The historic Childers Post Office, built in 1890, will receive some tender loving care to ensure the ongoing protection of this iconic part of the Childers streetscape.
Building owners Janet and Peter Anderson received a grant for $10,000 under Bundaberg Regional Council’s Our Stories Our Places grant program, an initiative that supports private owners undertaking heritage or character improving works on eligible properties.
The timber building, at 65 Churchill Street, will receive a full exterior repaint including the roof in the existing traditional colour scheme, with the grant funding comprising approximately one third of the total cost of the repainting works.
Owner Janet Anderson said she did six months of research and obtaining quotes to find the right company to take on the job, such was the importance of getting it right for the town.
“It is very expensive to maintain and look after a large timber structure such as the Childers Post Office,” Janet said.
“It is important not to let it deteriorate as its historical value is very important especially given its location in the centre of town.
“We always felt that the people of Childers ‘owned’ the Post Office and we are just guardians.”
With four grant applications awarded under the Our Stories Our Places program to date, Mayor Jack Dempsey said he was pleased eligible building owners had embraced the initiative.
“It’s fantastic to see the work being done with the support of Council’s Our Stories Our Places grants will have such a positive impact on our heritage streetscapes,” Mayor Dempsey said.
The Childers Post and Telegraph Office was built in 1890 and opened 17 September 1890.
The tender to construct the new office was awarded to John Jones in the amount £436, with six months given for completion.
The Post Office’s location on the north side of Churchill Street meant it survived the devastating fire of March 1902 that destroyed most of the then timber-built buildings on the south side of the street.
The Post Office was extended in 1910 by the Queensland Government Architect’s Office.
Janet and her husband Peter bought the building in 1990 after Australia Post began to sell some outlets to be run as Licensed Post Offices.
The Andersons ran a gift shop and Post Office until 2022, when they sold the business but retained ownership of the building.
Given the building’s prominence and importance in the town’s history, it was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register on 24 January 2003.
Peter was born and raised in Childers and has a long family history in the region including a distant relative, Mr W Beale, who the family believe was the first Childers Postmaster in 1890, and who was later station master at the Childers Railway Station.
Janet said they thought it was extremely important to preserve the character of the region’s heritage and character buildings like the Childers Post Office.
“Not only because they represent particular architecture of the time but also because they embody a rich history during the development of our region,” she said.
“There have been many modifications over the years to bring it to where it is today.
“It is still a functioning Post Office after 133 years!”
Under the Our Stories Our Places program, Council will contribute 50% of the cost of the conservation works up to a maximum of $10,000 per project.