Type of place
This hall, designed by Cavanagh and Cavanagh, was constructed circa 1925 for the Trustees of St Joseph’s Kangaroo Point Branch of the Hibernian Australian Catholic Benefit Society. The Hibernians, as they were known, were like many such societies that flourished during the nineteenth century that formed to aid or provide services for membership. In the 1950s the property was registered as an amusement hall until it was purchased for use as a lodge hall by the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes who held the property until 2001.
Also known as
St. Joseph's Hibernian Hall
Local Heritage Place Since —
Date of Information —
Roof: Corrugated iron; Walls: Face brick
Cavanagh and Cavanagh (Architect); Hibernian Catholic Benefit Society (Association); Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (Association)
Criterion for listing
(D) Representative;(E) Aesthetic;(G) Social;(H) Historical association
This branch of the Hibernian Australian Catholic Benefit Society was one of the oldest in Brisbane, having been formed in 1886. The Society held the land in preparation for the construction of a hall, but it was not until March 1925 that it was able to announce its intention to proceed.
Architectural firm Cavanagh and Cavanagh, who were responsible for the design of many church and ancillary buildings in Brisbane, were commissioned to undertake the project. Their plan was for a brick hall with a frontage of 62ft; the hall of 67ft by 38ft to have two verandahs each 67 ft long and 11 ft wide. There were also two large cloak rooms and a stage 18 ft by 38 ft. The Society took out a mortgage with the Bank of New South Wales in June 1925 presumably to finance the building work. Within a year of completion Cavanagh and Cavanagh were working on designs for sewerage installation and a lavatory block in 1926, and they also designed a reinforced concrete and timber balcony that was added in 1928.
During the 1950s the Society registered the property as an amusement hall, having a licence granted that limited seating accommodation to 900 persons. In 1961, part of the site appears to have been leased for the purpose of dancing instruction. The trustees of the Hibernian Catholic Benefit Society held title on the hall until December 1962, when it transferred to the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes Grand Australasian Banner Limited. This community organisation was also established to provide aid to members in need, but also to aid in charitable concerns within the wider community.
In 1963 work was carried out to the toilet facilities at the hall. The RAOB did further work on the toilet facilities in 1975, as well as the addition of a 36m2 annex to the Lodge Room. The property was sold in 2001.
Statement of significance
Relevant assessment criteria
This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:
The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural places
as a good example of an interwar brick community hall.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance
as an attractive, architect-designed, interwar hall that makes a fine contribution to the surrounding streetscape.
The place has a strong or special association with the life or work of a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons
as a meeting/lodge hall for the Hibernian Catholic Benefit Society for around 30 years and the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes for almost 40 years.
The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organization of importance in the city’s or local area’s history
as a hall designed by prominent Brisbane architectural firm Cavanagh and Cavanagh.
Brisbane City Council Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Detail Plans
Brisbane City Council, 1946 aerial photographs.
Certificates of Title, Department of Environment and Resource Management
Queensland Post Office Directories
Queensland Electoral Rolls
The A. and B. Journal of Queensland
Friends of Toowong Cemetery Association Inc. The Irish Heritage Trail
Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes. Our Order. https://raobglqgle.org.au/
Information prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)