Now part of The Kings School and used by the Preparatory School, Gowan Brae was built as the home of James Burns. James and Mary Burns lived here commanding a view over Parramatta and reigning over his trading empire that he had built in partnership with Mr Philp who managed their North Queensland operations. Regarded by many in Australia as a generous philanthropist, Burns had initiated the creation of a model "Scottish" village which he suggested be called "Burnside" for the express purpose of housing orphans in high quality circumstances. The Burnside Homes were conducted as orphanages by the Presbyterian Church, which received sponsorhip from many businesses and families. However in the South Pacific, Burns reputation is less honorable as many associate the Burns Philp trading empire with the exploitation of land and people through their considerable plantation enterprise. One Papuan islander, for example, was known as "Bottle" for he had given Burns' agent land for a copra plantation in return for an empty bottle.
Very beautiful house, nicely composed, Ian! Thanks for the interesting story. Greetings, May
This is in the neighbourhood where I currently live, May. In fact the house provided for the orginal "secretary" (today = CEO) of the orphans' village, and built in 1912-13, is the house in which we live. The last of the orphanages that was built in 1930, financed from a bequethal of James Burns, is now used as a training centre by Alan Walker College of which I am the principal. So I live and work in former Burnside properties. The one photographed above is 600m away, across the road and up the hill.
Thank you Ian, for telling me. You live in a wonderful surrounding. It's great to live and work in the same place. I've had a look at google and found some links to the college.
Dear Ian, what a wonderful photo of Gowan Brae, I am doing a presentation for the Granville Historical Society we are a non profit group would you give me permission to use your photo for a presentation on the Contribution of Scottish people to NSW, it will be shown to schools, community groups, Probus, Rotary, historical and family history societies I will acknowledge your name and date of photo. Kind regards June Bullivant
Thanks for the request for permission to use the Gowan Brae photo. I appreciate what you wish to do and happily agree to your use of the photo for your purposes outlined. Thanks for the appropriate acknowledgement.
I trust your presentations go well.
And thanks for respecting copyright ethics.
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Photo taken in The King's School, North Parramatta NSW 2151, Australia
Misplaced? Suggest new location