The Courier-Mail



DARREN Lockyer made his first trip to Queensland’s Government House this week and was greeted like a visiting ambassador. And indeed he was. The rugby league legend is the official ambassador for Brisbane Open House, an annual event inviting you inside many historical and architectu­rally significan­t buildings not normally open to the public.

“I have jogged past Government House before and seen the Governor go past in the black limo with the royal crown on the numberplat­e,” Lockyer said.

“But I haven’t been in Government House before.”

Lockie was “blown away” with what he saw: a treasure trove of art and antique furniture in large stately rooms with handsome, cedar-panelled walls fit for royalty.

“It’s a pretty special place,” he said.

“It feels like a slice of Britain has landed in Brisbane.”

He was especially impressed with the fireplaces and the detail of the carpentry.

Lockie was speaking under the glare of Sir William Dargie’s mesmerisin­g portrait of Queen Elizabeth II painted in 1954.

Ambassador Lockyer signed the visitors book and was taken on a guided tour by Governor Paul de Jersey, who showed him the rooms that will be open to the public for Brisbane Open House on Saturday, October 10.

De Jersey formally launched Brisbane Open House at a heritage building at Roma Street railway station that was designed by colonial architect FDG Stanley and built in 1875.

Lockyer said there would be 100 buildings, heritage tours and other activities on offer on Brisbane Open House weekend on Saturday and Sunday October 10 and 11.

Stunning new buildings worth visiting include the Transition­al Research Institute at Woolloonga­bba, The Oral Health Centre at Herston and D House at New Farm. And don’t miss the opportunit­y to visit innercity landmarks such as the Masonic Memorial Temple, Tattersall’s Club, St Stephens’s Chapel and St John Cathedral.


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