March 14 - 20, 2021: Issue 487


Florence mary Taylor: First Woman to Fly in Australia, First Female Australian Architect, engineer - a women's champion

Florence Mary Taylor, no date. Photo by Dorothy Welding. Item a1382002h, Courtesy State Library of New South Wales

The first successful heavier-than-air flight in Australia occurred at Narrabeen Beach on Monday the 5th of December of 1909 and was taken by George Augustine Taylor. This also constituted the first woman to fly in Australia when his wife, Florence Mary, also had a flight. Over one hundred spectators and media gathered to witness the flight.

The craft Taylor had built was a biplane glider. Constructed from coachwood and covered in oiled calico, with a box-kite tail for balance, the glider had a width of over twenty feet. 

They chose a launch area atop the dunes at the north end of the beach and pulled the tethered kite until it ‘nosed’ up into the winds and Mr Taylor called for these lines to be released. He manoeuvred the glider by shifting his weight.

Sources vary but most state that there were between 20-29 flights that day, made in 10-15 knot winds, that reached anywhere from 100 to 250 metres. Flights were made not only by George and Florence Taylor, but also by Edward Hallstrom (later Sir Edward Hallstrom), and Charles and Emma Schultz, who hosted the group at their weekender home, 'Billabong' on the Narrabeen Lagoon, which was then close to present day Birdwood Park.

Reporting on Taylor’s triumphant flight, Aviation journalist, Jack Percival, wrote in The Sydney Morning;

 "At 'let go' the wind immediately lifted the machine to the full length of the guide ropes and dragged the operators so fast that two let go; the machine now soared towards the ocean, and at the water's edge the remaining guide ropes were loosened, the machine making a leap upwards. Mr Taylor by careful manoeuvring, kept the machine well under control".

The original report in full:


On Sunday last Mr. George Taylor, secretary of the Aerial League, took a biplane, 18ft long, with 4ft planes, and box-kite tail balance, to Narrabeen. The trials at gliding were held, Mr. Taylor himself acting as demonstrator.

The scene of the flights was at Narrabeen Heads, in the presence of about one hundred visitors, the wide stretch of sand rendering any possible fall a matter of some safety.

At the beginning of the experiments the wind came from the south-east at 10 miles an hour. The machine was carried to a sand knoll, and brought face on to the wind. Messrs. Schultz, Le Clerc, and Gibbons, of Narrabeen, required all their strength to hold it down. For the preliminary flights the corners were held by guide ropes 15ft in length to prevent the machine from getting out of control before the experimenter was properly tuned to automatic balancing.

At the signal to let go the machine was well lifted by the wind, and by careful manipulation on the part of Mr. Taylor it shot towards the ocean 98 yards away in a series of curves from 3ft to 15ft above the ground, dragging its guides, who, however, pulled it to the ground at the water's edge.

Twenty-nine successful flights were made by Mr. Taylor and Mr. Halstrom, an enthusiastic member of the Aerial League.

As the afternoon wore on the flights improved on account of the wind freshening to 15 miles an hour, and coming directly from the east so much so that the last flight of the day was notable. 

At "let go" the wind immediately lifted the machine to the full length of the guide ropes, and dragged the operators so fast to the ocean that two let go; the machine now soared towards the ocean, and at the water's edge the remaining guide ropes were loosened, the machine making a leap upwards. Mr. Taylor by careful manoeuvring, kept the machine well under control, and dived it in the sea some little distance from the heads.

The machine will be fitted with steering gear and other improvements for further flights.

Mr. Taylor's monoplane is now having its powerful engine fitted to it at Gibson and Son's motor works at Balmain, and he hopes to have it in the air during Christmas week. If the flights are as successful as anticipated the machine will be placed at the disposal of the military authorities during the Kitchener camp and review. GLIDING AT NARRABEEN. (1909, December 7 - Tuesday). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 3. Retrieved from 

Above and below: 'George Taylor flying at Narrabeen', N.S.W., 1909. Courtesy National Library of Australia. Pictures nla.pic-an24152661 and nla.pic-an24152644

The Aerial League of Australia was formed in Sydney in May of 1909 and founded by George Augustine Taylor (1872-1928). 

Aerial League.
With the object of forming a body called the Aerial League of Australia, a 'number of enthusiasts met at the Australia Hotel, Sydney. Much enthusiasm prevailed, and close on 30 members were nominated. Mr. Laurence Hargrave, who was voted to the chair, gave a short address dealing with the object of the. meeting. Mr. George A. Taylor, in proposing the formation of the Aerial League, said that the conquest of the air placed the world on the verge of a remarkable revolution in civil and commercial condition. The Aerial League was necessary for many reasons. Australia held no mean position in the world to-day, and aerial engineering from a commercial point of view would be an important factor. Major Rosenthal, in seconding the proposition, pointed out that the Imperial authorities had practically told them that Australia had to look for protection from the sea attack, but when one began to realise the progress made towards perfecting the airship a graver danger came into view. He was hi charge of the howitzer section of the Australian Field Artillery, and he had noted that Great Britain was experimenting with 4.7 guns to shot 10,000 yards for opposing aerial invasion. This type of howitzer would no doubt 'be eventually adopted by Great Britain, and he hoped to see a brigade ( including eight guns) sent to Australia. There was no reason why Australia should not make arrangements for encouraging the aerial movement. The motion was carried unanimously. A provisional committee was formed to draft rules and a working programme, to be submitted to general meeting. Aerial League (1909, May 7). Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (NSW : 1896 - 1938), p. 32. Retrieved from 

The following officers were elected at a meeting of the Aerial League of Australia, held at the Hotel Australia, Sydney, on Wednesday afternoon: — Patron. Earl Dudley; president, Alderman Allen Taylor (Lord Mayor of Sydney); vice-presidents. Commander Brownlow, Lieutenant-Colonel Holmes, D.S.O., and Messrs. J. W. Turner, G. M. Merivale, and L. Hargrave; hon. auditor, Mr. Frank Taylor; hon. treasurer, Major Charles Rosenthal; hon. secretary, Mr. George A. Taylor. It was stated that over 200 nominations for membership are now in hand. Private offers of prizes for aerial flights have already been received, and the attitude of the Federal Government regarding a subsidy for Australian aeronautical research for defence purposes, will be watched with interest. AUSTRALIAN AERIAL LEAGUE. (1909, May 20). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), , p. 8. Retrieved from 

Taylor opened an aeroplane factory in Surry Hills in September of 1909, constructing kites for military purposes, experimenting with a powered monoplane and human-carrying gliders. He warned of an approaching need and persisted in trying to develop planes in Australia:

The first aeroplane factory established in the southern hemisphere has been started in Sydney. The works are situated in Surry Hills. and consist, of a two-storied building, sufficiently large to allow many full-sized aeroplanes and war kites to be constructed. Eight war kites are now being built, and a large aeroplane is ready to be assembled. Following on the foot-steps of the British authorities, the Sydney factory is paying a lot of attention to war kites.' These models, which are now nearly built, are an improvement of the British productions. The defect in the latter, as in most large kites, was that they required a very strong wind to lift them. With the local variety, however, this, it is claimed, has been got over, owing to simpler construction and modified ideas- all of which will tend to perfect this type of flying machine.

Mr. George A. Taylor, Secretary of the Aerial League, said that the possibilities of the man-lifting kite have not yet been fully realised. He considered that the war kite-simple to build, cheap, and compact, can be more easily transported in the field of operations. For a place like Australia, he contended, with her wide unpopulated areas and lack of communication, and with lonely scattered defences- war kites, especially if fitted with wireless telegraphy, will be preferable to torpedoes, Dreadnoughts, or aeroplanes. This type of flying machine possesses advantages over military balloons, Mr. Taylor thinks, as any variety of the latter is difficult to transport, if not impossible, owing to the cost of gas. cylinders, and expense of up-keep. The model, which looked enormous, was shaped somewhat like the wings of a bird. The arms on each side measured 15ft., or 30ft. across from tip to tip. Below these wing-like planes is another smaller pair, the height from the lower to the upper set being 10ft. This new war kite showed that wonderful thought has been expended, with a view of obviating wind resistance and vacuums, which in all air vessels is one of the greatest difficulties to overcome. Unlike other models produced in England and the Continent, the Sydney varieties have the planes curved upward, so as to give a lifting power of their own.

A frame of a full-sized aeroplane is only awaiting its engine from Melbourne before being tested with other war kites at the aviation display to be held late this month. An interesting feature of the latter demonstration will be the installation of wireless telegraphy. Some of the kites to be flown will be supplied with this method of communication, and will prove no doubt of interest, seeing that the coming military manoeuvres are near at hand. Mr. Taylor, in exposing some of the material ready to be adopted in his kites and aeroplanes, said that the possibilities of wireless telegraphy should especially appeal to Australia, as it will be the means of bridging silent spaces in a way hitherto impossible.

''We will have 50 aeroplanes in use by the Government within the next few years. War kites-they will be in common use, and wireless telegraphy will be fitted to them. Had the Waratah been fitted with wireless telegraphy her messages could have been received by war kites over many times the distance that would have been possible with an ordinary receiving station. That shows you the great possibilities of these handy reliable, and cheaply-made methods of flight." AEROPLANE FACTORY. (1909, October 7). Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 - 1915), p. 8. Retrieved from 

At a meeting convened by aerial enthusiasts, an Aerial Experimental Section of the British Science Guild was formed. Mr George A Taylor, who was elected president, recounted the difficulties that Australian inventors had experienced in securing adequate acknowledgment of their endeavours, especially in wireless and aeronautics.

Among the proposed activities of the section were the building of a motorless aeroplane, a competition for models and a demonstration by Messrs. MacFarlane and Daniell who are constructing a full sized machine. The following officers were elected President Mr G A Taylor, vice presidents P. H. Vyner and W Hart, Committee; Messrs V J Hart, J Robertson, N E Marshall A P Hall jun G T Macfarlane F H Daniell E A Hand and E Halstrom hon secretary and treasurer, Mr. Fred PasseyAERIAL EXPERIMENTS. (1923, April 18).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 13. Retrieved from 

Almost two decades later Florence would recall these flights went on until the gliders they were made in were 'lost at sea':

Christmas in Many Lands
: — Happy Recollections Of Sydney Women PARIS, SAMOA, MARSEILLES, NARRABEEN

The early days or Aviation in Australia are connected with Christmas in the memory of Mrs. Florence Taylor: —"The gladdest Christmas in my life —and they were all too glad to relegate one behind another — was spent at Narrabeen, when husband, aviation bent, practiced gliding on Narrabeen shore. The boy-enthusiasts came practically every Saturday— all uninvited, and those who could not afford the 'bus fare (trams were not running in those days), walked seven miles there and back to Manly. Mrs. Schultz turned her grounds into hangars, and entertained us all weekly. Friendships among the gliding enthusiasts grew. By 9 or 10 on Christmas evening a hundred visitors and neighbors revelled in the freedom and gaiety that friendship alone can bestow. This happened for about ten years, until the gliders, lost at sea, no longer attracted the enthusiasts, who started to thin out." Christmas in Many Lands (1928, December 23). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 35. Retrieved from 

Florence Mary Taylor  CBE (née Parsons; 29 December 29th 1879, – February 13th, 1969) was the first qualified female Architect in Australia, although not the first registered with the Architects Institute in Australia. 

Born in Bedminster, Somerset to John Parsons, a labourer, and Eliza, née Brooks, Florence was the sixth of eight children of the couple. The family migrated to Rockhampton via the immigrant ship Ravenscraig, landing in April 1883 but relocated to Sydney in 1884. Her father worked “a draughtsman and utility clerk” with Parramatta Council and later as an Inspector of works in the sewerage construction branch of the Department of Public Works. Florence apparently assisted her father with his engineering calculations.  

Her mother died in June 1896:

PARSONS.— The Friends of Mr. JOHN PARSONS are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of his late beloved wife, Eliza; to move from his residence, 18 Australia-st., Newtown, THIS (FRIDAY) AFTERNOON. at 2 o'clock, for Necropolis. F. W. HART LEY, Undertaker, 301 King-st., Newtown. Family Notices (1896, June 5). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 8. Retrieved from

In 1899 her father also died and Florence found herself penniless and with younger sisters Annis and Jane, born in Sydney, to support:

Until my father died when I was 19 I was the most indolent little person in the world. I did nothing: just loafed and enjoyed myself. Then I suddenly found I had to earn a living. And it put a mettle in me that I didn’t have (Sun Herald 1/6/61).

Florence commenced clerical work at a Parramatta architectural and engineering firm and acquaintance of her father, Frederick Stowe. Noticing that draftsmen received a higher scale of pay, she decided to obtain the qualification and enrolled in evening classes at Sydney Technical College - the only female in the class. Between 1900 and 1902 she was apprenticed to the office of Sydney architect Edmund Garton, where she was allocated the less interesting menial tasks. She completed her studies in 1904, the first woman to complete final year studies in the architecture school, although she did not receive a diploma. Florence also attended lectures in architecture at the University of Sydney and studied at Frederick Stowe’s Sydney Marine Engineer’s College.

Soon after 1904 she transferred to the office of John Burcham Clamp where she apparently reached the status of chief draftsman and states, in interviews for biographies, she was offered partnership (which she turned down)Mr. Clamp nominated her in 1907 for associate membership of the Institute of Architects of New South Wales. Despite his defence of her talent (she 'could design a place while an ordinary draftsman would be sharpening his pencil'), the nomination was defeated. The 'black-balling' and comments made at the time, seemed to turn her off working as an Architect. 

Despite that, in 1907 she worked with her employer John Burcham Clamp on the basement of the Farmers Department store in Pitt Street Sydney, perhaps the first example of a woman contributing to commercial architectural design in Sydney. Also in 1907 she provided a perspective drawing for the winning competition entry for the Commercial Traveller's Building in Sydney (which was demolished to make way for the MLC Centre in the 1970s). Again in 1907 she won prizes in several architectural design sections of the "First Australian Exhibition of Women's Work" in Melbourne in 1907. Her winning design for a kitchen was published in the NSW Institute of Architects' journal in November 1907, along with misogynistic comments;

''Much of the work in the Fine Art and Applied Art sections at the recent Sydney exhibition [of women’s work] would have been simply ludicrous, if it were not saddening to think of the many wasted hours, the misapplied energy, and the unprofitable labour required to produce even these hopeless, worthless results.

The inability to distinguish between the good and the bad is more marked among women than among men, and so is that defiant self-satisfaction, that ignorant egotism, which forever bars the door to knowledge...The worst of it is that the making of a bad artist involves the loss of, perhaps, a passable cook or a decent dressmaker ...''

Florence would later republish this design:

'Designed 25 Years Ago by Florence M. Taylor, Architect

This kitchen was awarded a prize in the Women's Exhibition, Melbourne. Mrs. Taylor introduced a window to the kitchen alcove, ensuring light and a get-away for cooking odours and preserving the kitchen as- a clean and wholesome room. Such an atmosphere in a room where food is prepared is an absolute necessity, so many house wives feel that walls, ceiling and woodwork should be white. A, gainst this background, no speck of dirt' can lurk unobserved, besides which the' effect of white on the mind is one of freshness and purity. On the other hand, blue walls have been advocated,  particularly in Australia, because the colour helps to rid the room of flies which are said to have a particular antipathy to blue. A WHITE KITCHEN (1930, July 16). Construction and Local Government Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1930), p. 12. Retrieved from

The republication of this work preluded a determined Florence weariness with women being excluded from where they had earned a right to be. In a 1931 newspaper article Taylor described being excluded from the Institute’s dinners until she threatened to issue a Writ of Mandamus, legally enforcing her right to attend. She was admitted, and took her friend (an ex-Premier’s wife) to the first dinner, where they were humiliatingly seated “at the foot of a very long table with their backs to the speakers.” This insult was partly alleviated by the gallantry of “Professor Warren (Dean of the Faculty of Engineering) [who] asked somebody else to occupy his seat at the top table, and joined them” - Leader Orange, September 4th, 1931:

Early Struggles. 

Talking of "Pioneers," at the Women Writers' luncheon at David Jones' on Wednesday (Mrs. Liddell in the chair), Mrs. Florence Taylor talked of her pioneering experiences in architecture, engineering and kindred sciences. Her father, a responsible officer in the Public Works department, left a large family. They lived at Parramatta, where living was wonderfully cheap, some 30 years ago. Their rent was six shillings. Vegetables could only be bought at an auction market. Young Florence Parsons never could understand what the auctioneer said, but she would put up her finger and acquire four pounds of butter or ten pounds of pumpkin for a song. 

Then they moved into town and took rooms (which would now be called a flat), in Elizabeth Street. One sister was apprenticed to a milliner, at 2/6 a week, another to a photographer at 5/. Florence was earning 15/ in an architects office. A young man was earning 30/ (the top salary) in the same office, and she said, ''I could do that''.  So she want to classes at the Technical College, and Studied early and late.

Stony stares were the worst treatment she received from the men. One lecturer (named Roberts) had the courage to visit the front row, where she (the only woman) sat. The students made up a riddle, "Why Is Mr. Roberts Lord Roberts?'' "Because he is always at the front." 

One of her Instructors, Mr. Cyril Blacket, remains a life-long friend, and now at the age of 82, writes to her every week.

Woman Architect. 

When Mrs. Taylor was articled to Mr. Edward Garton, (now Director of  Works at Rabaul) and used to ask young men colleagues such questions as "Why do you call that three storied building  cottage'' or "Why is it called an attic base at the foot of a classic column ?" their Invariable reply would be, "Find out." Unintentionally, they did her a great service, for the research work involved was very beneficial. 

After a great many preliminaries, Mrs. Taylor was made a member of the Institute of Architects, but was not allowed to attend the dinners. She threatened to Issue a writ of mandamus, and was then admitted. She took Mrs. Holman to the first dinner. The ladies were placed at the front of a long table with their backs to the speakers. Professor Warren (Dean of the Faculty of Engineering),asked someone else to occupy his seat at the top table, and joined them. 

Mrs. Taylor, although a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales, Is still not allowed to attend their dinners. 

Her first responsible position was chief draftsman in the office of the late Mr J Burcham Clamp, and she had a large private practice. On one occasion an owner's brother-in-law was stepping over the rafters of a house la bun. when he met a young lady stepping towards him. "Would you like to go over the house?" he asked her

"Would you?" she replied. He was talking to the architect.  

Sydney Social Side (1931, September 4). Leader (Orange, NSW : 1899 - 1945), p. 4. Retrieved from


Mrs. Florence Taylor asks as correct the statement that she is a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales, made in our Sydney social letter recently. In addressing the Society of Women Writers on the subject of "Pioneers," Mrs. Taylor remarked that for the annual meeting of the Royal Society, she received an invitation as editor of the Australasian Engineer, but as a woman she was not permitted to go. PERSONAL. (1931, September 14). Leader (Orange, NSW : 1899 - 1945), p. 2. Retrieved from

Despite the 'boys club' and 'men only' mentality that predominated, and persists, Florence succeeded in her chosen fields. Her second-prize winning design for a seaside cottage waited another 50 years before being published in one of her own journals, Construction, on December 24th 1958. Further research by scholars has uncovered houses probably designed by Taylor at 12 Florence Street, Cremorne, Hogue House on Kareela Road, Cremorne, and a house built in the 1920s for her sister Annis on Thomas Street, Roseville on land Annis bought in 1923. One thesis managed to track down a by then elderly neighbour who recalled Florence and Annis hosting lunches there during the 1920's on the front verandah with 'long white cloths on tables and red wine from green bottles', and 'ladies and men who strolled around the gardens'. This was, apparently, their 'bush retreat' or weekender.

Other interviews with newspapers state she was commissioned to design between 50-100 homes in Mosman, Neutral Bay and Darling Point for developer Alfred Saunders. 

In April 1907 she married Sydney-born  Artist, Inventor, Craftworker, Cartoonist and Bohemian George Augustine Taylor at St Stephen's Presbyterian Church in Sydney. George had lectured at her college and was a close friend of her first employer Francis Ernest Stowe. 

