Type of place
World War I 1914-1918
This timber residence, known as ‘Montana,’ was constructed in 1918 for well-known Brisbane aviatrix, Maud Rose ‘Lores’ Bonney and her husband, Harry Bonney. It was designed by Brisbane architect Walter Carey Voller and is a good example of the types of fine residences constructed on the crest of Bowen Hill in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1932 Lores Bonney became the first female pilot to fly around Australia and in 1933 became the first woman to fly solo from Australia to England. The Bonneys lived in the house until 1968.
Born in South Africa in 1897, Lores Bonney immigrated to Melbourne with her family as a child, marrying Brisbane businessman Harry Bonney in 1917. After experiencing a joy flight with Bert Hinkler, Lores Bonney took flying lessons and went on to achieve a number of milestones in Australian aviation. She was the first female pilot to fly around Australia (1932) and the first woman to fly solo from Australia to England (1933).
The site on which Montana is located was part of Suburban Portion 140 which was granted to George Raff in 1856. From the late nineteenth century, the crest of Bowen Hill was much sought after by Brisbane’s wealthier citizens who built substantial mansions in the area. Much of Raff’s land in Jordan Terrace was purchased by William Perry in 1875. This land stayed in the Perry family for several years after William Perry’s death and was resubdivided from 1912. Jordan Terrace was named for Robert Alfred Jordan, the manager of Hunter’s boot factory, who purchased land on the southern side of the street in 1876 and resided in the street during the 1880s.
Lores Bonney purchased two allotments on the southern side of Jordan Terrace in June 1918 and soon engaged the services of architect Walter Cary Voller to design a house for the site. W.C. Voller (186301932) practised in Brisbane in partnership with William Graham from 1891 to 1893. The firm’s major building was St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Rockhampton (1892). W.C. Voller was also responsible for several other churches of various denominations including the New Farm Methodist Church in 1926. He designed several other residences in Brisbane in addition to the Bonney’s house in Jordan Terrace.
The Bonneys are listed in postal and electoral records as residing in Jordan Terrace from 1919 to the 1960s. In 1954, Lores Bonney purchased an adjoining lot (resubdivision 11). She also owned the property next door, Manola, from 1944 to 1963. Lores Bonney continued to live in Montana until it was sold in 1968. Montana has since had several changes of ownership.
After selling Montana, Lores Bonney retired to Miami at the Gold Coast where she lived until her death some decades later. The memory of Lores Bonney was honoured by the naming of Lores Bonney Drive near Archerfield airport. Bonney Avenue at Clayfield is also thought to have been named for the famous aviatrix.
The Brisbane architect Walter Carey Voller designed Montana. It is a weatherboard clad residence with a main street-facing gabled terracotta tiled roof and two further street-facing gables within, sited well above street level. The gables are decorated with terracotta finials at the ridge ends. The gable ends are decorated with battens.
The entry is under the small gable roof projecting on the left side of the house. The other gable projection is over the forward most part of the house, which has the centre panels removed and replaced with fixed glazing. Previously a verandah wrapped around the front walls of the house with a truncated left corner, but at present the verandah has been enclosed except for a small area from the entry porch. The former exterior walls are still intact and are visible within the streetscape through the glazed openings within the enclosed verandah, above the former balustrade height. The former entry stairs have been removed and replaced with a side ways set of brick stairs with a metal balustrade.
The house has been raised above ground level and built in under with brick walls.
The detached garage is at street level matches the detailing and materials of the house and is complimented by the brick pier retaining wall that runs along the street alignment.
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 evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as an example of the types of fine residences built for the professional middle class in the inner-city suburb of Bowen Hills during the interwar period
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 house built for Brisbane aviatrix Maud 'Lores' Bonney, who was responsible for establishing important milestones in aviation history; and, as an example of the domestic architecture of Walter Carey Voller.
Brisbane City Archives, BCC Building Register 1914-1920
Brisbane City Council Water Supply and Sewerage Maps
Ivy Anderson, Janice. Interview 10 November 1997
McBride, Frank and Helen Taylor. Brisbane 100 Stories. Brisbane: BCC. 1997
Queensland Certificates of Title
Queensland Electoral Rolls. 1946, 1961. (Qld State Library)
Queensland Post Office Directories
Queensland Women’s Historical Association. A Look Back in Time: A History of Bowen Hills, Newstead & “The Creek”. Brisbane: QWHA, 1996
Donald Watson and Judith McKay, Queensland Architects of the Nineteenth Century, South Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1994
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)