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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Osborne

Anzac Cottage

On arrival at the neat cottage, on a suburban street, we were greeted by Anne, the granddaughter of the cottage's first resident, Private John Porter, 11 Battalion, the first returned soldier from Gallipoli to live in Mt. Hawthorn. But first to the back garden for morning tea -Sally's scones, with jam, cream and tea and coffee supplied served by Anne and her husband, Norm. As we headed inside to the lounge, we admired the original tin pressed ceilings; regrettably the original open fireplace surrounds and mantles had been removed. Anne regaled us with the history of the house; how 27 drays of building materials travelled out from the city; of the tradesmen and labourers who volunteered and built the brick and iron cottage to 'lock up' stage in one day. Because of the wording of the original lease agreement signed between the Mt. Hawthorn Progress Association and Mr Porter, after his death there was difficulty in ascertaining the legal position as the Association no longer existed. The tenancy went to Mr Porter's brother, who sublet the house and over time it fell into disrepair, eventually being taken over by the Vietnam Veterans Association who restored and renovated the cottage to its almost original condition. The cottage is now owned by the City of Vincent. After Anne's talk there was time to ask questions, wander through the cottage and gardens before we headed to Bayswater Tavern for lunch. If you're driving in the vicinity of the Tavern, it's well worth a detour down Railway Parade to see the mural on the wall beside the railway line

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