They were both passionate about architecture and town planning, and so, within a few months of their wedding they established a publishing company, Building Publishing Co. Ltd that specialised in building industry journals, spearheaded by Building magazine, three of which Florence edited: HarmonyYoung Australia and the Australian (later Commonwealth) Home. Their publishing gave them an opportunity not only to influence construction methods and materials but to focus on the need for urban planning. They were able to capture the attention of the government and the public and in so doing were influential in promoting the interests of Engineers, Architects, and Builders. For example, the Taylors organised support for Walter Burley Griffin's designs for Canberra through a petition of professionals.

Marion Mahony Griffin, his wife, an American born Architect and Artist, is one of the first licensed female architects in the world. Marion graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in 1894 and was the second woman to do so, after Sophia Hayden, the designer of the Woman's building at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition. Mahony and Griffin married in 1911, a partnership that lasted 26 years. Mahony's watercolour perspectives of Griffins' design for Canberra, the new Australian capital, were instrumental in securing first prize in the international competition for the plan of the city. In 1914 the couple moved to Australia to oversee the building of Canberra. Mahony managed the Sydney office and was responsible for the design of their private commissions. In Australia, Mahony and Griffin were introduced to Anthroposophy and the ideas of Rudolf Steiner which they embraced enthusiastically, and in Sydney they joined the Anthroposophy Society. In Australia, they pioneered the Knitlock construction method, inexactly emulated by Wright in his California textile block houses of the 1920s. Walter was invited to design a library for the University of Lucknow in India, and travelled there in September 1935, soon gaining numerous other commissions. Marion arrived in April 1936, and took charge of the office, where she oversaw the design of many buildings. Less than a year later, in February 1937, Walter died of peritonitis following a cholecystectomy. Mahony closed the office, leaving many projects unbuilt, and returned to Australia. Many scholars credit her as being one of the few early women Architects that practiced as such throughout their careers.

Canberra plan submitted to the Canberra design competition by Walter Burley Griffin "View from the summit of Mount Ainslie". Held at the National Archives of Australia

For some years following their marriage the Taylors lived in 'Blair Athol' at 6 Bannerman Street, Cremorne, in a house designed by the innovative architect, Henry Austin Wilshire, although in one 1907 interview Florence states her family, her mother and sisters, lives in a home designed by herself. The name stems from a Scotch Gaelic place-name Blair, from blàr, 'field, plain', refers to this location and Atholl, which means 'new Ireland', from the archaic Ath Fhodla is the name of the surrounding district.

The home in Bannerman Street was next door to another Wilshire designed home, 'Dalkeith', a heritage-listed property built from 1908 to 1910. Dalkeith was built for Frank Whiddon, Chairman and Managing Director of Whiddon Bros., a wool-scouring business established in 1900 in Botany and acquiring Messrs Johnson's and Vicars' works on the Botany Water Reserve in 1906. The company was formed by him and his brothers Horace and Arthur in 1900 and became a public company in 1910 with authorised capital of A£50,000 in £1,000 shares. Frank was active in the masonic movement and a keen yachtsman and founding member of (Royal) Prince Edward Yacht Club. He married Alice Maude Curnow in 1906. Dalkeith is two storey house of rusticated ashlar sandstone with extensive use of timber shingle cladding to the upper storey. The structure is an example of a Federation Arts and Crafts style house which is representative of the type of residences which typified the early development in the area. It was later used as the Norwegian Seaman's church. 

At Cremorne John Clamp's passion for motor boats and Florence's connection to him turns up in some social records:

Opening of the Cremorne Club's New Rooms.

About 150 residents and others responded to the invitation of the Directors to be present at the opening of the Club's new rooms on Saturday last. The opening ceremony was performed by John Carter, Esq., Mayor of North Sydney, who, in the course of his remarks, expressed his pleasure at being present to open the Rooms, and congratulated the Club upon its success and the patriotism of the shareholders in doing what they had done in erecting such an ornament to the Bay. During the afternoon a small Regatta was held, the contests being watched with considerable interest. In the billiard room, fitted up with one of Alcock's best tables, several exhibition games were played, and Mr. George Taylor gave a number of appropriate lightning sketches, while a first-class band discoursed some excellent music upon the lawn, where afternoon tea was served at 4 o'clock. Mrs. Dr. Arthur distributed the prizes won at the Regatta. 

Amongst those present were :— Mr. John Carter (Mayor of N. Sydney) Mr. P. Leahy (Mayor of Mosman) Dr. and Mrs Arthur Mr. and Mrs. W. Scott Fell Mr. and Mrs. N. R. Smith Mr. and Mrs. MrCansland Mr. and Mrs. Edward Stedman Mr. and Mrs. N. Macdonald Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Roberts Mr. and Mrs. Wild Mr. and Mrs. A. Quigley Mr. and Mrs. Murphy Mr. and Mrs. Mr. and Mrs. Jaques Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Bertie Mr. and Mrs. C. K. Robinson Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Clamp  and Miss Hail Mr. and Mrs. Shaw Mr. and Mrs. T. Creig Mr. and Mrs. L. Graham Mr. and Mrs. Pownall Mr. and Mrs. N. V. Lawes Mr. and Mrs. I, T. Bray Mr. and Mrs. M Pickering Mr. and Mrs. Kilmer MM Mr. and Mrs.  L. Higgs Mr. and Mrs. Charlton Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Barnett Mr. and Mrs. Don Capt. and Mrs. Johnston Mrs. C. H. Pain Mr. W. and Miss Macleod Mr. R. O. Bertie Mr. W. L. Atkins Mr. P. W. Pearson Mr. J. A. Pinnock Miss Finlayson Miss Hefferoan The Officers and Committee of the Motor Boat Club. 

The arrangements were in the hands of a capable committee, who must be congratulated upon the success of the afternoon, Messrs. R. Louat and M. McCausland looked after the Regatta, and Messrs. Clamp, Lawes, Pinnock, Pearson and Bertie attended to the billiard room and lawn requirements, while the Hon. Sec., Mr. N. R Smith, spared no effort to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of the Club's guests. Opening of the Cremorne Club’s New Rooms. (1907, July 13). Mosman, Neutral and Middle Harbour Resident (NSW : 1904 - 1907, 1916 - 1919), p. 6. Retrieved from


The Motor Boat Club brought off a race on Saturday afternoon, the contest being one that was arranged among the members of the committee. The course was from Cremorne to Athol Bight and back three times, and the result was as under:— Mr. ' H. E. Ross's" Saturn 1 Dr. H. S. Hughes's Mln U Min 2 Mr. J.'B. Clamp's Carmen, 3 The other competitors were:— Mr. J. B Holdsworth's Dee and Mr. F. A. "Wiesener's Kylie, . : Saturn' won : from Min U Mln by about 30sec. The prize was a piece of plate. 

The competitors and their friends' were entertained during the afternoon by the Cremorne Club, at whose quarters the boats had rendezvoused. This club has only recently been formed, and represents an effort on the part of the local residents to provide themselves with an up-to-date boat-shed. Having acquired the premises formerly in the occupation of Mrs. Burnside, the  members intend to carry out a number of structural alterations and additions, as a result of which they will not only vastly improve the present appearance of the place, but will also be in possession of a well-appointed club-house and boat shed. Smoking and reading rooms will be provided, and In other respects will this somewhat novel venture have features that are calculated to make it at once a profitable and pleasurable concern. It is not, however, so much with the object of making the shares yield good dividends as of providing accommodation for motor-boats, skiffs, and yachts, that the enterprise has been entered upon. An idea got abroad that the boat-shed would be for the exclusive use of the club, but the general public will have the same opportunity of hiring boats as the members. In the matter of boats, the club Intends to have its new shed well equipped, and orders have already been placed for a number of new rowing skiffs. Mr. J. B. Clamp (chairman), Mr. N. R. Smith (secretary), and Mr. M. C. M'Causland (treasurer) are the executive officers of the club.  MOTOR BOAT CLUB (1907, February 18). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 3 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved from

They then moved to an apartment at 20 Loftus Street, Sydney, where their publishing business was also located. In 1913 they were founding members of the Town Planning Association of New South Wales, and Florence served as its secretary for many years.

Following her husband's sudden death, drowning in his bath associated with an epileptic fit in 1928, Florence maintained their publishing business and while forced to close eight of their eleven journals, she maintained Building (later Building, Lighting and Engineering) (1907–72), Construction (1908-74) and the Australasian Engineer (1915–73), editing them herself and expanding significantly after World War II. She continued to produce town plans and also travelled to Asia, the Americas and Europe bringing back ideas on town planning which informed her writings and speeches. She published a book about her town plans in 1959, authored by her employee J.M. Giles, Fifty years of town planning with Florence M. Taylor. Taylor was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1939 and elevated to a Commander of that order in 1961. She was outspoken, fiercely independent, didn't think much of unions or those who would not strive to do their best.

As seen above, in 1907 Florence applied to become the first female member of the Institute of Architects of New South Wales. However she was not accepted at this time, and later claimed to have been "blackballed" by a groundswell of hostility from the all-male membership who did not wish to admit a woman member - an attitude that prevailed at that time, and so soon after women had been given the right to vote. 

Florence eventually became their first woman to be associate member having “practised as an architect and at present is serving in an advisory capacity to architects as well as assisting in the production of “The Building Magazine”" but it was not until 1920 that she was admitted as a full member. Beatrice May Hutton, who became Queensland's first woman Architect, was accepted as an associate member of the Queensland Institute of Architects in March 1916. 

Florence Taylor, Items a1382002h and a1382004h, top image taken by Dorothy Welding, courtesy the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW


Building is a very new profession for women, there are only two women architects in England. Mrs. Florence Parsons Taylor, who is the bride of Mr. George A. Taylor, the cartoonist, is the sole qualified woman architect in Australia. Five or six women have begun to study the profession in Sydney, but Mrs. Taylor heard of none in Melbourne, which she lately visited in connection with the Women's Exhibition. Some of those who began to study architecture in Sydney have given it up.

Mrs. Taylor struck out in this direction because she was obliged to earn her living, and to support some of her family, and the pay for women's work seemed to be so small in other directions. "One of my sisters went to a studio and earned 7s 6d a week, and another was in a large stationer's getting 82s 6d. You know that sort of thing does not keep a family together."

"And does architecture pay?"

"I have mothered and fathered my young sisters, given them a good education, and acquired a home for the family out of it."

"The reason I have done so well," Mrs. Taylor modestly adds, "is that there are so few women taking up the profession. Type-writers, when they were a novelty, could earn £5 a week, but that rate is seldom paid now.

"There Is plenty of opposition to be faced. The older men in business have been very kind to me, but the young men who were studying when I was resented a woman going in for architecture. 'Taking bread out of men's mouths' they called it. I said to them once, 'Haven't I a mouth, and haven't my sisters?' "

"What new developments are taking place in building?"

"There is very little that is new that is worth commenting upon. Master minds have for years past fixed all their attention on the subject, and don't you think we should do better to study the results of their brain, and try to learn from them, than to be incessantly " endeavouring to find something new? The ordinary dwelling-place must be built as new; there can be little improvement. There are some general rules that should be followed: The bedroom should face east, and the sitting rooms north and south. People are surprised when they see the house I have built for myself to find the laundry is on the corner of the land. I put it there because I wanted the sitting rooms and verandahs to face north and south. In this way we got a breeze right through the house, and our bedrooms get the morning sun."

"Surely there are some changes that have to be made from the old style, owing to this climate?"

"Houses are adapted to the climate in many cases. You don't see in England (where I was born) verandahs or balconies round the houses. The steep-pitched roofs are used here, though, and are a great mistake. There is no snow or hail to throw off, so they are quite unnecessary."

"Do you like cosy corners?"

"Yes, I often put them. Bay windows? Yes, they look very well."

Mrs. Taylor has not found many people asking for the new fireplaces (built at a height from the ground) that are now seen in every second house in Melbourne. People who build do not care much for suggestions that involve expense, as new ideas always do,

"House-building is very expensive, and it is going to cost still more. Some houses are cheaply built, but they are not fit to live in. I wouldn't build that kind of house. An architect receives 5 per cent, on the outlay if she supervises all the work, and 2 percent if she merely draws up the plans." 

" you become known?"

"Only through my work. It is against etiquette for an architect, as it is for a doctor, to advertise. Very silly, I think. The kind of houses I build range from £600 to £1500 mostly."

"And you have done well at them?"

"As I told you, I have reared a family on the proceeds." A PAGE FOR WOMEN (1907, December 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 


Mrs. Florence Taylor, who had the distinction of being the first woman to be elected to the Institute of Architects, has now the honour of being the first woman to be ap-pointed to office on the Town Planning Association. She has been elected vice-president, and is the only woman in Australia who has become prominent in LU work.

Mrs. Taylor served her articles under Architect Edward S Garton, and worked as chief draftsman in the offices of some of Sydney's most prominent architects before herself practising as an architect She holds certificates from the 'University of Sydney and the Sydney Technical College covering geometry, free-hand drawing, perspective drawing, architectural drawing, building construction, and quantity surveying. She is a member of the Society of Architects, London, as well as of the Institute of New South Wales. MRS. FLORENCE TAYLOR. (1922, February 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

Her legacy as a town planner is more extensive as many of the ideas she advocated for Sydney have come to fruition in recent decades including a harbour tunnel crossing, an eastern suburbs distributor freeway, the construction of "double-decker streets" such as the Victoria Street overpass across William Street at Kings Cross, increased building of apartments especially in harbourside localities such as Woolloomooloo and North Sydney, more flexible mixed-use zoning (including longer shopping hours), making Sydney more attractive for tourism and the need to conserve and plant trees. Other ideas have proved unpopular or incorrect, such as her desire to demolish Hyde Park Barracks or build heliports in the CBD and her contention that the Sydney Opera House would be a white elephant. 

Florence remained  closely involved in the Arts Club, (Royal) Aero Club of New South Wales, Society of Women Writers, the New South Wales branch of the Australian Forest League, Australian-American Association, Royal Empire Society, and the Bush Book Club. Her fellow members of these clubs had connections and holiday homes throughout Pittwater.

More than these it is her work in publishing, and these journals being available for reading still, that marks her impact on the great 'building of where we live' in her own time and since. If her passion for these subjects had not prevailed over such a long term, and remained meticulous in providing verbatim what was to be recorded from such bodies as the Town Planning Association (annual reports), the Masters Builders' Association (reports) 'Construction' (listing 'opportunities' showing what was being built where and by whom as well as images and details of buildings completed), among others, and when these Australian bodies were forming and finding their own uniquely Australian voice, charting where we came from and how we thought, and how this has helped shape where we are and how we live, and even how we expressed this, even in dry report form, would not be available.

For that body of work alone, and as a resource, Florence's decades of finding and communicating ways and means of how to do it better, a persistent theme, gave to New South Wales and the nation, as well as women, an articulation of that characteristic which persists in everything from 'have a go' to 'getting on with it', perhaps inherited themes of British origin, but when applied by Australians to their own lives, a 'motto' through which seemingly unsurmountable barriers fall.

Florence was anti-union (they were anti-women in the sense that they would fight to improve the ages and conditions of men but had an attitude that working women could be paid less for the same work and were only 'filling in time' until they married), was anti-'poor me', anti-'vilify the rich', and, despite experiencing gender prejudice in her own life, was not an outspoken feminist except when it suited or when championing other womens' works in all professions. Florence simply thought that as she was taking on a 'man's job' she would approach it as a man did which to her meant striving to do more and do it better than any man could. For decades she quietly 'got on with it', and you would suspect, from her voice, probably smiled behind her hand at those who treated her badly based on her gender. Her words, only still available because she ran her publishing empire, did not hesitate to point out that women were employed or succeeded in one capacity or field because they did it better and she would put that on record where others would deny this, downplay it, or steal the credit for themselves. Florence, in fact, displayed many of the inherited prejudices of her time herself - and these were, in fact, published.

An excerpt from one 1933 address she made says;

There is a feeling among women that there is a sex prejudice. But to my mind, the only thing that keep a woman back is .her own limitations, just as they keep a man back. I have heard people say that the bulk of the money in America is held by twelve millionaires, and that such a state of affairs should not be permitted to exist. I wonder at the mentality and nature of anyone who can think in this way. Why shouldn't twelve men have the bulk of the money in America if they have the ingenuity and enterprise to get it? If all the money in America were split up evenly among the populace to-day, the same twelve men having more ingenuity than the rest would promptly get it again. 

Those who go forward have a different urge in life to those content to sit back and take things as they come. If you were to give twelve men twelve similar allotments of land, they would get twelve different results. Some would go out as failures and others would make good, or one might even acquire the lot. Further, millionaires can't make vast sums without employing labour, nor can they disperse it after it has been obtained without employing labour. They employ hundreds, thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of people- and therefore aren't they better as benefactors to the race than that vast army of people who know not how to rise? There is nothing to stop 112 or even 1,000,012 men or women being in the same positions as those twelve millionaires. 

We are all masters' of our fates.

During the same address she states:

Everything in nature is different, plant life varies from seaweed to cedars; animal life from white ants to white elephants, and in human life from the aboriginal of Australia —the lowest type of man, anthropologically speaking—to an Apollo Belvedere. 

Her attitude towards our original custodians, and all other people who aren't anglo-saxon, is at odds with her attack on the 'white Austraia policy' after World War Two.

This small biography, great for the number of images it contains, also outlines some of this work - importantly, that she published these professional journals even if she was, at times, excluded from them, a kind of 'foot-servant' - one who could choose or serve the dishes but not sit at the table:


MRS. FLORENCE MARY TAYLOR, O.B.E., A.R.A.I.A., ! L.R.I.B.A., A.I. Struct. E, (Lond.); was the first woman architect and structural engineer in  Australia. Forty years ago she gained her certificates for architecture, building construction, and ! quantity surveying, and began a career on which she has based a diversity of activities i that have won her fame and r affection among women throughout Australia. Born December 29, 1879, at Bristol, England, she came to Australia when four years old. ,v-When she was 19 her father died, leaving her to provide for her two younger sisters. - To do this adequately she studied to be an architect, and became the pioneer for women in this profession. Before she was 26 she was responsible for building about 100 residences in Mosman, Neutral Bay, and Darling Point areas

World's Only Woman Technical Publisher 

She is publisher of well-known periodicals, journalist, town-planner, worker for the arts. She is editor and proprietor of the periodicals "Building and Engineering'' (the official journal of the Master Builders' Association), Australasian Engineer" (official journal of the Local Government Engineers), and "Construction''. Also managing director of Building Publishing Co., which produces them. In no other part of the world is a woman conducting a business solely concerned with the publication of technical knowledge. With the exception of one woman architect, Mrs. Taylor's subscribers are all men. So keen is Mrs. Taylor's interest in her work she lives on her business premises, at 20 Loftus Street, Sydney. -

Her library is her office. She works surrounded by a faceless collection of technical books. In 1907 she married George Taylor, architect, engineer, and journalist. Since her husband's death, 17 years ago, she has run the publications and printery. She was probably the first woman glider in Australia, making a flight from the Narrabeen sandhills in 1908. With her husband, she founded the Town Planning Association" about. 27 years ago, and is a life member; of the association. With the late Sir John Sulman she represented the Institute of Architects at a conference at the Royal British Institute at Oxford in 1924. ....

Mrs. Taylor 40 years ago at the beginning of her career. Continued her career after marriage, but was never too to motor with her sister. Crossing Atlantic in 1924 with Doug. Fairbanks, Mary Pickford. While in England to attend conference of architects she was presented at Court in 1924. Three years before this experimental flight in England in 1911 she had glided over Narrabeen. Mrs. Taylor, on the right of Lady de Chair (centre back), founded the Arts Club in 1928. Included are Ladies Allen, Taylor, Murdoch, Cook and Lyne. Congratulating New Guardsman de Groot on severing ribbon before then Premier Lang at Sydney Harbor Bridge opening, 1932. Responding to congratulations at a reception in June, 1939, on her award of O.B.E.  Mrs. Taylor supervises work in her printing establishment.  This year, with Mr. F. Hood, she submitted plans for a cultural centre in the Domain. Florence Taylor as she is today—efficient business executive, professional woman philanthropist,  musical, literary, and... spheres;' FLORENCE TAYLOR, OUR FIRST WOMAN ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER (1945, August 2). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from 

In 1930, Taylor also established the George A. Taylor Memorial Medal with the Master Builders Federation of Australia. This medal is presented annually to the winner of the "Building Construction Prize for completion among Technical Schools throughout the Commonwealth".

