by Cathy Jones
The postal service in NSW was established in 1810 under Governor Macquarie and in 1825, the NSW Legislative Council regulated postal services in NSW. The Australian Constitution transferred Postal and Telegraph services to the newly formed Commonwealth Government in 1901. The former Homebush South Post Office was built in 1895 by NSW Government but from 1901, the ownership of the building transferred to the Commonwealth Government until its sale in the late 1990s.
A postal service office was established for Homebush South on The Crescent (formerly Homebush Crescent) Homebush. The first post office was a small wooden building. From 1894, Strathfield Council petitioned the State Government to upgrade the postal service and building, complaining about the inadequacy of the postal service and premises.
The new Homebush South Post Office was built in 1895. The building was designed by the Government Architect’s Office and the construction was managed by the NSW Public Works Department. Walter Liberty Vernon served as Government Architect from 1890-1911. The estimated cost of the construction was £1150 and the builder was John Lane of 109 George Street Erskineville.
The Homebush South Post Office is a two storey building with dichromatic brickwork and features an arched parapet and a large arched window with contrasting brickwork. A decorative brick string course, brick chimneys, a gabled hip tile roof and exposed rafters are important details.
The first Postmaster of Homebush South Post Office was Clifford A Doutty, who served until his death in 1906. His funeral notice indicates that the post office building was also the home residence of the Postmaster.
This building was decommissioned as a post office in the late 1990s. As at 2012, the building is in use as a medical centre.
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
‘Walter Liberty Vernon profile’, NSW Government Architect, viewed at http://www.govarch.commerce.nsw.gov.au/profile.asp?PT=4&CP=19
Sands Sydney Directory, Strathfield suburban listing, 1895-1906
“Family Notices.” The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954) 9 Jul 1906: 12. Web. 8 Apr 2012 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14784530>.
The Sydney Morning Herald. (1894, May 24). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved April 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13952564
In spite of my association with Strathfield since 1995 I had no idea this building was an old post office. Many thanks, Alex.
The post offices prior to Federation were designed by NSW Government Architect, many by Walter Liberty Vernon. There are others around Sydney with some similarities in style.