Time­less clas­sic beauty

The Courier-Mail - Property - - REALESTATE NEWS - SO­PHIE FOSTER

IT’S GOT all the mark­ings of a grand res­i­dence, yet this 3.5ha property is also a stun­ning piece of Queens­land history – and it has a se­cret pas­sage hid­den in its walls.

Built in 1901 in Wyn­num, the 114-year-old More­ton build­ing was for­merly the elite More­ton Bay Ladies Col­lege.

When it was set for de­mo­li­tion in 1986, a man called Tony Fin­lay stepped in to save it, re­lo­cat­ing the mas­sive build­ing to 142 Air­lie Road, Pul­len­vale.

“It was a mas­sive project, it got moved in 13 pieces,” said cur­rent owner Luba Malecky - who co-bought the property in 1993 with her hus­band Ter­ence Mau.

“I don’t think any­body had done any­thing like it be­fore. Peo­ple had moved houses in two but noth­ing quite so large had been moved.”

Ms Malecky, who has two daugh­ters - one now 20 and the other 18 - had never in­tended to buy the home when she and a friend went to the open house in 1993.

“We’re both sur­geons and my hus­band had been work­ing the last couple of days on call, and got to bed and ba­si­cally knocked out for the day.

“So I thought I’d pass the time vis­it­ing a friend and hav­ing a sticky beak at the open home.

“As we came up the drive­way, it’s over 500m long, and came to the crest of the hill, sud­denly you see the house.

“It still takes my breath away. Pho­tos don’t do it jus­tice.”

She said when the bid­ding halted un­der re­serve, she de­cided to call her hus­bandd to tell him she was buy­ing a house - and pro­ceeded to do so.

A friend, who’d just sold da a property in Perth, hap­pily lent her money for the de­posit - and it was of­fi­cial.

“Liv­ing here is pretty amaz­ing. It epit­o­mises the best of Queens­land liv­ing really. It’s so great to have horses. My girls grew up here. They both rode horses, they grew up with chick­ens, guinea pigs, dogs, you name it.”

She said the rooms were very large be­cause many had been class­rooms pre­vi­ously.

The hid­den pas­sage­way, she said, Mr Fn­lay added af­ter he moved the house to the site cre­at­ing “a se­cret hid­den stair­case be­hind a book­case”.

“There was once a dumb waiter that came up to the se­nior girls’ din­ing hall that used to go down to the kitchen.

“When the house was moved Tony Fin­lay built a stair­case there and in­stead of go­ing up to the din­ing hall, it goes down to wine cel­lar. It looks mar­vel­lous. It was fan­tas­tic for par­ties, fan­tas­tic for Hal­loween.”

With the girls now mov­ing on to ter­tiary study, the fam­ily has de­cided to put the ram­bling More­ton up for sale. It is be­ing mar­keted by Will Ber­telsen of Ray White South Brisbane, and is go­ing to auc­tion at noon on De­cem­ber 13.

There are 16 rooms, of which six are bed­rooms and three bath­rooms. The property also has four car spa­ces, an ad­di­tional stand-alone pav­il­ion; a flood­lit full-sized ten­nis court and an in­ground pool. “Now I think it’s some­one else’s turn for their kids to be happy i in this coun­try es­tate,” Ms

Maleck­yMalec said.

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