SLHG Research Four – Long Pocket, Education in St Lucia and the Carr Family

The following papers and notes are part of the ongoing research undertaken by members of the St Lucia History Group. Whilst many are ‘work in progress’ they are being progressively uploaded to provide an on-line resource. Comments, corrections and contributions are welcome.

The farming families of St Lucia and Long Pocket formed an isolated community long before there were suburbs west of Brisbane. In the early 1860s they combined to build a school and a chapel, where Ironside School is today, ‘equidistant’ from both communities.  Starting with lessons held by a wife of one of the farmers in the early 1860s Education in St Lucia tracks the development of today’s Ironside School. It includes chapters on the Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School (1950s/60s), the St Lucia Farm School for Boys (1930s), nursery and pre-schools/kindergartens (from 1940s) and the beginning of the Brisbane Independent School. The section on the University of Queensland examines the why, how and when it ended up in St Lucia.

Relatively more isolated Long Pocket survived as a farming area until controversially the State Government compulsorily acquired some of the farms in 1947 for its own purposes, mainly what became the CSIRO Long Pocket Laboratories and the Indooroopilly Science Centre. Further controversy was to follow as BCC then acquired the rest of the Long Pocket farms for a public park, and then in 1962 leased about half of the park to the Indooroopilly Golf Club as an expansion of its nearby St Lucia course. In 1973 they exchanged almost all the remaining park land to the Golf Club in exchange for the existing St Lucia course.

The notes on the Carr Family, based on discussions with Mrs Enid Carr of Taringa, gathered together a number of local research threads including the compulsory acquisition of the farms at Long Pocket for the proposed park that never eventuated. The surviving remnants of public parkland are the Sir John Chandler Park at the tip of the peninsular and the Thomas Park Bougainvillea Gardens on Hart Road.

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