Almost two decades after those first Narrabeen jaunts above land Florence would recall these flights went on until the gliders they were made in were 'lost at sea':

Christmas in Many Lands
: — Happy Recollections Of Sydney Women PARIS, SAMOA, MARSEILLES, NARRABEEN

The early days or Aviation in Australia are connected with Christmas in the memory of Mrs. Florence Taylor: —"The gladdest Christmas in my life —and they were all too glad to relegate one behind another — was spent at Narrabeen, when husband, aviation bent, practiced gliding on Narrabeen shore. The boy-enthusiasts came practically every Saturday— all uninvited, and those who could not afford the 'bus fare (trams were not running in those days), walked seven miles there and back to Manly. Mrs. Schultz turned her grounds into hangars, and entertained us all weekly. Friendships among the gliding enthusiasts grew. By 9 or 10 on Christmas evening a hundred visitors and neighbors revelled in the freedom and gaiety that friendship alone can bestow. This happened for about ten years, until the gliders, lost at sea, no longer attracted the enthusiasts, who started to thin out." Christmas in Many Lands (1928, December 23). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 35. Retrieved from 

Even decades later Florence would be standing up for Narrabeen's beauty, and after WWII came up with a scheme for an aquatic airport at Newport - perhaps to rival that at Rose Bay, perhaps in deference to P G Taylor, who certainly had an aquatic plane at Bayview by this time. There had been 'talk' of Pittwater being a suitable location for an aquatic airport since the late 1930's - Rose Bay won:


Protest Against Dredging Lease.

A deputation yesterday protested to the Assistant Minister (Mr. Fitzsimons) against the proposal to grant a shell-dredging lease for Narrabeen Lake.

Mr. A. E. Reid, M.L.A.. who Introduced the deputation, said it sought protection of the public's playgrounds against commercial exploitation. It was contended that the lease applied for at the lake entrance, would permit the lessee to turn a salt water lake into a fresh water lake, as the terms of the lease permitted the erection of tide gates.

Mr. B. W. Ford, president of the Town Planning Association, said that Narrabeen Lake was one of the most beautiful and popular recreation areas around Sydney. If dredging for shell was permitted the lake would be spoiled. He understood it was proposed to establish cement works with shell-dredging, but the locality should not be commercialised. If dredging was necessary it should be done under Government control and expert super-vision.

Mr. A. J. Small, acting president of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement, said that the Mines Department was not required to consult any other body or department. The Lands Department would not have granted such a lease. The lessee's proposals would, result in the dredging of a channel 20 feet deep, while the spoil from the lake bottom, if deposited on the bank, would create a public nuisance.

Dr. Bean, secretary of the Parks and Play-grounds Movement, said the Warringah Shire Council had made a mistake when it approved the lease. The destruction of one of the most beautiful natural playgrounds should not be risked for the sake of one private enterprise.

Mrs. Florence Taylor supported the protest.

The deputation also protested against the opening by the Main Roads Department of a quarry on the main road above Bilgoela Beach.

Mr. Fitzsimons, in reply, said that the problem of the dredging lease seemed to be difficult, as the lease had been approved and a company had been formed to operate under it. All he could do was to bring the representations before the Cabinet. The quarry question also was difficult. The Main Roads Department was autonomous, and the arrangement it had made with the shire council was one within its powers. He was sure the Main Roads Commissioner would give sympathetic consideration to the protest. He would bring the matter before the Minister for Transport. NARRABEEN LAKE. (1934, December 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 21. Retrieved from 


Pittwater was urged as a suitable site for' the terminal of the. London-Sydney seaplane service by Mr. Playfair, M.L.C., yesterday. 

He was speaking at a luncheon given to the Premier (Mr. Stevens), at Manly by Warringah Shire Council. Pittwater was long and broad, and the waters were sheltered from the rough, seas. Mona Vale Progress Association has written to the Acting-Minister for Defence (Mr. Thorby) suggesting that the area between Bay View and Lion Island would be suitable for a base. PITTWATER AIR BASE PROPOSAL (1937, July 2). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

What's Wrong With Rose Bay?

"We cannot expect these days to have our flying fields close to the city," says a member of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement. He shows a curiously archaic attitude towards air transport. In the city of the future the airport will be the logical civic centre. To suggest Pittwater as an air-base, when Rose Bay is available, is to bring a bullock-track mind to stratosphere problems. What's Wrong With Rose Bay? (1938, July 9). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from

Florence's scheme, in conjunction with New Zealand born Francis Graham Hood, one of many such drawings that would be published in her 'Construction' journal with her name beside his:



The outbreak of war found commercial aviation on the brink of big developments, chiefly in the provision of regular services across the North Atlantic. Although the war interrupted the immediate plans of £he air transport companies it eventually brought amends in the form of service traffic that swelled to a volume undreamed of in peacetime. While this traffic receives little publicity it has nevertheless, served to finally establish the practicability of trans-ocean flying and to bring this branch of aviation well out of the pioneering stage. Giant aircraft are now being mass-produced and, although the larger number are designed as heavy bombers, plants that are manufacturing bombers can easily switch over to the production of civil aircraft of similar or larger sizes. British aircraft firms that have had, perforce, to concentrate on bomber production are already considering modification of their designs to serve the" purposes of civil aviation in the immediate postwar years, while they are developing the prototypes of the real commercial aircraft of the future. The largest aircraft so far built is the flying boat, Martin Mars, which has a gross weight of 140,000 lb. The U.S. Navy acquired the first one for use as a cargo carrier and ordered twenty more from the makers. A more ambitious project is that of Howard Hughes and Henry

J. Kaiser who visualise an eight-engined flying boat carrying 120,000 lb. of cargo and having a gross weight of 400,000 lb. Consolidated Aircraft is reported to have in hand a design for a mammoth aircraft with accommodation for from 200 to 250 passengers. The Douglas Company's plans are more modest but the DC 7 will have a speed of 400 miles per hour and a cruising range of 4,000 miles while carrying 86 passengers by day or 76 by night. The competition between the land plane and the flying boat for trans-ocean service is still proceeding and no finality appears to have been reached. The cost ot aerodrome pavements capable of carrying enormous loads on one pair of wheels and stretching in runways of a mile or more in length will serve to set a limit on the growth in size of the land plane. On the other hand long stretches of sheltered water will be required for the winged ships of the future. In the light of present developments, therefore, both giant land planes and mammoth flying boats will require to be accommodated on the trans-ocean terminal airport of the future. With this fact in mind a Sydney architect, Francis G. Hood, in association with Florence M. Taylor, architect, and Charles O. Harrison, B.E., has devoted much time and thought -to the design of an airport for combined trans-ocean

and trans-continental traffic. This design involves a number of original and interesting features. It will be observed that it is a dual-purpose airport accommodating both aeroplanes and flying boats. The airport services also are in duplicate and between the two sets of buildings run lines of railway track with branches serving platforms set out in echelon formation. Around the railway zone, road traffic circulates freely, passing under the rail tracks at the end intersections and everywhere avoiding level crossings. Cross traffic of goods and mails is provided for in subways traversing the full width of this land traffic zone and connecting the two systems of air traffic. Conveyors would be provided in these subways. Fuel tanks for the aircraft and the connecting system of mains are all buried underground. Another important feature of this layout is the unit design of the airport buildings. On the unit principle one air transport company or one country operating international services may leave its own unit or units as required on both the aerodrome and seadrome transport systems. Each unit extends through the offices set apart for mails and customs and includes also its own subway and railway platforms. (Description continued on plan overleaf.)

From "The Australasian Engineer Year Book."


THE AIRPORT OF TO-MORROW (1945, February 7). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from 



From "The Australasian Engineer Year Book”

By Francis G. Hood, Architect, in association with Florence M. Taylor, Architect, and Charles O. Harrison, B.E.

An airport hotel, with ample lounge and dining room space, is easily reached by motor coach from either side of the airport. The circulatory road system also serves for mails and may likewise carry heavy vehicles transporting aircraft engines from the hangars to more distant workshops to undergo complete overhaul. Alternatively separate roadways, or railways served by gantries may be provided for this service. An important feature of Mr. Hood's design is the use of turntables for giant aircraft within the hangars where passengers, mails and goods are loaded or unloaded and top overhauls carried out between flights; these operations being assisted by portable platforms at the various levels which can be' swung aside to clear the aircraft. In the case of the seadrome, the flying boats are warped in through a lock to avoid changes in tidal level and are simply turned round as required in the circular basins within the hangars where the water level can be adjusted accurately to facilitate loading and unloading operations. Provision is made also for a dry dock for inspection of the hulls while in the hangars. Wide spans are called for at the hangars. In this case the necessary span is assumed to be 300feet. It is suggested that some type of suspended roof may be found practicable, though this is an independent structural problem. The roof, in any case, is designed on the louvred principle so that aircraft engines can be run in the hangar without causing undue wind disturbances.

Wharf facilities are also indicated on the plan adjacent to the seadrome thus linking the airport directly with another major transport system. Administration offices and workshops are also provided tor and another necessary feature is a' bond store or stores. The workshops and stores are served by rail as well as by the circulating road system. In this as well as in the other features, the airport design shows considerable flexibility. Although drawn to a scale the sizes of the various buddings and structures are based on assumed data and can be readily modified to meet the requirements of an . individual airport as regards capacity or natural physical features.


THE AIRPORT OF TO-MORROW (1945, February 7). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from 


Francis G. Hood, Architect, in association with Florence M. Taylor, Architect, and Charles O. Harrison, B.E.

In these elevations the aerodrome is on the left and the seadrome on the right. The hangar buildings have high louvred roofs with long clear spans to accommodate the largest aircraft. Subways connect the two sections of the airport and above these subways are the railway yards surrounded by a loop access road. The plan view shows also the hotel and administrative blocks. ELEVATIONS AND SECTIONS FOR BUILDINGS FOR AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. (1945, February 7). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

Rose Bay had already been chosen in 1937, originally as the destination for moving air mail. Six Short S23 'C' Class Empire flying boats were produced for Australia by Short Brothers at the Rochester Seaplane works in the UK and were named CoolangattaCooeeCarpentariaCorioCoogee and CoorongThe first full service with passengers from Sydney to Southampton departed on July 5th 1938, with the Empire Flying Boat and Air Mail Service Cooee flying a first-class service with 30 stops between Sydney and London, thereby creating the now famous 'kangaroo route'.

Florence's connection to Pittwater also came through her associations with people within her own professional sphere who also came to Pittwater. Her Tribute to Colonel Alfred Spain when he died in 1954 is one of the few on record or readily available that speaks of him from a personal point of view. 

Colonel Alfred Spain was a supporter of Pittwater Regattas and an early RPAYC member. 


The death of Colonel Alfred Spain, on Monday last at the splendid age of 86, removes an outstanding personality from the Australian scene. He was one of those indomitable characters who appear to succeed at everything they undertake, and during his long life he had achieved distinction as an architect, soldier and administrator, while he had always been active in business, being a director of a number of important organisations. 

Col. Spain was born at "Warraringa," Neutral Bay, in 1868, and he had lived in this Harbour-side district ever since. After receiving his preliminary education at the Queen's School, in 1891 he commenced his career as an architect and in due time became a partner in the firm of Rowe, Campbell and Spain (hitherto Thomas Rowe and Green), which later became Thomas Rowe and Spain, and still later in 1904 Spain and Cosh. All the partnerships were outstanding. Mr. Campbell, of Thos. Rowe, Campbell and Spain, was a classic architect and had been a great lecturer in his day. Amongst the fine work then erected was Gardener's Building, which went through from York Street to Clarence Street, and is now the B.G.E. on the Clarence Street side and Charles Parsons on the York Street side. Mr. Campbell died before the days within most of our living memories, but the firm continued as Rowe and Spain with the city's leading structures — the Sydney Hospital, the Synagogue, all the arcades, countless churches and warehouses, Hoffnung's Building in Pitt Street where the Post Office now stands, Elliott Bros, in O'Connell Street, and all the fire stations. The good work was continued after Mr. Rowe's decease by Spain and Cosh. They had a lasting connection with their clientele because of the fine standard of work. 

In addition to his architectural activities, Colonel Spain had a long military record, and from 1890 to 1920 served with the Australian Engineers and as Officer Commanding with field companies in Sydney. During World War I, he organised and commanded Engineers A.I.F. Reinforcements Camp, Paddington, later seeing service abroad with the A.I.F. 

Taronga Park. 

One of his best loved activities was his Presidency of the Taronga Park Trust, and these beautiful Zoological Gardens, famed throughout the world, are, in many respects, living memorials to his foresight, architectural skill and unbounded enthusiasm. It was on his suggestion that the Taronga Park site was selected, but, even so, it was acquired only after the usual "battle of the site" that seems to accompany such changes, had been fought. Colonel Spain won the victory. He relinquished this post in 1941 after many years' service. 

He also rendered great service as a citizen and was a Past President to the Royal Empire Society, Deputy President of the United Services Institution and was a President of the Town Planning Association of New South Wales for a number of years. 

In the business world he was Chairman of Sydney Ferries until 1951, of Katoomba and Leura Gas Co. Ltd., and a director of Hetton Bellbird Collieries Ltd., Howard Smith Ltd. and Grenfell Gas Co. Ltd. 

He had a lifelong love of the sea, and his main recreations were yachting and fishing. He was awarded the Royal Shipwreck Relief Society's Silver Medal for gallantry for saving life in Sydney Harbour. 

A Personal Contact. 

The Editor of this journal knew Colonel Spain personally as far back as 1900, from the time she served her articles with Edward Skelton Garton in Vickery's Chambers in Pitt Street, now Queensland Insurance Building, where the then Rowe and Spain had their practice in the front of the building, on the fourth floor, all to themselves. It had a mansard roof with dormers along the front, and ample accommodation for the 40 draftsmen who comprised their staff. The building had originally been built over a stable, and at the back there was space enough for horses to prance. Coincidentally, it was in the caretaker's quarters that had been turned into a printery, that Building Publishing Company printed its monthly publications, from October, 1907, until 1912—in the heart of all the architectural, building and engineering activity. 

A life-long friendship developed with Colonel Spain between both George and Florence Taylor. The quality that most people will remember him by, is his brilliant mastery of his subjects. He seemed to know everything in a very intimate way about everybody who did things worthwhile. Conversation was always lively. Extra to this, she remembers him for his largeness of soul, his love of animals and birds, and above all the arts, including poetry (in which she, too, had always delved). He could supply and quote poetry for every occasion. In July 1924, it was her privilege to be the representative of the Institute of Architects of N.S.W., together with Sir John Sulman and Colonel Alfred Spain, when the R.I.B.A. held an Architects' Convention at Oxford University. The influence and the lovely memory that these two gentlemen left upon her she regards as one of the most cherished possessions of life. 

Sir John Sulman died in August, 1934, and Colonel Spain on August 9, 1954. If one endeavoured to plan a life of service and achievement it would be difficult to find a more complete pattern than that of Colonel Spain. Dapper, precise, optimistic and full of the will to do things, his presence in Sydney will indeed be greatly missed.

THE LATE COLONEL ALFRED SPAIN. DEATH OF COLONEL SPAIN (1954, August 11). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from 

Florence 'retired' in 1961, just months before her sister and lifelong companion Annis Lavinia Parsons died on June 28th, 1961, her remains were interred at North Ryde. 

Florence passed away at her Potts Point home on February 13th, 1969, her will valued at probate at $226,281, or almost 3 million in 2020 terms. There are descendants through married family members.

Although she did not push herself as a feminist her work certainly opened doors and paved the way, as inspiration alone, for women who came after her. Even while all the newspapers of her time continued to call her 'Mrs. Taylor', that age old mechanism whereby a person of the female gender loses their actual name, Florence persisted in publishing works under her own name, particularly in the early 1930's when she may have been quite riled over the persistent treatment of the 'boys club'. Her 'comments' in reply to personal attacks were always professional and bent on making Australia greater in any sphere she worked in.

Those that had any respect for her, or had met her face to face, also published her name, not just the 'Mrs. Taylor' sly patronisation, which must have rankled when considering how much she adored her lost too soon husband and being a 'Mrs', along with her famed femininity. This lady was never going to fit into the 'little girls must be seen and not heard' notion from the 15th century that girls and women must remain silent or quiet when around the opinions of men. 

Still celebrated for all her professional 'firsts' there were also a fair amount of 'firsts for women', and uppermost among these was taking a stand against being excluded because of gender bias and having a voice and using it. 

Below run some of her Addresses, given in her own voice and penned by herself.

Mrs Florence Taylor, December 1953; at work within library as part of office, note the portrait of her husband in background among shelves - and at Entrance to 20 Loftus Street and her publishing empire  – Items: c21794_0004_c and c21794_0003_c courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and Courtesy ACP Magazines Ltd.

Group photograph showing George Augustine Taylor, Vincent Patrick Taylor (Captain Penfold) & Houdini c. 1910. Item: a1383002h. Courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

References and Extras

  1. TROVE - National Library of Australia
  2. ABSENCE AND PRESENCE: A HISTORIOGRAPHY OF EARLY WOMEN ARCHITECTS IN NEW SOUTH WALES by Bronwyn J. Hanna, Faculty of the Built Environment University of New South Wales, 1999. A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Retrieved from:
  3. The House at the end of the Road - 'Billabong' Narrabeen
  4. First To Fly In Australia, Sunday December 5th, 1909
  5. Sir Edward John Lees Hallstrom

Those Were the Days (George A. Taylor).

This Is a book of reminiscences of literary and artistic days in Sydney in the early nineties, and details the doings of such Bohemian institutions as the Dawn and Dusk Club, the Supper Club, and other similar brotherhoods, which were then at their best. 

Such writers as Victor Daley, Henry Lawson, and Roderic Quinn figure largely, and all Sydney's best artists with brush and pencil are present at one time or another. Daley, as is but natural, bulks very largely and, strange to say, there is a good deal about the almost forgotten Lord Beauchamp, who, it appears, was a bit of a Bohemian when he liked. The sketches are all of the most interesting kind, and, to those who knew most of the persons referred to, the pen portraits are strikingly realistic. The same may be said of the illustrations, among which are portraits of about a score of the notable writers and painters of the day. The author writes lovingly and regretfully of the days of his more irresponsible youth, as is the manner of all who have assumed a more stolid respectability when they deal with the past, and the public will regret with him that so many are now out of the picture. Some are still with us and wearing well, and one can only hope that, as those here dealt with came and filled the places of their predecessors, so will the places of the Bohemians of the nineties be filled as time goes on. In addition to the portraits are many capital samples of sketch work by the characters, and the whole production is one that does credit to the publishers, Tyrrell's Limited, from whom we have a copy. Those Were the Days (George A, Taylor). (1918, September 7). The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), p. 29. Retrieved from

Mrs. George A. Taylor is the first woman to be admitted to an Australian Institute of Architects. She was born in Bristol, England, and came to Australia at the age of 19. She studied architecture and engineering under Mr. F. Ernest Stowe. Two years later she became an articled pupil to Edward S. Garton, architect. Later on, when senior "draftsman" to J. Burcham Clamp, she was proposed for membership to the New South Wales Institute of Architects, as up to that time she had not only designed and supervised the building of over forty houses, but had also passed nineteen examinations, but as ladies were not admitted then to the Institute she withdrew her nomination papers.

With married life came a change from professional to commercial life, and Mrs. Taylor has since been a journalist and an architectural critic to "Building" magazine, of which her husband, George A. Taylor, is editor. She is a member of the Society of Architects, England, and is one of the managing directors of Building Limited. GENERAL ITEMS. (1920, November 5). The Land (Sydney, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from


The business paper of the Institute of Architects' monthly meeting on March 6 brought forth some enlivening discussions which augur well for the activities of the Institute during the year. Mrs. Florence M. Taylor, despite her recent bereavement, still continues her interest in the proceedings, and this time had three suggestions put before the meeting: the first one for bringing before the notice of the Commonwealth Engineering Standards Association the advisability of standardising domestic electric fittings, such as power points and sockets, was adopted without opposition. 

