving the past is our future", we do not live in the past but are very much situated in the present with an eye on the future development of our region. This enables us to take an active part in the planning of the Northside where huge increases in population and employment are expected over the next twenty years.

The World War I memorial gates at Marchant Park which form the logo for the Chermside Historical Society. In 2003 the Society restored 100 names of Diggers which were lost when vandals smashed some of the marble plaques in 1972. Lest we Forget.
These World War I memorial gates are on the entrance to Marchant Park and were erected in 1924. They record the names of the young men who enlisted from the Kedron Shire between 1914 and 1918. Some of the marble plaques were smashed by vandals around 1972 and many names were lost. In 2002 the Society restored the names using a grant from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund. The Society subsequently adopted the gates as its logo.

History is about people - local history is about local people

This photo of a class at Chermside State School in 1923 shows young people who grew up here. Many of them lived here and raised families, which are still here. Some of those families will want to know about the boys and girls in this photo. We can help them as we have most of the names.

The Society was established to preserve and develop the history of the local area by researching and recording the stories of the people, Indigenous and immigrant, who have lived here, the events that have taken place, when, where and how they occurred, and especially why they occurred.

We appeal to local people to share their family histories, stories and documentary material with us. We research information relevant to the district, which is stored in State, Federal and Local Government Archives, in the John Oxley and State Libraries, all of which supply important documentary data.

The Society acts as a repository for local organisations by accepting their archives and storing them in our archive room where they are available for research.

The Brisbane City Council has defined our boundaries as those of the old Kedron Shire Council, which includes 18 suburbs from Bridgeman Downs in the west to Boondall in the east, from Bald Hills in the north to Kedron in the south (refer to map below).

About this website

This website has been developed by the Chermside & Districts Historical Society Inc and funded with a grant from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund of the Queensland Government.

The old school and the historical society

The Chermside State School C 1903 built in 1900 and was state of the art for that time. It was to provide a 20th century primary education for all children.

In 1996 the Chermside State School closed and the land was put up for sale. The Uniting Church bought roughly half the area for Community Use, which included a church and a large parking area. The site was partly occupied by the original school building, a two-room 96 year old timber structure, which was of no use to the developers but too good to be demolished. Because of its historic value the Uniting Church, led by Rev. Cec Schloss, offered it to the people of Chermside for community use.

The offer was enthusiastically taken up by Terry Sullivan MP and Councillor Terry Hampson, but a couple of problems remained; which community organisation would look after it and where could the building be relocated for community use.

The first problem was solved by the general consensus that it was necessary to 'retain some history of the area with all the change occurring' in the local area. Westfield was expanding, Kedron-Wavell Services Club was expanding, the new Chermside library had been opened and was expanding, the Aquatic Centre replaced the Olympic Pool, and Playfield Street was to be redeveloped for apartments.

Out of this maelstrom of change the idea of forming a historical society emerged as a means of preserving something of the work and lifestyle of earlier Chermsiders. A committee was formed, public meetings were held to gauge the community interest, which was high enough to form a history society and the inaugural meeting was held at 2pm, Sunday 11th December 1997 in the Chermside Library.

The old school journeys to the historical precinct

This is one half of the old school making its midnight journey to the precinct. The movers are lifting overhead wires to let the convoy through.

The second problem of where to put the old school building was solved by the dedication of the Chermside Historical Precinct in 1997 by the Brisbane City Council. The lot was already the site of Training Ship Voyager of the 2nd Chermside Sea Scouts, which had taken out a lease on 1st October 1962 of a small area of about one acre.

In May 1999 the building was cut in two and shifted from the corner of Rode and Gympie Roads to the end of Banfield Street to be re-erected on high steel piers.

Resiting gets underway and the vandals start their work

When the building arrived at the precinct the two parts were put on on timber supports. The two parts were then bolted together.

Although it was well above the ground, the old school was vandalised and all the windows were smashed; this marked the beginning of a long and costly process of protecting the building in its rather isolated location. To protect the windows large metal cages were fitted over them, which allowed the casement windows to be opened outwards.

Due to the cost of installing a lift, which would have cost in the vicinity of $60,000, for disadvantaged visitors the building was lowered to ground level and a ramp installed.

The refurbished school

While the old school building was undergoing renovations by the State Government Jobs Training Scheme the society met in the Kedron-Wavell Services Club's meeting rooms.

Finally, the first meeting was held in the renovated building on the 7th April 2002 while the Society was incorporated on 23rd September 1999.

The Chermside State School C 1903 built in 1900
The original Chermside State School was renovated and is now the Headquarters of the Chermside & Districts Historical Society. Its teaching function continues into the 21st Century.

Service to the community

We offer the community, for cost, the provision of information on local history, help with researching their family histories, contacts with sources of historical information and we even write or edit their family histories. We mount displays of photos with captions on various themes, which we post in the Chermside and other local libraries along with other community centres, such as Burnie Brae Senior Citizens Centre, Kedron Street Party, fetes and other community activities. A constant supply of news articles is generated for publication in the local newspapers as well as on our website.

The website further enhances community relationships as other organisations and individuals are able to freely access our online archives and select what they want to use or design the talk they want us to give.

Meeting & opening times

We meet in the old Chermside State School building in the Chermside Historical Precinct - 61 Kittyhawk Drive, Chermside (refer to map below).

Monthly meetings are held on the first Sunday of the month (except January) at 2pm. Each meeting has a business session followed by a talk or presentation of a historical nature. Afternoon tea follows. Visitors are welcome.

Opening times - only available by appointment until further notice.



Grants are Us

Like many community organisations the Chermside & District Historical Society Inc has to obtain finance through grants. We do have our members subscriptions but they barely cover the running costs of the society.

In order to be able to maintain the building, which houses the society we need to raise large sums of money. This latest grant which came from Kedron Wavell Services Club was to recover the floor of our meeting room.

The old covering withstood the pounding feet of generations of school children while it was a classroom of the old Chermside State School. Also there were a couple of large gaps where cupboards once stood and the old covering was cut around them. Also the joins in the vinyl were beginning to curl up positing a danger to unwary feet of our elder members.

The floors in the other rooms in the old school are bare boards, which have been painted.