6 Albyn Road Strathfield was built c. 1939 for Leslie Arthur Fraser and his wife Vere Fraser. The house was built on Lot 1 of land created from subdivision of the grounds of ‘Luleo’ 105 The Boulevarde. The house was demolished in the early 2000s.
Leslie Albert Fraser (b.1895 in Auckland, New Zealand) was married to Vere Leitch Fraser (née Humphrey born 1900 in Narromine, NSW). The Frasers both died in 1977. Their only daughter, Pamela Beverley (1926-1995), was a well known Strathfield identity.
Pam married Slim Brauer (1924-1999). Slim was born Loren Otto Brauer in Staunton, Illinois. After grade and high school in the United States he served as a Commissioned Navigator in the South Pacific on B-24s flying out of the Philippines. Following military service he returned to Sydney, where he had previously been on rest leave, and married Pam. He studied for two years at the University of Sydney but then became a food retailer. Today he would be celebrated by the Sydney Morning Herald as a “foodie” in the Good Food Guide.
For six years he ran a bakery and then opened Treasure Island Chocolates in The Boulevarde, Strathfield. He also owned a health food store next to the chocolate shop. The retail buildings, on the Burwood side of The Boulevarde, were owned by his Fraser father-in-law who was in property. Slim continued to run the businesses on The Boulevarde until 1997.
Pam and Slim lived in Strathfield Avenue in a handsome and stylish contemporary house. The Brauers were a strikingly attractive couple who gave Strathfield in the 1960s a lot of Hollywood style glamour. No celebration of the time would have been complete without handmade chocolates from Treasure Island which were renowned throughout Sydney for their quality.
During my childhood Mr and Mrs Fraser lived in this charming cottage. The Inter-War style house, with fashionable polychromatic brickwork, was an interesting foil to the then largely Edwardian era streetscape of Albyn Road. The couch lawn running up to the corner porch, detailed with a carriage light on its parapet wall, and the triple arched veranda is so typical of the architect designed houses built in the 1930s. We can only wonder what happened to the cast iron grills that added a Romanesque charm to this lost heritage gem when it was razed for yet another charmless rendered McMansion. Maybe a Fraser grandchild would know who the architect was … hopefully they read this excellent local history site and will offer some family folklore. My suggestion is that the architect was John Reid & Son to whom I attribute the design of 43 Meredith Street, Strathfield. That house was also built in the late 1930s. The triple arched veranda of both might be a hint to the designer of these houses. In 1938 Reid’s completed the second stage of the Department of Education building in Bridge Street. How lucky that the Education Department and 43 Meredith Street remain even though the Fraser house has gone.