A Small House Plan service scheme had been advocated by Mrs. Taylor some time before the Institute took up. the battle officially and established its 'own Bureau, but -with protective and compensating measures for all practising architects. The Bureau as organised has been harmful to architects, in spite cof the fact lhat the, President had not heard of this fact. That it has not proved very successful, as far as the amount of business transacted is concerned, is freely admitted yet 

Mrs. Taylor's proposal to abolish the Bureau was finally rejected on a point of order raised by Colonel Hirst, that the Bureau, being once established with an independent constitution, the Institute had no longer any jurisdiction over it. There is an old refrain to the effect that 'Old soldiers never die; they simply fade away.' A similar fate apparently awaits the Small House Plan Service Bureau, and the only Bureau the Small House Plans will have will' be one in the archives of the Institute of Architects. The reference to any architect whose business has suffered by the operations of this Bureau as being 'a very poor architect indeed' is resented. Every architect is deserving of consideration and protection, which it should be the Institute's function to bestow. 

Mrs. Taylor's third proposal referred to the absorption of the Institute of the Architects' Board that controls registrations under the Architects' Act of New South Wales. Once more the attitude of laissez faire on major issues manifested itself among members. Perhaps if the Institute made itself more fully representative of all the architects in the State, instead of a favoured few in successful practice in the city, then it would be to the Institute that the Government would look for advice in all matters pertaining to the architectural profession. In any case, anything that improves the status of the architect would similarly affect the prestige of its members.

The controversy over the site for the Circular Quay Railway Station was reflected in some proposals introduced at the Institute. These have rather a sinister, aspect when viewed in the light of professional ethics. 

It is some time- since Dr Bradfield, as Chief Engineer for Metropolitan Railway Construction, evolved a plan for the City Railway, which included an imposing-looking station building above the ferry wharves at Circular Quay. This scheme was later developed to include an over head roadway across the Quay, which would give, direct access across, between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Macquarie Street. A later modified proposal was put forward to avoid the reversed curve on approaching the Quay. This would, however, have involved the demolition of the Fire Station and Harbour Trust Offices. 

At this juncture the Chief Railway Commissioner, on the plea of cheapness, stepped in  with a scheme to run the railway behind these buildings, and construct the so-called Circular Quay Station across George Street instead of providing direct connection between the ferry wharves and the railway— a scheme that, to put it mildly, is a very bad advertisement for its sponsors. Hence it comes about that all kinds of alternative schemes are being volunteered, regardless of the fact that the spade-work of planning  the City Railway has already been done, and the author of the plan is precluded by the rules of the Public Service from engaging in newspaper discussions. Even Sir. John Sulman, has been misled into furnishing a plan which, looks well from the drawing, but how the station over the roadway at Circular Quay is to be supported without serious obstruction to street traffic is unexplained. 

There is a rule, or an unwritten law, amongst members of the profession that an architect should not intrude upon another's client. Many members have left the Institute of Architects because it did not redress their grievances and reprimand the wrong-doing architect who 'cut in' and took their clients. There is no difference between a (?) professional man in private practice and a public one. 

Dr. Bradfield is an engineer, in the Public Service, and has his own staff of architects already working on the drawings of the Quay design. He is the only engineer in Australia to earn the distinction of Doctor of Science in Engineering by examination at the Sydney University. By reason of his expert knowledge and cleverness, he has been singled out and entrusted with this work of constructing the Sydney City Railway, which is stupendous in its magnitude and infinite in its ramifications. The scheme he devised at Circular Quay was the product of his brain — a solution to the problem to key in with the undertaking he has on hand— a mere cog in a machine. He knows the size of the machine and the embrasure in the wheel and the cog to fit into it— to successfully dispose of so many thousands of people by boat, tram and train in a limited time. It certainly sounds impertinent and very unprofessional on the part of the members of the Institute of Architects — any member of which would be quite incompetent to project such an undertaking— to be prepared to pick the eyes out, of Dr. Bradfield's scheme like pirates and hold, a competition among themselves for the new Quay Station, and all to their, own enrichment. Seventy-five per cent., at least, of the work is of a specialised engineering nature, not to be lightly tackled by the inexperienced. 

If Dr. Bradfield invited their interest, and called for a competition, as he did for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it would be a .different matter; but to outrage the ethics of the profession or a kindred profession in, this way is disgraceful — craven, in fact, and makes one feel very sorry for the future of architecture when the profession of our day is without leaders in professional etiquette. If the architects as a body are to be self-appointed arbiters of civic aesthetics, then it might be as well for them to begin by setting their own house in order. There are many buildings about the city designed by architects that are open to grave criticism. Dr. Bradfield's second design reached a high architectural standard, as well as being correct from the points of view of town planning and public utility. 

Incidentally, during the discussion one member of the Institute poured a lot of destructive criticism on a city improvement scheme also proposed by an engineer and published in this journal. This scheme, he said, had been presented by a man with a long string of letters after his name. Such cheap gibes are reprehensible in a meeting of professional men. In depreciating another's technical qualifications the speaker was also unconsciously writing down, the value of his own M.I. A. and that of every member present. 

MANLY TOWN HALL COMPETITION. Plan of First Prize Design by Architects Hodges and Watts. 

The Architects (1928, March 14). Construction and Local Government Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1930), p. 14. Retrieved from

Sydney Women

MRS. F. M. TAYLOR, who with her sister, Miss Annis Parsons, is enjoying a holiday in Japan, was fortunate to be there at the time of the cherry blossom.

Writing from the Imperial Hotel, Tokio, she described the mountains and lakes and picturesque countryside, with the cherry blossoms in the park. Mrs. Taylor has renewed friendships made in Sydney. Mrs. Kishi, who will be remembered here, proved a great assistance when she accompanied the travellers on their shopping expeditions. Mrs. Inoue, wife of a former Consul-General, has spent much time with Mrs. Taylor and her sister and, naturally, the architectural fraternity has been entertaining them. Mrs. Taylor says that the graciousness of the Japanese people surpasses that of any nationality she has met. Her many Sydney friends will be glad to hear that Mrs. Taylor's health has greatly improved.IN JAPAN (1934, May 22). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 12 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from

OUR old friend Mrs. Florence Taylor has broken out in a new spot! The picturesque Gainsborough lady (who is as loyal to her own particular brand of hats as Queen Mary is to hers), has blossomed forth as an authoress. A very de-luxey account of her adventures in China and Japan has appeared from her own press. And- she sprang a further surprise on Saturday night when at "Princess Ida" she sported a hair-cut that was definitely in the Hepburn manner. Catty Communications (1936, January 18). Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 21. Retrieved from

What Do You Think Of This?

Miss Annis Parsons, the Secretary of Building Publishing Co. Pty. Ltd., owns a piece of land at Hornsby. 

The Government has taken possession of it and has started to build three cottages on the site. No deeds of transfer have been signed, nor has the property been paid for. We mention her name to show how authentic the case is. 

That's the kind of Government this country is up against. HIGH HANDED. (1945, November 7). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

The newly-acquired land at Green Point, Pittwater, by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club will be greatly appreciated by members of the club, as the club house to be built thereon will afford yachtsmen a fine objective for week-ends. TENNIS (1919, October 29). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 16. Retrieved from


Favored with a fine afternoon and a light north-east breeze, the ..opening rendezvous of the deferred Jubilee Season of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club was a brilliant success. 

Yachts assembled in goodly numbers in Farm Cove on Saturday afternoon where they were joined by the Sayonara flying the burgee of the commodore of the club, Mr. Paul Ross. After some manoeuvring by the yachts, the commodore gave the signal, 'Follow me in line,' and the flotilla made its way in fine order to Steel Point And be once more the spirit of yachting spread its pinions athwart Sydney Harbor. The yachts were accompanied by the club steamer, Lady Carrington, in charge of Mr. C. L. Garland, carrying members and their friends, among whom were many ladies and young folk. At the rendezvous the signal, 'Anchor and dress ship' was given by the commodore, who transferred his flag to the launch Argus, and canvas gave place to strings of bunting. It was a gay scene for by this time a hundred and more craft had congregated in Hermit Bay, off Steel Point. Besides Sayonara, among the yachts to take part were Rawhiti (Dr. Arthur Marks in charge), Bona (Messrs. Bradley and Towse), Hermione (Mr- H. Walters), Aoma (Mr. J. F. Palmer), Athene (Vice-Commodore Carment), Sunbeam (Mr. A. W. Crane), Scotia (Mr, C. T. Brockhoff), Eu-na-Mara (Rear-Commodore Wilson), Revonah (Mr, Frank Abbot), Dawn (Mr. Oscar Backhouse), Triton (Mr. W. D. M. Taylor), Waitangi (Mr. H. S. Carter), Inez (Mr Fred Doran), Mawhiti (Mr. W. Boesser), Mischief (Captain Stanley Spain), Nanoya (Mr. S. H. Fairland), Ithra (Mr. A. Boesen), Gumleaf (Mr. J. Alderton), Colarami (Mr. J. Hardy), Istria (Colonel Spain) and Boomerang (Master Alexis Albert). With the small craft darting hither and thither they formed a brilliant gathering. 


While the guests were being entertained with refreshments and music on the club steamer, the Argus signalled to members and crews, 'Come on board flagship.' Among those who partook of the commodore's hospitality were Commodore Edwards, R.N., and Messrs, J. M. B. Goddard (Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron), D. J. Carment and Andrew Wilson (vice-commodore and rear-commodore R.P.A.Y.C.), J. Milne and C. A. Copeland (commodore and vice-commodore Motor Yacht Club of New South Wales), Vincent Brownhill (vice-chairman, Sydney Stock Exchange), R. H. C. Down, J. Gray, and. W. M. Asher (commodore, secretary, and treasurer (S.A.C.C), J. Roche (secretary Pittwater Regatta), S. Thompson, L. Tonge, S. McLaurin. T. Mulhall, O. Lind, W. Mitchell Fred Adams, Stanley Spain, J. St. G. George, L. C. Waterman, F. F. Buchanan, A. Boesen, F. Albert, Jack Murray, Dr. Marks, and Captain Peters, and the crews of the yachts attending. 

The following toasts were enthusiastically honored : The King, The Day We Celebrate, The Navy, Kindred Clubs, and The Commodore. 

During the afternoon a miniature regatta was held in connection with the function. The results of the races were : Sixteen-feet Skiffs. — Witiora (R. Bartley), 41min 1; Shadow (F. Sargent), 6 min, 2; Peggy (W. Tiitt), 6min, 3; Vision (J. Paton), 2Jmin, 4; Elm (W. Webb), 11min 5. Won by 2min 50sec, with 10sec between second and third, 5sec between third and fourth, and 10sec between fourth and fifth. In this event there were 35 starters. Fourteen-feet Skiffs. — Warrigal (L. de Wai), scratch, 1; Rona (F. Deady), scratch, 2 ; Arthur (E. Ellis), scratch, 3; Eileen (G. Haggerston), 42min 4. Won by 30sec with 45sec between second and third, and lmin between third and fourth. Ten-feet Dinghies, — Cornstalk (R. Graham), Smin, 1; Kangaroo (R. Patterson), scratch, 2; Thelma (A. P. Reynolds), 3min, 3. Won by lmin 30sec. Yachts' Dinghies. — Kestrel, 1; Dawn, 2; Hermione, 3. Rowing Races. — Tingara Boys, No. 2 cutter, l;.No. 1 cutter, 2: and No. 3 cutter, 3. Naval Cadets : No. 3 cutter, 1; No. 4 cutter, 2; and No. 1 cutter, 3. The i ace officials were Mr. J. St. G. George and Captain Stanley Spain. 


On the R.P.A.Y. Club steamer, on Saturday, a young lady was questioned as to how she liked yachting. She answered that she knew nothing about it, except that, yachts were 'very beautiful. But,1' sue added, 'I should not like to fall in love with a yachtsman; I would be jealous of his yacht' 


The first yacht race of the season will take place next Saturday for the plate presented some years ago to the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club by Mr. Thomas Marshall, at Sydney. Before the Plate can be claimed it must be won four times by a yachtsman in his won yacht. Prizes of £10, £5, and £3 will also be given by the club to the placed boats respectively. So far holders of the Plate have been; C. T. Brockhoff, Fleetwing, 1903-4; J A. Muston, Janet, 1904-5; A. W. Beach, Cooya, 1905-6; A. E. Cutler, Kukuburra, 1906-7; C. T. Brockhoff, Rawhiti, 19078; C. L. Jones, Thelma, 1908-9- C Trebeck, Petrel, 1909-10 ; A. W. Crane, Sunbeam 1910-1911, C. L. Jones Thelma, 1911-1912, W. M. Marks Culwulla III., 1912-13; P. Ross, Sayonara, 1913-14; J. S. Palmer, Aoma, 1920-21. The race will be a general handicap over the Manly-Fort Denison-Watson's Bay course. 


The programme for this annual regatta, to be held on the last day of the year, is a right good one. It includes seven sailing, eight rowing, and four motor boat races — nineteen events altogether. Gee whiz! The sailing, races provide a general handicap yacht race for prizes of £8/8/ and a silver cup for first, £3/3/ for second, and £1/1 for third, and a scratch race for' 21ft restricted class boats for prizes of £6 and the President's Cup for first, £3 for second, and £1 for third. Each Wt in the sailing races must carry the official number  on each side of the mainsail. Further particulars will be published in this column later on. YACHTING (1921, November 2). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 16. Retrieved from

Comments on Architects' Discussion by F. M. Taylor

The meeting of the Institute of Architects held last night was one of the most fruitful and enlightening that the architects have had, and despite the opening remarks by Mr. B. J. Waterhouse, it w,as a bright evening. 

Mr. Waterhouse said: "You have heard of the Gloomy Dean, but I will soon be regarded as the Dismal Architect." 

Looking over the vast amount of money expended in the city during the past 25 years, we have a pardonable right to be despondent at the result. We cannot point with pride to anything we have developed. We have monuments to the lack of foresight, vision and ineptitude of 'the people who have been responsible. There is the ill-fated and unsatisfactory venture of the extension of Martin Place to Elizabeth Street, which nobody wanted. King Street was the right route. In Elizabeth Street various buildings—the Sun Offices—have been set back, but nothing has been don^, to widen the street. Why should we have all the statuary and groups scattered higgledy piggledy about the city? Concentrated round the Mitchell Library are the Shakespearean Memorial with its background of foliage, the Burke statue with its Rococo background and the Flinders statue. The Cenotaph, with its importance and sanctity should not have been placed where it is; it is unfinished, unpleasant, and inadequate for the placing of wreaths. At the Town Hall, around which we might expect to find some semblance of order of which we might feel proud, when we go\o worry the Lord Mayor on important deputations, we find buildings not in harmony —steps, the porte cochere, which is coming down and "rabbit burrows" in front of what should be our most important civic edifice. Our Departmental Officers are scattered all Over the city, costing much money, besides wasting peoples' time in locating their whereabouts. The park opposite Grace Bros., the Central Square, and the Circular Quay were all subjects to deplore through lack of co-operation and co-ordination on the part of the authorities in dealing with these things in a comprehensive way. 

There was some "little Puck" pulling them apart, instead of putting them together. 

Mr. Keesing said this co-ordination applied as much to large schemes like the City Plan as to small ones such as the householder, who does not put plants in the shade that should grow in the sun, but planned the entire scheme in advance. 

Mr. Leake spoke of the shopping centres which shifted and followed the ,altered route of the traffic, and instanced the eagerness with which shop-keepers paid rent in the vicinity of Hunter Street since the advent of the underground. Trams should give way to 'buses. 

Mr. Morris explained that the models exhibited, which dealt with the Quay and Bridge-*head and other improvements and beautifications (if monotonous bulk can be thus designated and glorified.—Ed.) were by no means final, being more of a guidance than a definite scheme for adoption. The Harbour Trust had intended to put the wharves along the sides of the Quay to be used' for stores and berthing of big ships. (Which to people of logical minds appears more appropriate than the long line of residences introduced in one of; the designs and looking more like gaols or rows of packing cases or factory designs than houses, and into which light and air could not penetrate. Very few cities in the -world can boast of harbor facilities such as Sydney possesses in being able to bring oversized ships right into the heart of the city. Let us use and not spoil our heritage. The wharves that are already in existence on the sides of the Quay have not detracted from its beauty nor destroyed its amenities.—Ed.) 

Mr. Small, President of the Town Planning Association said it had been stated that civic pride was dead, but the work exhibited had shown that architects had given the lie to that. The Town Planning Association had adopted Bradfield's Quay Scheme, but had since somersaulted and had come to the conclusion that Quay buildings would be 52 feet above the surthe original design should be reviewed. The face level of the road and be almost up to the top of the Customs House. (It will be remembered that Mr. Small went strong for the Martin Place Resumptions* which are now being deplored.

Mr. S. Stokes, President of the Surveyors' Institute thought it a matter for legislature to have the evils removed. The work of the Regional Plan Convention should be continued and improvements put into effect. The condition of holding is always a ban to city improvements, but compensations would have to be made, which would be easy were the fee-simple altered and spread over 100 years.

Mr. Evan Smith, Government Architect, explained the work done by the Town Planning Commission in Victoria which he commended as a model for guidance. Every alteration suggested in the report was up against vested interests, but without statutory power to carry out the good suggestions made, the work of the Commission did not bear much fruit. 

Mr. Norman Weekes-spoke of the sustained interest that the Lord Mayor had exhibited in this subject, having given time and money, which is the best test of his interest, to it. 

Professor Wilkinson mentioned the difficulty experienced in collecting data upon which to base the models. It was wise to spend money on models to convince laymen who could not readily assimilate drawings. [The Editor of this Journal has always advocated this, but last night felt its futility; for if architects cannot realise what a crushing experience it would be to motor or Walk between and around never-varying buildings that look like gaols and factories, what hope would laymen have of interpreting the arrangement?

We have too many cross roads. We use routes for shops, but by the time cars rest along the sides, and trams run in the middle, the route is' reduced. 

At the University the road was widened and trees were cut down, to put up a row of telegraph posts by the Postmaster; that is why he is called postmaster. A Turkish Proverb says "where man builds he plants trees." High buildings demand greater open spaces. The Harbour Trust Commissioners let the cat out of the bag when they said they intended to put a Woolloomooloo pier down'the centre of the Quay. These things are done before the people know about them. He recommended the adoption of the minority vote, because the people who can give an authoritative opinion are less in number than those who know nothing about the subject. 

Mr. Brown asked what they proposed to do with ,the long row of buildings on either side of the Quay, which question was ultimately side-stepped. 

Mrs. Florence Taylor could not agree with Mr. Waterhouse as to the ugliness of all architectural developments. This she regarded as a reflection upon our architects. She found many beautiful buildings and groups to admire. Our skyline, viewed from the Harbour, she considered amongst the most beautilul in the world; the domes of the Queen Victoria Buildings looking up George Street nude a beautifully animated sight." and the Land Office Tower lookng up Spring Street in the sunset was delightful. There were lots of beautiful bits to admire by ail who had eves to see them. Our principle trouble was caused by trams occupying the streets. This was the method of transport put down sixty years ago, but should a system be maintained because monev had been spent on it sixty years ago? A wheel tax applied to modern motor transportation would redeem the whole of the capital expended on trams spread over a number of veers. Take them off the streets and half our troubles would end . 

Mr. Copeman moved: "That it is desirable in the interests of ttoe city that an advisory committee, representing Technical and Commercial activities, be formed by the Institute of Architects to consider a comprehensive plan for the development of Sydney and other matters of civic importance." 

Mr. Kenworthy seconded the motion and mentioned problems dealing with East-West, Darling Harbour and Bathurst Street routes] and circumferential roads that would have to be linked up with the-city. The time is not far distant when we will have to consider first storey pavements and underground routes. 

Mr. Waterhouse, in response to Mrs. Taylor, said that he did not intend to reflect upon architects and their works, but upon the development of schemes. He himself founld many things to admire. He persisted, however, that Sydney's skyline was the last word in ugliness. 

Mr. A. E. Scott, who presided, thought the difficulty was to convince the Government that they should think well ahead. 

The City of Sydney is a small area and the areas surrounding are enormous, so that it seems the powers to embrace these would have to come from the Government. Mr. Scott concluded that the planning of the slums and the care of the slum dweller are charge^ upon the architects. 

