Backward Glance: The Governor is in residence
  • Wednesday 19 August 2015

Did you know the Caloundra region underwent a period of growth in the 1930s as improvements to roads led people to discover the beauty of the region?

One of these was the Governor of Queensland, Sir Leslie Wilson, who built a home known as Currimundi House at Dicky Beach.

The attractive timber dwelling built in 1936 was the seaside residence for Sir Leslie and his wife Lady Winifred Wilson.

The timber to build the home was supplied by Tesch’s Witta sawmill

It was known as the Governor’s House in the early days of Caloundra and stood on a bluff overlooking Dicky Beach, at the northern end of Caloundra, with views which stretched to Point Cartwright.

Wilson Avenue, Dicky Beach, where the house was situated, is named after Sir Leslie Wilson.

The name Currimundi was probably derived from the Aboriginal name for the area, pronounced Garamandah or Girramundi, meaning place of flying foxes.

Sir Leslie Wilson was sworn in as Governor of Queensland on June 13, 1932.

He had a keen interest in sport and he and Lady Wilson gave great support to organisations and service functions including the surf lifesaving movement.

Cliff Croughan, an early Metropolitan Caloundra lifesaver, recounted a dinner at Currimundi House that turned into a fundraising event for the surf lifesaving club: “What he did was invite all the boys around for a meal along with other important business people.

“Sir Leslie organised a hat and when everybody came in the front door - not us, we were just lifesavers - they had to empty their pockets out into this hat and it wouldn’t matter what they had…we finished up with a couple of hundred pounds.”

Lady Wilson was also very active in the community and started the first local branch of Red Cross in 1939, as well as active membership in other groups throughout the district.

Fundraising for charities saw garden parties and other events on a regular basis at their seaside residence.

Sir Leslie Wilson left office on April 11, 1946, and retired to his birthplace in England.

In 1980, Currimundi House was relocated to Mons School Road and luxury apartments, known as Governors Row, were built on the Wilson Avenue site in the late 1980s.

Learn more about the Coast’s unique history by reading our Backward Glance series. There’s a new story every Wednesday.