The Lord Mayor (Alderman Walder) has a sifting brain, to say the least, for he readily grasped all the fine points put forward by the professionals. whilst placing himself in the position of'layman. He confessed that he often thought it an extraordinary thing that millions of pounds should be devoted to resumptions without there being any preconceived plan, as to what the results would, be on the whole. He could never understand why some such commission as that outlined by the meeting had not been in existence to raise its voice in protest against expenditure. Such, for instance, as the Martin Place extension, if same were not necessary. At the present time he has a minute to rescind the balance of the Martin Place Resumption costs requiring £160,000 to carry it through to Macquarie Street, he had voted against this resumption being put through in the first place, with two other aldermen. 

Surely there was someone more competent than the aldermen of the City Council to deal with this. A Permanent Advisory Board, to function in conjunction with the City Council, with statutorv powers to carry the recommendations into effect, was needed. Aldermen of the City Council come and go. and the policy to be adopted was enunciated, by the aldermen themselves. Some of the City Council's officials were competent, but it rested with the aldermen to say whether a city's resumption should take place or not. There must have been some law that provided that the recommendations for the planning of Paris by Baron Haussmann (which had been mentioned as having returned its expenditure fourfold) should be continuous as otherwise a change of aldermen would surely result in an altered plan. Resumptions that have not been completed in Sydney upon which expert advice could be given include the taking of Martin Place through to Macquarie Street, the Elizabeth Street extension and its widening on the eastern side. 

The traffic had shifted and was not so intense as it was when this scheme was adopted and the need for this was not now so great, and also the widening of George Street West. Re the civic centre round the Town Hall; the railing was not being replaced round St. Andrew's pending a settlement of the difference between the Cathedral Authorities and the Railway Department, which had taken some of the Cathedral grounds. Representations had been made to the Lord Mayor to get the Cenotaph removed. But, he concluded, "I cannot see how anything can be done unless your commission gets statutory powers and keeps them extended over a very long time." 

The following were elected as members,:— S. C. van Breda, 50 Hill Street, Orange; Miss Winsome Alice Hall, James St., Mosman; C. X. Hirst, Tilba Avenue, Balmain; S. G. Hirst, Tilba Avenue, Balmain; C. J. Ward. 29 Bligh Street, Sydney; F. P. Woolacott, 33 Rangers Road, Cremorne.

[The Town Planning Association has practically anticipated the architects in the provision of statutory pewer in the proposed Town Planning Bill, which it is pressing forward to the new Government. Under the new' constitution of the Town, Planning Association, Councillors are co-opted from all Scientific znd Municipal bodies in any way connected 'with the beautification and development of the City. It is presumed in the adoption of the Bill that this Council would automatically be accorded full power.] WHAT OF THE CITY? (1932, July 6). Construction and Real Estate Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1938), p. 8. Retrieved from

Professional Woman and Her Problems
A Short Paper read by Mrs. Florence M. Taylor before the Feminist Club on March 23

Because of the growing idea in unionists circles, which insist that all men are equal and should be paid alike— the best worker, the same as the worst, this paper is printed in "Construction," in the hope that it will put a different aspect upon life, and influence those who have the faculties of thinking for themselves, to a realisation that nothing keeps men or women back but their own limitations* 

When Miss Preston Stanley asked me if I would say something about Professional Woman and Her Problems, I set myself furiously to think if there were any, and decided, after deliberation, that there were not. That is, if I may take my own knowledge, which is based on observation and experience, as a criterion. 

There is a feeling among women that there is a sex prejudice. But to my mind, the only thing that keep a woman back is .her own limitations, just as they keep a man back. I have heard people say that the bulk of the money in America is held by twelve millionaires, and that such a state of affairs should not be permitted to exist. I wonder at the mentality and nature of anyone who can think in this way. Why shouldn't twelve men have the bulk of the money in America if they have the ingenuity and enterprise to get it? If all the money in America were split up evenly among the populace to-day, the same twelve men having more ingenuity than the rest would promptly get it again. 

Those who go forward have a different urge in life to those content to sit back and take things as they come. If you were to give twelve men twelve similar allotments of land, they would get twelve different results. Some would go out as failures and others would make good, or one might even acquire the lot. Further, millionaires can't make vast sums without employing labour, nor can they disperse it after it has been obtained without employing labour. They employ hundreds, thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of people- and therefore aren't they better as benefactors to the race than that vast army of people who know not how to rise? There is nothing to stop 112 or even 1,000,012 men or women being in the same positions as those twelve millionaires. We are all masters' of our fates. At least we can help the rulers of men and destiny. 

The number of problems of life are never ending. We are all so differently constituted. There are men and women in this country who think that we are all alike, that we have all been cast in the same mould; that one is as good as the other. Even our laws are framed to compel us to be the same, so that the fastest and best worker shall not do any more work than the slowest and worst worker, and be paid according to award rates —all on the same level. 

But those laws will never succeed, for there are not two people on earth who have been cast in the same box, not even those in the same family; and all the laws in the land will never make two men or two women alike, nor their output alike. 

Everything in nature is different, plant life varies from seaweed to cedars; animal life from white ants to white elephants, and in human life from the aboriginal of Australia —the lowest type of man, anthropologically speaking—to an Apollo Belvedere. 

Then not only do we all differ with regard to concrete differentiated matter, of which we are composed, but we differ in the abstract. Our personalities differ, our will power, the wisdom with which we are each endowed, our vision, our prevision, our emanations, and radiations—our souls and spirits all differ. Then again, we differ in ourselves all through our own lives; quick, hot and restless when young, subdued and slow when old. What then are professional women's problems? Do they depend upon her age, and all the other differentiated things of which I have been speaking? It is this difference that constitutes charm pf life, and women are as different from men in their make-up, their requirements, their output and outlook as a cabbage rose is to a cabbage. We each belong to our lineage; some gentle, some rough; some pushful, some hesitating; some quick and clear of perception, and some stupid—all according to the family tree, which in turn may vary according to its environs, but nature never makes mistakes. For instance, we never hear of a persimmon in plant life growing on a pumpkin vine in error. 

All nature strives its mightiest from the time it is born till it dies, and real men and women are not any different. Neglecting depression, which has created unprecedented problems, I sometimes wonder at the need of it all, and why some of us are worked to death whilst others are idle. The former go out and get work and are creative, and the latter want jobs that are made for them, they are just operative; some have not the capacity to hold a job down when they have one, nor can- they make it for themselves, and therein lies a big difference. 

Women on the whole have become submissive in many ways, for rather than have rows and fights for their principles, they submit quietly to men's arguments though they still keep their own opinions. Still, I have a great admiration for them. I think they are marvels in their stamina, their loyalty and general worth; but it is their outlook on life which constitutes what might be called the only collective business problem that I know of; and this outlook they regard as their sacred privilege; their object of life. Something to be looked for, worked for and waited for exactly the same as men do. 

Times have not changed in this respect, since the old days when women plied their knitting needles in the drawing room at home, waiting for some Prince Charming to carry them off and care for them for the rest of their days. Their parents were parties to this and the girls offered little resistance. Nowadays it is the girl who is party to this, and her parents are not consulted in the matter. It is the same thing though it is done in a different way. But the laws of nature are immutable—Romance will always remain. It is still the sweetest story ever told. She persuades herself that she is independent of her parents and works for her living at shorthand or typing, subjects that will keep her going for the time being, and she does it very well. But she has no wish to be independent when Mr. Right comes along. She simply leaves off work, to carry bricks in nine cases out of ten; and likes doing it. Getting married and being cared for is her goal of life and her urge of life is diverted to a different channel. From then on the man takes on a double urge, in a business sense, and is twice the man for it. I'm not saying this is wrong. I think it is a perfectly wonderful estate to be the wife of an adoring husband. 

A business girl may persuade herself that men are keeping her back; but in her heart of hearts she knows it is only her own limitations; and if there are obstacles and difficulties, are they not meant to be overcome? They have been overcome in offices, banks, arts, sciences, and professions. Each woman must solve her own problems as these arise, for they will all lie different, and cannot be solved by rule of thumb. 

I am not aware whether women are admitted to the pulpit in the Church of England or Roman Catholic Churches, nor yet to the Stock Exchange. They have been admitted to the Bar. I know they are not admitted to Science at Science House, for as editor of "The Australasian Engineer" I have received invitations to some of the meetings, but, being a woman, I am not permitted to go, though science is one of my subjects. 

I think and feel that men are very kind to me in saving me the trouble of going to those meetings. I really have no wish to go, so I do not strive to get there. We only get what we strive for. There should not, however, be the need for women to strive in such cases. It does not add to the bigness of men's character. But I'll tell you why woman does not get very high up the scale in business. She qualifies for office, gets her job and then she sits back resting on her laurels. She does not study continuously and consistently. When a woman goes home from work she starts to potter round with food and washing up the dishes. She makes her own clothes and takes pride in it. She washes a garment now and again and irons it, or mends her stockings. 

I never did any of these things. I recognised good and early that if I had to be a success I couldn't allow anything of a domestic nature to intrude upon my trend of thought. It was a man-sized job that I had undertaken thirty-four years ago, and I had to employ their methods. I got to such a stage that I would rather smash a cup than wash it, and my spirit would be utterly crushed if I had to put a stitch to my clothes. In this respect I. think resemble men more than in any other way. They just hate doing these things. 

When a man leaves work he does nothing, but improve his mind, he reads the papers, discusses the problems of life, goes to the technical college where ambitious people go, and generally fits himself up as the breadwinner for the days to come, and .takes his responsibility for caring for his wife and family and leaving them provided for after he has passed on. There is nothing much the matter with present day civilisation, if we s will be sensible about it. I asked a young man of 34 the other day what was his ambition, and he said "to make £1,000,000 and bestow it upon some beautiful woman." What a man! Imagine a woman aspiring to make a million pounds. Yet there is nothing to stop her if she wants to. 

Take music; why shouldn't a woman conduct a band and compose band music like Sousa and bring fame to her- name? Why shouldn't she compose waltzes like Strauss, or operas like Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, or oratorios like Gounod or Bach—nothing but her own limitations. Theatrically, women have held their own—Mrs. Siddons, Ellen Terry, Nellie Stewart, Florence Young, Melba. These names will live down the ages, Mrs. Siddons and Melba because of their being in national galleries. Daphne Mayo in Queensland has some wonderful sculpture on the Brisbane Town Hall that will live. Miss Theo Cowan and Miss Theo Proctor's work will also live in Art Galleries—all off their own bat, and not because they were helped. 

Then there is Eileen McGrath, who has been working with Raynor Hoff on the statuary of the Anzac Memorial, together with Beatrice Tribe—a new honours graduate of the Sydney Technical College, whose work will live. Others had the same opportunities, but these strove mightily, and now it is not a question of being given opportunity, they will make it, according to the enterprise that is within them. We have instances here, of the success , of a women's orchestra at the Arts Club. Of course it is fitting that a woman's club, should have a woman's orchestra, they certainly grace the establishment; but that is not the reason for it—it is because they are better than men that they are engaged. There is nothing to stop other women from' doing what these women have done.

To say that men will not permit women to enter business, professions, and such, is absurd. Why, they help you all the time, if not by persuasiveness and urging you on, then by repelling you. 

Among the urges to enter the architectural and engineering professions the biggest one I had was to be told to keep out; not being very submissive, that helped me very much. I question whether I would do the same thing now; though my present day occupation is far more strenuous, and the hand of Father Time is leaving its mark. 

I would impress upon people the necessity of having hardships to mould their characters and bring out the best. You just apply yourself diligently to the task, and perseverance will do the rest. Continuing the contrasts of life, ask one girl to do something or remember something. She springs to it. Ask another, and she nearly drops dead with fright, and then she goes outside and gets everyone in the establishment to help her. Some are disciplined, some are unruly, the same as some employers are, and the woman has as much to understand in her employer as the employer has in her. There must be give and take, there must be understanding of the other fellow's outlook. There is the sensitive spirit which exercises memory, another has inspiration, another direction, understanding, logic and there are many other attributes of the soul or objective purpose to consider which moves everything by its movements. ' 

Do we enter business with joy in our soul at the prospect of making good, or sorrow because we have to work? have we confidence in our knowledge of the subject we are undertaking, or fear of hard work. A lot of people hate hard work. Each urge in each individual will bring about a different result. How then can the problems of business women be grouped and solved when they are all so different? Yet, there aren't any exclusive to the business woman any more than there are to the woman in the home; and the same applies to men. Professional Woman and Her Problems (1933, April 12). Construction and Real Estate Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1938), p. 9. Retrieved from

Not so racist after all - her reponse to the 'white Australia policy' of post WWII:

(The most unpopular article ever written by the Editor of this Journal—Florence M. Taylor.) (Reprinted from "The Australasian Engineer.'")

THIS article will be unpopular, unacceptable and unconvincing be cause it does not praise Australians. On the contrary, it goes to the other extreme and says—taking it by and large—we are narrow in vision, greedy, selfish, foolish, and cowardly, which does not refer to the soldiers on the battlefield, as they have proved the very reverse, as though they were made of better metal than most of us remaining. It does not refer to those who are "sweating blood'' to keep the war effort going, and those who are giving blood for plasma. Those who are sacrificing are happy in their inner souls that everything possible is being done.


I refer to that section of us that takes up a "dog-in-the-manger" .attitude to all outsiders, and 1 some of us even behave badly towards each other. One has only to work in a factory for any length of time to see that much, by watching how many eyes are on their fellow workers in order to report any breach of unionism to head' quarters, so as to get the other fellow "blacklisted' 1 ; whereupon, by the tyranny of the union bosses over the poor devil who offends, he will be struck off the rolls and will never be permitted to earn his living again at his calling. No unionist is permitted to work beside a non-unionist, so it becomes a case of "keep-out' for-ever." Unionists must all remain as dumb, driven cattle, each one pimping on the other, individually mistrusting and hating each other and collectively hating the boss—no one knows why. What an outlook! What an attitude to take to the grave!! Members can strike and' violate every law of the land, and then sanctuary will be provided for them under the cloak of unionism provided they do it in mobs. 

Mob Rule. 

Thus mob rule is given its fullest scope and foulest play. The majority oppresses the minority, even as Hitler tried to do with his small neighbours and' would have made away with it but for the intervention of England in the early stages. If there is any shad' ow of doubt about its foulest play in Australia—look at the mines. The miners won't work the mines themselves to produce adequate quantities of coal for the war and private use, and yet they are in a position to say "Keep out" to all who would. 

Anyone can become a miner in a few weeks. They get far more money than they want and behave like a dog with an abundance of bones, snarling at every hungry dog that would beg a few bones from their bloated table. They will strike for more butter and more meat than anyone else is permitted' to receive and not share it with a soul. It would not hurt the 7,230,000 people in Australia receiving half lb. of butter a week to share 2 03s. or even 4 ozs. of it with the 47,745,000 residents in Great Britain who, for the last four years have been receiving 2 02s. of margarine a week and sometimes al' tentatively 2 ozs. of butter. The British have never grumbled about their lot, not even when their children are undernourished. If we persist in calling-up the coal' strikers for military duty, as some of them have been called-up, it will only mean so much coal less, for no one will be permitted to take their places, since the miners have said "Keep Out." 

This has become Australia's slogan and no Government up to the present time (and we have had to put up with it for 4 years in wartime) and no individual man appointed by the Government to wheedle the miners, can alter this situation. This is mob and we are impotent to do a thing about it. Drifting Aimlessly. This kind of thing goes on in all iactories and works all the way down the scale. None of us have enough vision to look into and face up to our future prospect. We are too cowardly. We prefer to drift aimlessly and let somebody else think it up. Some of us will resent the very idea that such a condition should be interfered with. 


The Courts of to-day and the Government extend sympathy to mobs if they break the law; they must never be victimised or penalised, but if an individual should transgress, ah, ha— it gives them a chance to show how firmly a Government can govern. Here they are dealing with the weak (numerically) and so, like cowards, they wield the big stick and impose the severest rigours of the law. A few men last week were sent to jail for three years for charging a few shillings more for wine than the price stipulated by the price-fixing commissioner. Can ayone tell me does this punishment fit the crime or did I not hear it correctly over the radio? In yesterday's paper a man was sent up for two years for a similar offence. 

A little while ago a few Italians at Kings Cross were fined £50 for charging 10d. per lb. for tomatoes fixed at 8d., since then tomatoes have topped l/6d. and l/10d. and its nobody's business. 'Supply and demand' have taken care of the adjustment. Meanwhile we don't bother much about justice. I do not hold a brief for Italians, Jews, Kanakas, Chinese, Indians, Continental peoples, nor even Americans, but I do hold a brief for ourselves. I am concerned about our decency and the right attitude towards others. What we ourselves are deteriorating into, or whether we are worthy of this country, we never ask ourselves. 

White or Black People—Keep Out. 

Italians are white people, but we don't want Italians or any other foreigners, so we say "good enough for them" when they are excessively fined or their businesses are wrecked by hooligans. We say "Keep out of our country." 

The Jews have had between 4 and 5 millions "done to death" by Hitler. They haven't a synagogue on the Continent; all their possessions have been destroyed. Every Jewish family has been uprooted, yet when Jewish refugees invested money in flats in Kings Cross, Sydney, we promptly said "Keep-out" and legislated against them and to bring this into effect we had to legislate against Australians too and thus everyone is prevented from building excepting only when the building is needed for their personal use. 

The story is told of equality of workers and how long they remain equal. If three miners had £1—an Australian, a Scotchman and a Jew— this is what would happen. The Australian would see how much beer he could get at the corner pub; the Scotchman would see how much he need spend and how much he could bank, whilst the Jew would see how he could turn it into 30/-. Is he more undesirable than the others for having this penchant? 

We didn't want Kanakas in our sugar fields, though when they worked here we had cheap sugar. We had no bitterness, no heckling or meddling with out ways of life and no strikes. We said to them "Keep-out-of-white-Australia." We might ask ourselves "Are our hearts blacker or whiter than theirs"?—the outside skin doesn't matter much if the heart is impure. 

We accept the care and protection of the fuzzy wuzzy angels of New Guinea who look after our sick and wounded so tenderly. What shall we say to them? "Thank you for saving our lads—but Keep Out of our country. We'll come to yours when we like."

After the Kanakas left the sugar fields Australians found the climate too hot and refused to work there—a lot of us know how to refuse to work. We let a few Italians in who formed colonies among themselves. Italians have an increasing fertility whilst we have a declining fertility, and so, it seems, it was wrong to let them come to Australia and "multiply like rabbits." 

Maintaining or Increasing Our Population. 

According to scientist W. D. Borne, of Sydney University, in an article on Post-War Population and Demography, "we should have cause for congratulation if we end up with a population of 10,000,000 by the end of this century." This sets us furiously thinking and asking ourselves "what is the matter with us?" 

After the last war we heard politicians saying Australia could hold 100,000,000 people (they talk so glibly and say such illogical things). We heard one statesman say that we could reach a goal of 20,000,000 by the year 2000. We have heard scientists and geologists say that only along the coastal fringes of Australia could a population of 15,000,000 be supported. We have heard engineers putting forward schemes for re-afforestation, for employing a system to combat soil erosion that is sapping our earth's crust, and they have devised schemes by which water could be taken to the semi-arid interior in order to maintain what population we have and induce others to come here. People usually make a start near a stream of water. 

Snarling at Everybody. 

But with our present system of snarling at everybody, we need have no fear for an increasing population. People will not come here and those here will not stay where they are not wanted. What is worse, private enterprise in addition to individuals will flee faster still unless we ofer some inducements for them to stay. Even towards Britishers and Americans, without whose help we would long since have been in German or Japanese hands, we look suspiciously, in case they should come here and outshine us with their diligence and enterprise. 

In this morning's "Daily Telegraph" we say: "Dominions must get capital. London might place high returns before Empire considerations." I venture to suggest that England and America would pour money into Australia if we made it easy for them. 

Welcome Everyone. 

We should welcome everyone who would come here to work among us or come here with their millions of money to establish enterprises and 1 open up channels for employment. But before we can induce them to come here we shall have to alter our ways. We shall have to ease up on company taxation, which is enough to keep out every investor; we shall have to give people starting industries an assurance that they can have free labour, if they want it, and we shall have to stop heckling them and pushing them around as we have been doing to our own established industries. Come In. We have said "keep-out" long enough. Now, it's time we said "Come-in." 

Until we alter our slogan we can never expect our country to forge ahead as it should. Instead, capitalists, scientists, architects, engineers and everyone who cares about making their mark in the world will leave this country and go to other lands where their talents can be appreciated. This means that the existing 7,230,000 people will continue to dwindle, as we were doing before the war when we were losing more people than we were attracting. We simply must not let enterprise and science slip through our fingers to establish themselves elsewhere and act as a magnet to draw all other badly treated and dissatisfied souls away from this country. 

Our Professional Prisoners. 

It is stated that architects are to be held prisoner in Australia. They will not be permitted to return to their practice here, because the Government intends freezing all building materials after the war in order to itself spend £200,000,000 on post-war reconstruction. Already Bryant House, Sydney, is swarming with architects seething with unhappiness and half of them broken spirited because they have no prospect, they are not allowed to exercise the faculty that their special training fitted them for—designing original buildings, but instead they must become rubber stamps bound round with red tape. Some of them have said "nobody takes the blame for anything," they all "pass the buck." What language for a profes' sional? What state of mind are they being forced into? To those of us who have lived a professional life, imagine what some of these professional men, herded together to do in' ferior work, must be going through. And they won't be permitted to leave Australia after the war to go to other lands where their talents could be used and appreciated. 

Our Land Problems. 

Chinese used to live peaceably in this country once. They kept them' selves to themselves and were ever courteous as they provided us with cheap vegetables. Now that our own men—now making munitions—are reluctant to go back on to the land, will the Chinese be asked to grow vegetables again? Many of the 1,880,000 working in our factories came originally from the land, but now, after having drawn a cheque of £8 per week on an average with no worry, could they ever be induced to go back to the land for the pittance they formerly earned accompanied by a load of worry? In one factory near the foothills of the Mountains where 2800 draw wages and salaries each week, there is barely enough employment for 1000. Some of the others openly boast of sleeping through the day. One plant has had new cases of machinery lying unopened. Some of this overabundance of factory staff could be used on the land. The Government has taken men from the military for land jobs including the writer's nephew. 


We don't like looking at sights like these even though they belong to a part of the British 'Empire. 500,000 of these people died of hunger until the British Government, through Mr. Casey, brought relief, whilst Eddie Ward, through some kind of ^ jealous hatred, snarled about Mr. Casey's Empire representation. Why do we have to snarl and take up such an attitude whilst other human beings go through such as this?

The unions will not permit men to be taken out of these factory jobs unless work of equivalent value can be found for them. No consideration is given to the fact that the centre of war has changed. It has gone north and many of the things we made for the war effort are no longer necessary. Obviously men from factories could be made more readily available than soldiers who are required for reinforcements. 

China's Food Problem. 

Meanwhile China, that has borne the brunt of the Japanese war for six years has lost 13,000,000 killed; 50,000,000 are homeless: 2,000,000 little children have lost their parents, whilst rice, their staple food, has risen from 3d. to 12/' per pound. Many are living on one meal every two days, others are eating the bark of trees. Is this none of our business? When we give a few shillings towards the Fund for Starving People we feel noble; but we would not share our food or our soil, even though wc won't make use of it ourselves. That would be asking too much. It would be reducing our standard of living of which we are all so proud. We wonder what we have to be proud about?

Mr. W. D. Borrie said China's 450 millions may reach 700 millions by the year 2000. Are we ourselves going to work our land to send them food, or are we going to let some of them conic here and work it, so that we may send them food. This is merely a question that must crop up among thinking people. India's Alarming Increase in Population. India's increase of 51,000,000 in the last ten years may grow to 100,000,000 increase in future decades.

Earth's Treasures. 

Thus far we have spoken of material, tangible things. We sing "Advance Australia Fair, a silly song that people sing idly, without realising that if we want Australia to advance we must expend our energies upon it Singing won't do it for us, neither will the adoption of creeds, slogans, or philosophies. The earth calls for the expenditure of energy to bring it to its successful fruition. We want to ask ourselves "What is our ethical behaviour towards mankind?" and then do something about it. Earth and its treasures are for the use of mankind to enjoy.“ Keep Out” -THAT MEANS EVERYBODY (1944, March 29). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

What Are We Contributing To The Future? 

Being an address given before Parramatta Rotary on 23rd April, 1952, by Florence M, Taylor, O.B.E.

The other day I addressed Rotary at Rockdale. I told them of the things that had happened within one hundred years that we are enjoying and taking as a right, rather than a privilege and a blessing. Men, in the past ten decades, by their ingenuity, diligence and hard work, had placed many devices upon the market for our comfort and pleasure. As Kipling wrote: 

"All we have of freedom, 
All we use and know, 
This our Fathers bought for us, 
Long, and long ago"' 

We have forgotten to say "Thank God" for the fact that so many men in the past were endowed with the desire to work skilfully and hard. They were also endowed with brainpower and originality to contrive and devise many things of which I will mention. Criticising ourselves, we are not in comparison, contriving very much in our day to bestow upon and enrich future generations as we have been enriched by the past few generations. Here I can quote John Ruskin, who wrote: 

"The Earth is lent to us for Life—it is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who come after us and whose names are already engraved on the book of creation as it does to us and we have no right by anything we do or leave undone to involve them in unnecessary penalties or deprive them of benefits which it was in our power to bequeath." 

Common Enemy No. 1. 

The point is that we of our day, with few exceptions, and it is the exception which proves the rule, are not diligent and enthusiastic about applying ourselves to our daily tasks. We watch the clock too long and too often for we have collectively decided that hardy work is anathema. It is Common .Enemy No. 1. 

One -man, the other day, remarked to another, "Your son is lucky—he passed in all his examinations, has a splendid job, is rising rapidly", and the Father remarked: "Yes, and the harder he works the luckier he becomes." 

We Are Rich. 

Australians are very richly endowed by nature in this most bounteous country, also we are rich in the accumulated material things as may be noted from the fact that we have £1,835,000,-000 in savings and trading banks or £217for each man, woman and child lying' idle in our banks. Our car registrations are nearing 1,000,000.; nearly 2,000,000 out of a population of about 8,480,000 own, or occupy their own homes. We can now afford to pay War Widows with three children £10/1/0 a week--this has risen from £3/8/6 since the days of the Chifley Government. 

Our governments look after our can't works and won't works from teen-age to dotage, but not as much as they do in England fortunately where they have gone stark, staring mad. Last year they spent £48,400,000 on medical services; £30,000,000 on dental services; £18,600,000 for optical services, and not satisfied with that, they are now giving free legal advice to everybody. So far this year they have considered 60,000 applications, 40,000 of which have been given service; 2,500 cases have "come to judgment" out of which 809 have been successful. 

Now, the government owns the railways, postal and telegraph services, water and sewerage, etc., but they do not give those services free, though it is in their power to bequeath them or no, they needs must encroach upon the preserves of the professional which is a very sorry state of affairs, after professionals have studied and spent money at universities, devoted years of time and energy to equip themselves for an honorable and desirable calling in life. This only goes to show that England is poor and is rapidly becoming poorer through squandermania. 

In Australia we can now spend £2 5,000,000 a year on cinematographs for sheer entertainment. I am glad they only charge a few shillings as an entrance fee and not 27/6, or guineas per head, like the Stadium to see two muscle maniacs misdirecting their energies. Fancy paying to see two people cuffing and knocking each other about. If they learnt Jui Jitsu, which they could use in self defence, should they be attacked, there would be a bit of sense in it. I think every woman should learn the Japanese art of self defence. 

100 Years of World Progress. 

Among the things I mentioned that we did not have 100 years ago was the telephone, an invention of Dr. Graham Bell's 78 years ago. By way of interest I might add the first message that went over; the wires was from the basement of his fiancee's home where he was experimenting, to her father on the top floor. 

He said: "I'm going to marry your daughter," and he did. He told me that himself when he was in Sydney. He gave me some of his books and brochures which I treasure. 

One hundred years ago, we had no sewerage systems, no water reticulation into our homes, no gas service, no electric lights, for neither Edison nor Swan had come together to take up and carry further the introductions to electricity by Michael Faraday, Lord Kelvin, Clerk Maxwell, Rontgen, and many others who had contributed to this science. 

Edison was said to have had 5,000 failures, though he didn't call them that then—he called them experiments, and said he knew 5,000 ways of how not to do things. Private enterprise brought to the cottage of the poor, comforts which Emperors and Kings of 100 years ago did not use, nor had they ever heard of them. They had not been invented. In those days, we had no blotting paper, no elevators, no cheap structural steel for buildings, no motor cars, no rubber tyres, no bright steel, monel metal, stainless steel—which has been such a boon to housewives, no refrigeration, no electric cooking or heating appliances, no sewing machines, for up to that time clothes were handed down as an heirloom and girls getting married had to spin and weave their own household linen and clothes. They were called "Spinsters" and still are. 

There were no typewriters, no votes for women, universities were not thrown open to women, there was no free education. But men, when not so well educated as they are now, took a far greater interest in their work. From Mediaeval days onwards they have been splendid craftsmen and England could boast that they had the finest furniture makers the world had ever known. They built the most beautiful, inspiring, and architecturally perfect- cathedrals and churches in the world in which one feels awestruck on entering, at the splendour of the craftsmanship and the magnitude of the scale. There is a religious fervour over all and one seems to realise one is in the House of God. Craftsmen worked, in those days, for the Glory of God. They didn't count the hours, they only looked for achievement. We must have a Glory in whatever we undertake. Without a glory in our task we become craven and impoverished souls. 

John Oxenham once wrote:— 

Life is God's sacramental gift 
To man for his emprising, 
The talent given to his care 
For his Soul's exercising, 
A sacred trust bestowed on him 
For his immortalising.
British Engineers Had a Glory. 

British Engineers took their science all over the world, building dams and barrages in Egypt, India and even in Russia; building bridges and canals and installing electric generating plant— even in Russia; establishing oil refineries at Abadan for the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. This oil, by the way, had its early establishment through a man named D'Arcy, a New Zealander, who was at one time a partner with Morgan in the Mount Morgan Mines in Queensland. When those mines seemed, through labour troubles, destined to close, he bought up nearly all the shares at next to nothing. Then he went abroad. When he was in Budapest he read in a bank notice that he would hear something to his advantage by calling at the bank. He did, and found he was a millionaire, for Mount Morgan had staged a recovery. He allowed all the shareholders to take back their shares for what he gave and he went prospecting in Syria, Persia and elsewhere. He struck oil and induced Lord Kitchener to get the British Government to take them up. They did. They spent £3,000,000 on them — then £30,000,000 — possibly £300,000,-000 would since have been spent on the work of installing pipelines, refineries, schools, etc. But the Persians, the Egyptians and Indians have forgotten what British brains had done to develop their countries, for they have behaved pretty badly since.

British Engineers built the best, largest and fastest ships, most dependable trains (until the Government nationalised them, since when they have become dirty, unreliable and unprofitable). Their 'planes flew the longest distances in the fastest time, carried the heaviest loads, reached the highest altitudes and gave the best all-round performance. Occasionally, others will outclass them on points, but not for long. The British Engineers are still keen to achieve. The British invented Radar, which enabled aviators to engage the would-be invaders over the English Channel. England was never invaded, despite years of German preparation to do this. 

In Australia, Unionists, calling themselves "Engineers" (not "Engine Drivers" which they virtually are) will come out on strike with impunity to frustrate our economy and rob other workers of their daily wages as well as the country of millions of pounds. All the workers use the strike weapon. 

Our Union leaders speak of their "right to strike," of legal and illegal strikes. They give advice to their men to "go-slow" on the job and the progress of the whole country is retarded. We have it in our power to punish strikers under the law or de-register their union if we dared, but the Union's mob-rule is stronger than "the strong arm of the law" for though they wreck the country's economy nothing is done, in much about the same way as the Civil Service is too strong for politicians. 

We cannot apply the axe to cut away the dead wood with which the system is loaded. 

The Soviet Government, by way of contrast, has decreed a minimum penalty of five years imprisonment for the production of inferior or incomplete work. Lord Vinsittart, England's greatest authority on this subject said "the Communist Empire is rotten, ramshackle, riddled with cruelty and corruption" , yet we try to emulate Communists and let them control our Unions, where they induce others to strike. 

When Mr. Menzies sought power to curb the inroads they are making and the retarding influence they are exerting on our economy, the populace said "Hands off."' Am I right in thinking we are stupid people? 

The greatest amount of bunkum that has ever been crowded into the heads of humans, has been crowded in, in the present era. 

Ears are meant to listen with -some men listen to the wrong sounds. Our unthinking masses have absorbed all sounds calculated to frustrate our economy and reduce our built-up civilization to a shambles. I mean we are heading for it unless we can call a halt. In our own building one can see what I call swarms of men taking about nine months to erect a few lights and partitions. One cannot see progress at all for the time spent on the work. It becomes a very expensive thing to pay for "no appreciable progress." 

Clyde Engineering took six years to build 5 locomotives, then the Government, annoyed with the delay, placed an order for 25 steam locomotives in England. Fancy sending orders out of the country for goods that can be manufactured here! At that time we were paying £45 a ton for steel from Japan, when our own steel could be produced for ,£16 per ton. It is now about £24 a ton and is about three times cheaper now than imported steel. We have the knowledge and the materials. Steel is being produced at about two-thirds capacity because the B.H.P. cannot get enough coal. [Latest advice 30/ 4/52, is that they are equipped to produce 1,750,000 tons a year and the situation has so improved that they can now produce 85'% of capacity.] 

We have coal enough for 1,000 years. It is the purest coal and we are told it has the highest calorific value of any coal in the world, yet we can only get 17,600,000 tons of it a year from our miners, though we are equipped to use 20,600,000 tons of it, and could use far, far more if we could get it from the miners. Coal is known as something that contributes to our comfort, but it is more than that it is the absolute and primary factor upon which the whole life and prosperity of our nation depends. Unless we watch it we will be turned into a nation of sluggards through retardation of our efforts. 

Smash The Skull of Stupidity. 

The brains of our workers have been sadly and slowly poisoned by vicious Communistic doctrines. We want to smash the skull of such stupidity and let us to the task of building up this great country that offers so much. We want to preach the slogan of "Let us work harder, faster, longer and with greater efficiency than the world has ever known, and let us get somewhere in the scale of life," and if possible outclass other nations in the race of life. 

Being a laggard is not wholesome for body or mind. You can't take out more than you put in. Success does not happen—it is organised, pre-empted and captured by concentrated common sense. 

As Longfellow once wrote:

"The heights of great men gained and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight, But they while their companions slept, Were toiling upwards in the night."' 

Edison said: "Genius is 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration.”

I read in the paper the other day that a man asked his young son to get a bucket of sand from a building in the course of construction. The boy was a long time and the father asked what delayed him. He replied that he had to form up in a queue behind all the other boys who had gone to get a bucket of sand. This was supposed to be funny. Fancy parents teaching their children to steal and what kind of a future is before that poor boy!

Lord Keynes once said: 

"Never in the lifetime of man now living, has the universal element of soul burnt so dimly", and with that, I agree. I don't know what we are heading for when parents talk openly before their children of how little they can do in a day. We condone inactivity and drug the mind with labour's doctrines of less work, when the purpose of life is to be alert to work steadfastly and achieve. 

We Are A Stupid People

Today we are living in a state of sustained anxiety through frustrations. The whole world seems to have lost its stability. There seems to be no security of tenure for our business, without fear that some Government freshly imposed law will come down upon us, with myriads of Civil Servants requiring us to fill in forms, and riddling us with "please-explain" questions. When nobody could get a scrap of steel or a workman they would come swooping down on to property owners, demanding that they put fire escapes on their buildings within 3 months and after that along would come the "please explain."

Yesterday I had one from the Department of Conciliation and Arbitration — as though any workman these days needed protection against some rapacious employer. I have to pay a Sales Tax on what I print on my own plant for my own exclusive use. It is tantamount to taxing a man who drinks milk from his own cow. 

These civil servants are forever threatening us with dire penalties as though we were criminals. They are hanging over our heads like the sword of Damocles. The scourge of the civil servant, with his controls, has reached epidemic proportions. For every three of us, who by our diligence and enterprise in hard creative work are contributing to life's progress, have to carry one of his kind—a dead head, and we cannot shake him off. We are hard worked compared to an undertaker for four or six men are delegated to carry his dead in a coffin, but three of us carry a civil servant. Don't forget that. 

Control is a rolling stone that runs down hill. Many a man who has been climbing up hill has been hit by that stone and hurt and discouraged. Some near the bottom, when the stone has gained more impetus, have been crushed. 

Politics, with their controls, have hampered industry, not made it. It has been made by sheer strength by the Chemist, the Engineer, or the Master of Industry, in spite of politics. 

The man on the land—the backbone of the Empire—has been so discouraged that he finds it no longer profitable to grow things and soon we will be importing vegetables, fruit and eggs, and according to a meat authority in 6 or 8 years we will be importing large quantities of meat. Is this none of our business? We are already importing steel and coal which we have in abundance if we will only work the mines and produce the steel. 

It is well known to all that the ships coming into Sydney Harbour take four times longer to turn round than they do in any port in the world if we exempt the liners which sail on schedule whether their holds are full or empty. We can do nothing but submit to the tactics of the wharf labourers who reduce our standards. We can do nothing to prevent £250,000 worth of goods being pilfered from our wharves. What a condition? 

Last Friday I met a Mrs. Mulholland quite casually. She said her husband in the Amalgamated Wireless Company knew me. I remembered him. She said that she had met me too, and I remembered her too, but long ago it seemed. She told me it was through Lady Fisk who, ten or twelve years ago, was President of the Signallers Comfort Fund. Then I recalled the story. One day during the early part of the war, Lady Fisk rang to say their Guest Speaker at their Signallers meeting tomorrow was held up by transport and would not be able to address them: would I step into the breach? which I did. 

At that time the Japs, had almost bombed Darwin to smithereens. They were flying over the Harbour. They had done more damage to many things in our harbour than was ever allowed to get into the press, for security reasons. When we found two Jap. submarines in the Harbour we exhibited them at Fort Macquarie. We all thought we were most victorious, we were told of our successes, but not of our losses. We needs must be lulled into a feeling of security and protected from anything that was unpleasant or hard to swallow. 

I agree with J. B. Priestly who once wrote that a man should behave towards his country as a woman behaves towards the man she loves. She will do anything for her husband but stop criticising and trying to improve him. We should cast the same affectionate glances at our country, love it, but insist on telling it all its fault." 

I love my country so I started off by calling a spade a spade. Said we are a stupid people—we still are. It was rather fortunate for us that the Japs, who were flying over Sydney knew so little of strategy, otherwise they would not have wasted their ammunition bombing Garden Island. They would have put a couple of well directed bombs into our dams and left us to our fate. In a week we would all have died of thirst, or typhoid for without water there could be no sewerage system. There would be no electricity, for without water trains to bring generating coal into the city could not run. This is an alarming condition. The miners, according to the Communists' softening up process, had seen to it that stocks were low. At one time Bunnerong kept a 6-months supply of good coal at grass, now coal is so controlled that they have to suffice with a few days' supply of very bad coal—a hand to mouth existence.

The first impulse would be to make for the country, to the Nepean, or Cordeaux River. I asked what on? Railways engines must have water, motor cars must have water. 

On one occasion I had an experience of this. We were out way-back-of-beyond and found our car minus water but we managed to limp home by putting lemonade in the radiator. But people do not carry lemonade as a car emergency. Even if cars chanced to be filled up with petrol or water, we have road bottlenecks to contend with. Down south, we have Georges River bridge with three lane-ways which would provide two outward laneways and one lane-way for returning cars. One lane-way must always be kept clear otherwise there would soon be a complete blockage. So on the two traffic lanes if one could get 4,000 cars in one hour over this bridge it would take 14 days to get the people out of Sydney by that course to where water could be found. 

The Sydney Harbour Bridge has six traffic lanes. The Japs, would have left that for their own occupation later. We could use 5 lanes for outward traffic and one for in-bound traffic, and get 10,000 cars away per hour. It would have taken 6 days of 24 hours to get 1,400,000 (the then city population) out of the city, assuming we had enough cars, which we haven't. 

On the roads up to the Nepean with their narrow bridges and road cuttings, one might have got another 4,000 an hour or 14 days to get the traffic out of Sydney. These routes are reckoned individually but with all routes operating together and without mishap the populace might have been able to vacate the city in 4 days if they had not died of thirst in the meantime. 

Our Bally Troubles. 

These are nasty unpalatable subjects to swallow, so the populace likes to forget about it. 

From that day to this I emphasise we have done nothing to improve our transport, nor have we added another foot of roadway or erected express streets or built bridges or done a thing to relieve traffic congestion. 

When I was in New York they opened a tunnel under the East River on 25th May. Before we left a week later they had started another under the East River. These are not small projects. That one had cost £40,000,000 and was designed to carry 50,000,000 vehicles a year, each of which would effect a saving in time of 35 minutes. If a chauffeur over there costs £1 per hour (our motor mechanics in Sydney get £1 per hour) it would save 10/- on every trip or collectively £25,000,-000 a year in wages. Don't say that owners drive their own cars, because an owner's time is far more valuable than a chauffeur's. The authorities have estimated to make £2,250,000 profit from that tunnel per year. 

We are not at all bridge minded, tunnel minded, road minded or subway minded. The subways in New York collect 6,260,000 dimes a day= £300,000, or £109.-500,000 a year. In saying New York is so much bigger, it will be right, but it only has a population of less than 6 times Sydney's population so we should proportionately expect 1 /6th. of that development but we don't get it. We don't get l/60th. 

From a Defence Point of View. 

We hear of the marvellous behaviour of our men in the firing line. They were volunteers. Occasionally we hear scraps of our military machine here—mostly it is pathetic, for the laws state we cannot go outside of Australia to defend our shores, even if an enemy should make a base of New Guinea. A powerful enemy could promptly oust Indonesians who now make claim from the Dutch that New Guinea belongs to Indonesia, which it does not do, neither racially nor nationally. But we are impotent to protect it even though it be at our very door. The people voted our defence was to be inside Australia only. Are we a stupid people after that? 

Australia is ours to do as we like with it. Are we going to let others make away with such things as I have mentioned tonight without raising a finger? 

In conclusion, I can mention a verse by R. L. Sharpe. 

Isn't it strange that princes and kings, 
And clowns who caper in saw-dust rings, 
And common folk like you and me 
Are builders for eternity. 
To each is given a bag of tools, 
A shapeless man and a book of rules, 
And each must make ere life has flown 
A stumbling block or a stepping stone. 

CRITICISING OURSELVES (1952, April 30). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from 


A Built-Up Knowledge.

As a journalist for forty-four years I have attended thousands of lectures and addresses. One would only have to go to two a week to bring the number up to one hundred a year, but one attends many more than two a week. 

In that time one hears a prodigous amount of profound and original thought, particularly when associated with technical newspapers, such as those I have the honour of editing. And looking back over the millions of words I have heard, I have come to the conclusion that, though the Speaker's general knowledge is a built-up acquisition, there is very little that the listener retains unless the information is accompanied by the visual, such as one reads in the papers the next day. 

Sometimes I feel like little Gwendoline who annoyed her teacher. Teacher said "Gwendoline, here have I been talking for half an hour about the Obelisk, and you are not paying the least attention. Everything I say to you seeing to go in one ear and out of the other. Now, tell me, what is an Obelisk?”

Gwendoline replied, "A thing that goes in one ear and out of the other." 

Because many people are like Gwendoline and myself, I now provide a copy of my address so that listeners may take it home for visual attention the next day, and from its contents deduct the fact that here is one, at least, that loves her country well enough to criticise it and try to improve it, which few. have the temerity or courage to do. Before coming to "everyday affairs' 1 we have to go back through the ages a bit and pay tribute to the past for the builtup knowledge and achievements that go to make up these everyday affairs. 

The Democratic Age.

We have had no end of ages— The Stone Age, The Flint Age, The Bronze Age,-The Iron Age, whith might be described as the hard ages of the dim distant past, until we reach the Easy Age of today, where everyone is making a-fetish of the idea of exerting the least possible amount of energy for the most amount of money. 

Mother, however, is the exception, for she has to work harder than ever because she can' not' get help, meanwhile we are paying dearly for idleness in the fact that all things are getting dearer and dearer and scarcer and scarcer, and more rubbishy every day. And strangely enough, it is all done under the laws of this country. If there is a strike it has to be "an authorised strike” otherwise, it is not legal. Whoever heard of such tommy rot? The idea of allowing bandits to upset the economy of a country like this—and calling it "legal.' 

Unionists are making a crusade of idle moments. It is going through their ranks of labour like wild fire. It is just 2,500 years since Democritus, the Greek Philosopher, first expounded the theory of Government by the people and social equality, or Democracy, which gives the unthinking masses power over all intelligent people by reason of the fact that there are more of them, and they can thus outvote the intelligent. If they want idle moments they can vote for them and bring the whole country to a standstill, which they are rapidly doing. It was Democritus who first expounded the atomic theory. It has taken all these years between to bring atomic energy into use. Where it will take us is a problem that causes grave concern in many quarters. 

The Age of Problems. 

I am glad I lived in the days when the art of graceful living counted for something. We still have many beautiful traditions left. But, after living my full three score years and ten, if I were asked to give a name to the present era, I would say it was an age of problems that are most unsettling not because of what we are doing, but because of what we are leaving undone. For, to this age belongs the forty-hour week, strikes, go-slow, the Darg, the abundant holidays and the sick leave which everyone has to take —any excuse will do for idling away the hours or exerting the least effort when at work. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox once wrote: "There are two kinds of people on earth, I wean, The people who lift, and the people who lean.”

In Australia, we have plenty of people who lean. You can lean on your shovels this way (handle of shovel in the waistline of the back) or you can lean on your shovels that way (with the hand and- chin resting on the handle of the shovel). You can see men any day on any Government job, more than half naked, disgusting looking objects, demonstrating the art of leaning on shovels. I am glad to be a woman and be able to speak my mind about these revolting sights that are lowering mankind. 

You can see electricians sitting on tables, yarning and yawning by the hour, taking 'months and months to do a job that should be done in a week. One ganger on road work said he thought it rather clever if men worked two hours and got eight hours pay for it. 

My friend to whom this was said replied "But that is not honest. If you went into a butchers shop for eight pounds of meat and paid for eight pounds, and you got two, you would say the butcher had "rooked you." He replied "Oh, but that is different.”

Tradesmen and Craftsmen. 

A bricklayer must not lay more than 300 bricks in a day. In the past, he laid 1,000 bricks without overmuch exertion and we got houses cheaply then, and plenty of houses to select from. All other tradesmen are similarly restricted in their output as the bricklayer. You can rarely get a thing mended . 

You are told "it is worn out and so you decide to buy a new one only to find they are "off the market." The accumulated waste of energy that should be profitably employed in every sphere in prodigous. And all this is taking place with a war on the horizon. A few years ago, a man named Amor made a medal that bears my name and profile. He was old and sick but he said he wanted to do that himself because craftsmen had practically died out. He wanted that medal, at least, to be worthy of the subject —a nice compliment to me, I grant, but think of the ominous words "No more craftsmen.” 

One has to look to people 60 or 70 years of age to carry out anything requiring great skill. Unless people work harder they will never become masters of their craft. Our Universities are full of people seeking higher knowledge, more power to them. Our Conservatorium (a miserable, ramshackle place, with undulating floors, ricketty stairs, and winding passages leading anywhere by chance was converted from the Government House Stables) is full of music students —more power to them too. But what concerns me is not the cultural side of life alone. Where are we going to get tradesmen and craftsmen from to do an honest-to-goodness day's work and weave beauty into everyday things, and build homes or city buildings to make this era artistic and loveable instead of slipshoddy and nondescript, with their ""anything is good enough for Australia 11 outlook? 

The Slow Turn-round. 

We are regimented, curtailed and controlled by Governments and slowed down by Unions 1 decree at a time when we should concern ourselves with one thing —the preservation of our country and the British Empire. What a stigma to this country that our ships take four times longer to turn round (if we exempt the regular liners) than they would take in any other port in the world! 

The ... Unions have... more miners ... have been mechanised than it did before they were mechanised. Sometimes one machine is calculated to produce as much as forty men, but miners won't let it. They are producing about 13,000,000 tons of coal a year, but we require 20,000,000 tons if we are to provide electricity, run transport, heat our homes and make the quantity of steel the country needs and which it is equipped to produce. With the supply of coal at present provided it can only produce two-thirds of its capacity. 

We could produce enough steel for all Australia's requirements and then have a margin for export. Our steel is the cheapest in the world. This condition should bring industry and capital to Australia and we would not then have the nightmare we are now facing of curtailing our imports by 50%. 

Our mechanics are skilled enough to produce machines and tools for our needs and for export and this "export" would enable us to bring still more plant into the country and pay for our "imports." We have all the raw materials, yet we have nothing to sell because our men will not work long enough and hard enough. A Nation of Sluggards. We must guard against becoming a nation of sluggards, with no ambition to put by for old age or sickness, because we know a benign Government will tax all the diligent, ingenious or enterprising people to provide amenities for those not so diligent. It never occurs to us that the time may come when the enterprising people will say "What's the use." Then there will be no one to tax. Already one in every fourth person is a public servant and soon, very soon, one in every four will be receiving welfare, which means that every two persons will have to work to keep four going, plus all their dependents. It is public service and welfare run mad. Food Shortages. We are rapidly reaching "a pretty pass 11 with our food shortages. 

A few years ago a wheat board told farmers to plant less wheat, now they are telling them to plant more wheat. But the farmer will not go on planting at a loss, then, where will our bread come from? We have too many controls from people who have never been on the land. Egg control, wool control, wheat control, meat control, butter control. Hundreds of boards have been set up to control us—off the face of the earth it seems. People are leaving the land because under controls, it will not yield sufficient profit for them. In 1947-48 farmers cultivated 22,800,000 acres of wheat. The price the Government got for it was 2l/. The price the farmer was allowed, under controls, was 10/-. In 1950-51 the farmers grew 11,300,000 acres. This year only 10,000,000 acres will be sown. Stock and chickens will probably have to go without, then you won't get eggs. This control business is a vicious circle.

Gas Company's One Per Cent. Interest. 

And speaking of controls, what do you think of a Government that whilst bringing up costs of wages and materials will say to shareholders in the Gas Company "One per cent, interest on your investment is good enough." How long do you suppose that will last? We forget that all the things we are now enjoying are the products of diligent people in the past. We, of this era, are not devising things to benefit others in the next one hundred years as others in the past hundred years devised for us. Are we becoming decadent? 

Idling The Hours Away. 

Out of 365 days a year, 104 have to be taken off for Saturdays and Sundays, eleven statutory holidays, two weeks' holiday equalling ten days (sometimes three weeks), a week's sick leave (5 days) which everybody takes. Our year of 365 days is thus dwindled down by 130 days to 235 days which leaves less than two-thirds of the year for working. Then, under the forty-hour week, we have eight hours each day for 5 days mapped out as working hours, which leaves 16 hours out of 24—or two-thirds to be spent on eating, sleeping and recovering from the eight hours work. This means, as there are 8,760 hours in a year of 365 days, there are only 5,640 hours in a working year of 235 days, and as 8 hours only are put aside for working, the result is 1,880 hours a year for working out of 8,760 hours. But because we are only half-hearted about working and have to deduct time for smokos, afternoon teas, lunches, etc., and go slow for the rest of the time (I am referring to average workers such as the men we see on the roads, and bricklayers and others so controlled) it would be safe to say that less than four hours a day are worked, or 940 hours in a 235-day year. That being so the average hours worked per day of 365 days would not amount to much more than 1\ hours, which boils down to the fact that the rest of the time— our most priceless asset—is thrown away with both hands. 

What Others Have Done For Us. 

Just think of it, 100 years ago, water was not brought by pipeline into our buildings. There was no garbage removal system, no sewerage system. Doultons in England provided the first stoneware pipes in 1845 and joined them with clay in 1880. Trains were just coming into use. Buses and trams had not been established at all. If a man had a job anywhere, he moved his home and family to be within walking distance of the job. Under private enterprise there were plenty of houses to live in, rents were competitive and not only that, landlords vied with each other to produce homes that appealed. They put in a gas stove as an attraction. They came into use about 100 years ago. 

We had no Fair Rents Court then which puts the landlord in the category of a criminal to be taken to court by some one for whom he has provided a roof and thereby befriended by letting him come into his building. This interference with natural development brought the building of houses for renting to a standstill and we have had a house shortage ever since. This Fair Rents Court at the present time is also preventing landlords from making their buildings look spic and span. There is not enough rent allowed to provide a margin for painting and renovating, so all the buildings are looking grimy, dingy and dilapidated. Everybodys' living expenses have increased, including politicians, but landlords', who depend upon their property investments for a living have been penalised. Their increased living costs are not allowed to be met. 

A Hundred Years Ago. 

100 years ago, blotting paper had not been thought of. A workman forgot to put the glue size in the paper he was making. He got the sack and we got blotting. Rockets were used 100 years ago. There was no photography until Sir Robert Swan devised the idea of the dry plate. 

Edison Swan were responsible for much, but not all, developments of electric lamps. Edison had 5,000 failures and when he was tackled about the waste of time he said "that wasn't a waste of time, I know 5,000 ways of how not to do things." They took out 1,180 separate patents in U.S.A., including those for radio and the cinematograph. These were all marvellous inventions, but Neville Cardus thinks the greatest invention was the little knob that turns the radio off. To be without movie pictures could scarcely be imagined by young people of today. Yet, fifty or sixty years ago they did not exist, Now, we are spending £1,000,000,000 on entertainment a year. Are we poor when we can do that? No, it was not possible to go to the pictures fifty years ago, but by way of diversion you could see things in the flesh that you now see in pictures. For instance, you could see a Public Hanging if you wanted to. I have seen them years ago in the garden in front of the Darlinghurst Court House. In London it is recorded that when the last thief hanged on Tighes Hill was cut down he had the Hangman's watch in his pocket. He stole it in the presence of the onlookers, but nobody saw it. They call that "sleight of hand." 

In 1876 Bessemers Steel discovery enabled us to build bridges and structural steel buildings at low cost. His first discovery was a failure. Many experimenters had failures. One man, who had met with failure went to clear away the debris from a melting pot. Instead of finding it rusty and tarnished as usual

he found one mound of metal was as "bright as a shilling" and thus we got stainless steel, which has been such a boon to housewives. Fancy stopping a train within its own length with a gust of wind. That was George Westinghouse's airbrake invention. Now they are cutting steel into the finest shreds a millionth of an inch thick with a gust of wind. An X-ray invention has been of great benefit to humanity in the hands of the medical profession. It was discovered in 1896— just 64 years ago. The electric dynamo hadn't been invented until 1831 and thirteen years later Morse invented his code for communicating between ships and places at a distance. 

A man named Otis invented elevators in 1852—100 years ago. Dr. Graham Bell, a teacher of Deaf and Dumb did not invent his telephone system until 1876— a marvellous system for releasing the human voice over long distances. Charles Goodyear, a hardware dealer, discovered the method of vulcanising rubber in 1839 to keep it from becoming sticky in the heat or brittle when exposed to air. Later vulcanised rubber was applied to tyres. There were no motor cars when Goodyear made his discovery. The first motor cycle ever made was by Daimler in 1884, only sixty-eight years ago, although a penny farthing bicycle had previously been used. Daimler produced his first motor in 1887. Soon cars were racing along at the terrific speed of fifteen miles an hour. 

Christmas cards were coming into use, one hundred years ago. That lovely custom for sending goodwill messages—now universally employed, was started by Queen Victoria. Prior to the invention of the sewing machine by Elias Howe, clothes were handed down as heirlooms and girls getting married had to spin their own sheets and household linens. These Spinners were called Spinsters--which term is still applied to single girls. Since the advent of the sewing machine it is possible to buy ready-to-wear clothing and change our dress fashions as often as we like, if our husband's earnings can keep pace with our yearnings. Sixty years ago, typewriters had not been thought of. Women had no votes. There was no free education. Universities were not open to women.

There were no fountain pens. Ships went round by the Cape of Good Hope for there was no Suez Canal. One of the most ingenious inventions of modern vintage is Radar, an English invention. You will recall how, during World War II all the German planes, intended for the destruction of England, were brought down over the English Channel -180 in one night never reached their destination. That was through Radar. England had just a few planes and a few skilled aviators, but they rose to the occasion. The flyers were tired out. As fast as they brought their machines home, the ground Engineers would hop on to them like a flock of bees, whilst the aviators would sleep through all the noise of hammering, rivetting, refuelling. When it was reported that German planes had left their base (it took only eight minutes to cross the Channel) the aviators would be awakened -—sometimes with hob nailed boots. They were so tired, they had to be "kicked into wakefulness," so it was said. They would scramble aboard, and take their planes out again over the Channel. England was never invaded. Think of what life would be like without a daily bath with hot and cold water laid on, or without a vacuum cleaner or a refrigerator. 

Yet they had none of these things 100 years ago. It was Mr. Sutcliffe Mort, of Goldsborough Mort, who designed the first freezing chamber in Sydney in 1861 and took frozen meat to England in 1880. When he died he left provision for a statue to be erected to him in his will. It is in Macquarie Place. If I had done as much for humanity as this man I would leave enough for statues everywhere. 

There was no Salvation Army a hundred years ago. This has ever been a marvellous organisation that took religion down to the depraved souls and spoke their language. I used to walk from Glenmore Road, Paddington every night through Goulburn Street and Pier Street, which was then full of Chinamen, to go to the Sydney Technical College fifty odd years ago—a most uh-"edifying route. We didn't attend college in the bosses' time in those days, and we went every night if we were ambitious and wanted to get on, not one or two nights a week as now. 

I frequently heard The Salvationists sing "Jesus is a Bosker, there ain't no flies on him. There's flies on you and there's flies on me, but there ain't no flies on Jesus." It shocked me at the time. It sounded like sacrilege, but it was understood by those who had to listen to it, and they got them to renounce their sins and join the Salvation Army. The means justified the end. Analine dyes were made from coal tar in 1856. In those days women and children crawled on hands and knees to pull trucks in the coal mines, and children were sent up chimneys to clean them out, for no one had thought of lengthening the handle of a broom to rid the flue of soot. 

Our Next 100 Years. 

Now, all this is instanced merely to show how far we have come towards material comfort and enjoyment in just over 100 years. Sometimes I wonder what the next • one hundred years will bring forth, with no one striving to reach perfection. One has to do the most to reach perfection, not the least. We can never achieve unless we work long and hard. And this is precisely what we are not doing. Fortunately for development, Chemical Engineers are not taking up that attitude. They are achieving successes that have put most developments of the past in the shade, not only the Atom bomb but the Oil Refineries, of which Australia is to have some soon—one for the Anglo-Iranian Company of £38,000,000 in Western Australia, development of Altona Refinery in Victoria for £13,000,000, and one of £25,-000,000 at Kurnell, N.S.W., for the Caltex Oil Co., although Parks and Playgrounds Committees and Cumberland County Council are objecting to this latter site, as it will interfere with parks (that would render a much more useful service if placed elsewhere) and also the flying-boat base. Fancy putting the latter where a bombora, or wind and water disturbance takes place. It would be like putting a wharf for ships in the Bay of Biscay, which is notorious for its storms. But one cannot stop the progress of science with trivialities.

It would be like trying to sweep back the tides of the ocean with a broom. Capital can be withdrawn from development, to our great impoverishment and this announcement carries a warning not to interfere too much with development. In this district there are 1400 people living in "shanty town" under conditions that should make us blush for shame. Homes For The Masses. Sydney's population is like London's or New York's. It grows with each development. The City of Sydney proper has a population of 211,400. The Metropolitan area 1,584,830, the County of Cumberland 1,858,-480. These have increased by 21 % in the last ten years and it seems we are impotent to do anything about coping with a house shortage of 300,000 all over Australia which in 1940 had 6,930,-000 people and now has -8,4o0,-446—about a 22% increase 

We are prone to tell ourselves we are a most progressive people but the standard of homes we are developing would indicate that we are a backward race. Some of them, but not all, are nothing short of monotonous look-alike dog's boxes. When I was in Sao Paula in Brazil, I was impressed with the beautiful wrought iron work on every home. They were distinctive homes, such as one could see a few years ago going up in Wahroonga, Mosman or Rose Bay. Every home was adorned with beautiful craftsmanship — the stonemasons and the bricklayers' work had become an art, and then there was the ornamental steel workers' art, of which we haven't a present-day example in Australia. These houses looked as though somebody loved designing them and building them artistically, and they looked as though somebody loved living in them. I don't think our pre-fabs will awaken any feeling of pride on the part of the occupier in the future. Sao Paula isn't the only town in Brazil that is coping with increasing population and housing its people properly. 

In ten years: Sao Paula increased by 73% to 2,200,000. Rio de Janeiro increased by thirty-five per cent to 2,400,000, Recipe by fifty-five per cent, to 500,000, Salvador by thirty-two per cent, to 384,000, Porto Alegra by forty-three per cent, to 381,000, Natal one hundred per cent, to 104,300, Florianopolis ninety-five per cent, to 48,800. This capital city is on an island. Here they have built a bridge 2,788 ft. long to serve this smallish population whereas in Sydney with a population four times as great, we cannot get a second bridge over our Harbour of much shorter span. 

England has issued 1,000,000 licences for television sets. We haven't issued one yet, the latest edict is that the whole idea of installations is to be abandoned. That doesn't seem very progressive. 

Abolish Obstacles Standing in the Light of Progress. 

If I had my way, I would say -Abolish the Fair Rents Court and let people build beautiful homes for selling or letting in a competitive market, as distinct from a curtailed market enabling owner-occupiers alone to build homes. Let anybody build homes who would run the risk. It is their own money they would be using and not Government advances as at present. The Government cannot continue to cope with such a drain on its finances. Abolish all the Boards that arc restricting, curtailing and harrassing the man on the land through price fixing. It is time we allowed people to plant as much as they are prepared to grow, build as many houses as they want to build and work as long as they want to work at what calling they desire and for what they are capable of earning. 

To make everyone slothful by an Act-of Parliament will not progress the country very much. 

An instance of retarding progress came to my notice last week when some hot water piping was being lagged with asbestos. The firm's men were equipped with knowledge and materials to finish the job for they had always done this class of work, but the Unions said the binding with wire was a metal workers' job. The firm has been advertising for men to do this without success. That was a month ago. The work is still undone. The firm's men are idle and are likely to remain so. How far will this kind of thing carry the country along the road to success? We have never contributed one whit of thought or expression of gratitude to others who have devised all the products of the last 100 years—with hot or cold water laid on, refrigeration, telephones, motor cars, wireless, movie pictures, and countless other things. Instead we have taken them as a right for our personal comfort. 

We all forget to say "Thank God that men in the past were inventive and diligent; that they counted not the hours spent in earnest endeavour in order to achieve such things as we now enjoy." And then we should ask God to give us health, strength, courage and the desire to leave some small thing, that we of this era may devise for the benefit of generations yet to come. EVERYDAY AFFAIRS (1952, March 19). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

The George A. Taylor Memorial Fund

The late Editor of this Journal, having won the esteem of all Australians for the manner in which he devoted his life so unselfishly and unsparingly to the service of humanity, it was but natural that there should be a desire to commemorate the memory of this benefactor to mankind, whose astounding energy and the extensive range, of his activities in the cause of science and progress, and whose unbounded kindness endeared him. to all who came within his compass. 

To consider the raising of a suitable memorial in his name, a meeting was called at the Town Hall, Sydney, on February 10 by Dr. Purdy, Metropolitan Officer of Health, at which about 80 persons attended. It was decided, that the Memorial should take the form of a Lectureship at Sydney University in Aviation, Wireless, Building Construction, or Local v Government Engineering; or a Fellowship, to' be , awarded by the Senate of -the Sydney University to some graduate who has shown distinction in Aviation, Wireless ' Research and Invention, Military Surve}'ing, Town Planning, Local Government Engineering, or Building Construction. 

The following office-bearers were elected:— Chairman.; Lt.-Col. J. S. Purdy, D.S.O., M.D., F.R.S.E. Executive; Dr.. Mary Booth, O.B.E., M.B., CM., Mr. Capt. F. Daniell (United Inst. of N.S.W.), Basil Cooke, F.R.A.S. (Assoc. Dev. Wireless), Mrs. Adolph Hyman, Mr. George Portus (Royal Syd. Apollo Club), Sir John Sulman, Kt,v F.R.I.B.A., M.T.P.I., Mr. J. Wing (Radio Broadcast Bureau). 

Hon. Organising Executive of Ladies. Dr. Mary Booth, O.B.E., -M.B., CM., Mrs. Francis, Mrs. Adolph Hyman, Mrs. Percy Paget, Miss Josephine Marks. 

Committee. Hon. George Black, M.L.C., Dr. J. J. C. Bradfield, D.Sc. Eng., M.I.C.E., M.E., M.I.E. Anst., Mr. E. P. Brandt, Mr. Chas. Bryant (Royal Art Society), Capt. C. E. W. Bean, Mr. and Mrs. Roland Cook, Mr. Burcham Clamp, M.I.A., Mr. Chapman, Mr. F. Chidgey (Manly Master Builders' Association), Mr. D. Bennet Dobson, M.I.A., Mr. Arthur Davis C'Steele Rudd'), Miss Olive Flynn (Town Planning Association), Mrs. Fotheringhame (Inst. of Journalists), Mirs. Geddes, Sir John Harrison, Mr. H. F. Halloran, F:S:I:, A:M:I:E: Aust., Mr. J. Hawley, Mr. Kelso King, Mr. W. G. . Layton (Town Clerk), Mr. Lawler, Mr. Lister Lister (Pres., Royal Art Society), Mr.' M. Merrivale, Madame McCracken, Mr. W. P. Macintosh, Mr. W. J. Morris, Mr. Jas. Nangle, O.B.E., M.I.A., F.R.G.S., F.R.A.S., Mr. Oxnard Smith (Royal Art Society), Mr. A. G. O'Donnell, Mrs. Val Osborne, Mrs. Proud (Feminist Club), Mr. Jas. M. Pringle, Major-Gen. Sir Chas. Rosenthal, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., V.D., F.R.I.B.A., Mr. A. E. Rudder, Mr. Ruskin Rowe, MJ.A., Mr. D. S. Rogers (Builders' Exchange), Mr. Norman Bede Rydge (Sec, Assoc. Dev. Wireless), Mr. George Saunders ('Uncle George,' 2GB), Hon. T. M. Shakespeare, M.L.C., 'Mr. David G. Stead (Aust. Forest- League), Mr. J. A. Travis (Orpheun Amateur Orch. Society), Mr. Geo. S. Travis (Builders' Exchange), Mr. E. H. Turner (N.S.W. Bookstall Co.), Mr. Geo. J. Vincent, Miss Valentine, Mrs. W. T. Weekes, Mr. Henry E. White, M.I.A., F.N.Z.I.A., Mr. W. P. Young (N.S.W. Listeners' League), Col. Seymour Wells, M.I.A., Mr. H. - C. Walker (Radio Interests). Hon. Treasurer: Mr. J. A. Spencer, F.C.P.A. Hon. Secretary: Mr. David L. Davidson, M.T.P.I., M.R., San. I. 

About £170 was collected in the hall as a nucleus for the fund, and other amounts have since been forwarded to Mr. J. A. Spencer, 16 Spring Street, Sydney, as under: —  Mrs. Mary Ward .. .. .. .. £10 10 0 English Speaking Union ?... .. 5 5 0 Mr. A. J. Reynolds ? 110 Mr. A. E. Rudder .. .... .. 2 2 0 Mr. T. E. Shonk, (Hospital Saturday Fund of N.S.W.) .. .. ... 10 0 The Eastern Suburbs Master Builders' Association ? ' 10 10 0 L. A. King ? 2 2 0 S. G. Mizen ? 1 1.0 Weston Company Ltd ? 110 J. R. Wallace ? - 1 1 0. W. P. Macintosh .. .. .. .. 1 1.0 Sir John Harrison .... . ... ? ., ? 10 10 .0. Bobby Watson .. .. .. .. 1 1 0 Kelso King .. ........ 10 0 0 Miss Annis Parsons .. .... 20 0 0 Mrs. Jean March . . .... . . 20 0 0 Frank Walker .. .. .. .. .. 10 6 F. S. Heighway .. .. .. .. 110 Col. R. Seymour Wells ....... -220 J. M. Dunlop ? ... .. ,5 5 0 British General Electric Co. .. ... 10 10/ 0 C. H. Norville .. . . .. ..... 25 0 0 Voluntary Workers' Association 2 2 0 Mrs. K. G. Kirkpatrick .. ..... 1 1 0 Dr. W. .H. Read ........ 2 2 6 Mrs. E. Irving .. .... ? 110 Mr. and Mrs. S. Hillman .. .. 2 2 0 Real Estate Institute of N.S.W. .' .? 10 10 0 Sir John Sulman .. .. .. .. 10 0 0 Alfred Coffey .. .. .. .. .. . 1 1 0 Mr. and Mrs. G. F. Allman : . . , 1 1 U Officers of the Cook's River Improvement League .. .. ?? 1 '1 .0 N. B. Rydge .. .. .... .. .. 5 5 0 J. A. Spencer . . . . . . .... 550 Jack Hennessy .. .... .. .. 5 5 0 Master Builders and Contractors' Association Union of Employers, Perth, W.A. .. .. .... .-.. 10 10 0 The Staff of Building Limited . . 40 0 0 Radio Broadcast Bureau ? .. . .,. 10 10 0 Dr. and Mrs. Bradfield .. .. 5 5 0 Mrs. Rosenfeld ? 2 2 0 Mr. Rush .. .... .... .. 10 0 Airs. Howell Price, ........ 10 0 A. J. Small ? 550 Mr. D. L. Davidson ? 25 0 0 Sir Arthur Rickard .. . ? ... 10 10 0 Dr. Maloney, M.H.R. .. .... -1.1 0 H. Stcadman . . ? . . 3 3 0 T. W. Seaver .. .. ? 1 1 'J Chubb's Aust. Co. Ltd ? 3 3 0 Gordon and Gotch (A/sia) Ltd.. 5 5 0 Electrical Employers' Assoc. of N.S.W1 .. .. ....... .. .?'.. 10 10 0 Mrs. W. A. Lackey . . .-. . .' . . 0 10 ' 6 Dr. J. S. Purdy ? 5 5 0 R. H. Cambage ? 22 0 Walter C. Gabriel .. .... . . 1 1 0 Mrs. B. J. Chantrill ? 2 2 0 Mrs. Adolph Hyman .. ...... 11 0 Society of Women Painters .. 10 10 0 C. R. Hogue .... .. .. .. 010 6 J. H. Harvey, L.R.I.B.A. ..... 1.1 0 Miiss I. Valentine . . .'. .. .'. : 11 0 Mrs. O. A. Fielding ? 5 0 0 E. C. Manfred ? 1.1 0 Aust. Forest League ? 2 2 0 Newcastle City Council ? 10 10 0 Miss J. Fotheringhame ? 1 1 0 Chas. Ludowici .. ?? ?? ?? ?? 5 5 0 H. R. Goulding ? 11.0 A. G. and the Misses Sly ' . . . . 110 Wm. Macleod ? 10 10 0 Ernest P. Brandt ? 3 3 0, John Hawley ? . . 0^ 10 6 Assoc. for Developing Wireless in Australia ? . . . ? . 5 5 0 Fergus George ? 11 0 Mrs. J. J. Talbot . .- ? 1 1 ,0' Lady Storey ? ' 1 1 0 O'Brien Bros ? 110 H. E. Budden ? 220 J. A. Milford ? 220 Hon. C. W. C. Marr. M.H.R. .. 2 2 0 J. C. L. Fitzpatrick, M.L.A ? 110 John Lemmone .. .. .... .. ?? 2 2 0 J. A. Kethel .. .... . . .. 3 3 0 Mrs. Emma Owen and Son . . . . 10 10 !0 New System Telephones Pty. Ltd. 1-1 '0 Sir Edgeworth- and Lady David .. 3 3 0 Misses M. and F. »Hill ? 10 6 ? .?'.?: Mrs. G. A. Lowe ? / .. 110 - ? Mrs. E. Fairweather .... .^ 10 0 t '/-? Sir Joseph and Lady Cook .. ;. 2-2 0 G. C. Whitney ? .. 110 -; Tasmanian Institute of Architects 5 5 0 . Geo. Fitzpatrick . . ? 110 . Miss Lilian Mitchell . .. . . . .' 5 0 - '? . Cyril Blacket .'.'. ? 1 1 0 ? Mr. , and. Mrs. Roland Cook ..... 5 5 0 '? K.-{ Spain and Cosh .... . . ? . . . .. , 10 10 U ?W..J. Spruson ? :. .. 2 2 0 H. F. Halloran ? 10 10 0 G. M. Skinner Ltd. ...-...'..- 110'. C Schultz .. .. '.. .-. ..... 550 ?T. E. Rofe .. ? .... 2 2 0 ; Mrs. .M. Esbensen Paul ... . . .. 110 Mrs. E. B. Cook .. .. .... 1 1 0 Mrs. Ethel Francis .. .... .. 1 10 Mrs. K. Trefle ? ??.-.?.. 10 6 ?? Mrs. J. Stubley ? ; . . 110 C. E. W. Bean ? .'...... -220 Russell Sinclair ? 1 10 '. Arthur B. Clarke ? 2 2 0' Jas.' A. Burke ? ' .. 2 2 0 F. W. C. Schaeffcr ? 10 6' Ii. Ruskin Rowe ? . . 5 5 0 Mrs. A. Hamilton ? '« , 10 6 W. Scott Griffiths ? ? 1-10' J. H. Wood ... ? 110. Mrs. L. C. Yanz ? 1-0 0 C. H. Ballantine ? '. 110 ' L. Barton Watson ; ? 10 6 Mr. and Mrs. Fotheringham .. .. .1 1 -0 . ' R. Rahncnfuehrer ? 220 Mr. Frank Gridland .. .. .. 5 5 0 Mr. James Vicars ? .110 Miss Florence Sulman .. .. .. 110 Mr. Finlav Mclnnes .. .. ..110 Mrs. StcAViirt Dawson .. ..... 10 10 0 . ! David G. Stead ? ..1 1 0 G. Beard .. ? , 110 Commonwealth Portland Cement ' Co. Ltd. .. .... .: ?:. 5 5 0 M Herbert E. Ross. .. .. ..^ .. -21 0 '0 Returned Sailors and Soldiers' Imperial League of Australia .... 110 * '. N.S.W. Bookstall Co. Ltd. .... 2 2 0 The Builders' Exchange, Sydney .. 10 10 0 W/underlich Ltd. .. .. .... 10 10 0 ' ?;?; H. J. Hanna .. ........ 1 1 Q T. H. Kelly ? ..220 ' '. Sir Thos. and Lady Hailey .. .. 110 Lieut. -Commander Patrick .. ... 1 1 0 ? Geo. Fortescue and Sons Ltd. ?? . . . 2 2 0 J. H. Souter ? 110 A. J. Fortescue .. .... ..... '2 2 0 H., H. Dare . .? . .. .. ? 1 1 .0 A. J. Macdonald ? 110 R. E. Jones ? :? 10 6 E. O. Milne ? . . 110 Aubrey Halloran ? . . 2 2 0Mrs. Loveridgc ? 110 Lady Sulman ? 3 0 0 A. W. Hyman ? .. .. 110 Stuart Bros. ? 52 10 0 ?H. R. Douglas .. . /?.- .. .. .. 1 1 0 '' £649 12 0 Different organisations to which Mr. Taylor belonged are Cipening JVIemorial subscription accounts : the Master Builders' Association of New South Wales ; and the Institute of Journalists having ; circularised their members to this efrect. . ; ; The Orpheum Amateur Orchestral x\ vSociety, of which Mr. Taylor was president, proposes to give the proceeds of its June concert to the funds. The concert ?? will be a MemoriaLone, with many brilliant artists contributing. ..To enable those unable to ,be present ' at the meeting, but desiring to contribute to the fund, an. opportunity to do so, the. tear-off subscription form is printed J thereunder. ' ?.' Acknowledgments in the press will be duly made of all receipts, as well as in  the usual manner. Tear off here if you desire to contribute....  The George A. Taylor Memorial Fund (1928, March 28). Construction and Local Government Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1930), p. 17. Retrieved from 


The Minister for Works and Kallwojs (Mr. Hill) nnnoiuiced to da;, that he lind received the lepoit ft otu the assessoi« win had examined the competitive designs toi (be pcimiincnl admin istia the building at fj.inljcua, .uni on opening the sealed envelopes loiitaining the ntl mes of the u>mpetlton bo found that the most success lui designo were submitted br the follow¡ng -

First design, No 76, G. Sydney Jones, of Sydney, premium £500,

Second design, No DS, Messrs, R A, Henderson and P. W. Williams, of Mel-bourne, premium £600.

Third design, No. 79, Messrs. Harry S. Bunden and Francis G. Hood, of Sydney, premium £300.

Six other prizes of £100 each were awarded to the following ... Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Tuesday 16 December 1924, page 8

HOOD Francis Graham -October 28 1948 (architect) (suddenly) at Hopewood House late of 31 Challis Avenue Potts Point and New Zealand dearly beloved husband of Helen Private cremation. Family Notices (1948, October 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from

VALE, Francis Graham Hood

With heavy heart the Editor of the journals published by Building Publishing Co. Pty. Ltd. records the sudden death (28th October, 1948) of Francis Graham Hood, architect, her former associate on Town Planning Schemes, all of which were drawn by Mr. Hood for these journals— "The Australasian Engineer," "Building and Engineering," and "Construction." 

Our sincerest sympathy goes out to his widow. 

With a penmanship that was sparkling, and a draughtsmanship that was second to none in Australia, and possibly without rival in the world, Mr. Hood also had a brain that was so quick in the up take that she would no sooner suggest a scheme than he would properly interpret it, and represent the finished product with a speed that was amazing. Mostly the schemes were the outcome of this combination, but some of those printed embodied Mr. Hood's own ideas, and these he signed personally. 

The idea of producing them in the first place was to endeavour to create in the minds of people the practicability and the possibility of their city's development in terms of efficiency or beauty—,an uphill task, for few, it seems, are interested in anything aesthetical, unless perchance it be the form of a beautiful racehorse. Some of their ideas were beyond the grasp of our "look after oneself first" populace, though doubtless many will be adopted in years to come when Civic Pride is more developed. 

After working together for three years after the war on about 70 town planning projects, and after Mr. Hood designed 45 modern shops under his own name, association with Building Publishing Co. Pty. Ltd. terminated. 

The principal town planning subjects were under the combined names of Florence M. Taylor and F. Graham Hood:

The William Street three-avenue scheme, with sunken route through Park Street affording cross-city through traffic. 

Parramatta Road express road with roundabouts and fly-overs in appropriate places, including a fly-over at the Sydney University to enable university extensions across the road to be reached. 

Route from City to Rushcutters Bay. 

Sydney Hospital on Barrack's site. 

Cultural centre with Art Gallery, Conservatorium, Auditorium, Technological Museum, and Opera House in the Domain, with sufficient land resumptions in low-lying Woolloomooloo to provide extra park lands, sports arena and stadium, in compensation for using the Domain grounds. 

Hotel Centre near the Wentworth*Hotel. 

Darlington Road Flats. 

Helicopter bases at Sydney and Kurrajong. 

King's Cross two-level roundabout. 

Technical College on Darlinghurst jail site. 

Town Hall traffic solution. 

Circular Quay re-designed. 

Darling Harbour wharfing accommodation remodelled. 

International airport. 

Civic Centres for cities and towns. 

Market design. 

Mr. Hood was born in New Zealand, but he had gained experience in America (San Francisco, Chicago, and New York) before coming to Australia 29 years ago. In competitions he won second prize for the Presbyterian Assembly Hall, Sydney, and third prize for the Administrative Block at Canberra. It must be admitted that with these, as well as the war work upon which he was engaged, he has led a most active life in Australia and will be sadly missed from the professional circle. VALE, (1948, November 10). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

Sydney Women Rally Round Amy

"Miss Johnson is coming through in the pluckiest way, and it is fitting that the first great effort to welcome her should be made by women citizens."

MISS PRESTON STANLEY ex-pressed this opinion at a meeting at the Sydney Town Hall yester-day, held to arrange a public luncheon to Miss Amy Johnson, who is flying from England to Australia. Mrs. John Garlick convened the meeting, on the suggestion of Miss June Holland, who wrote to say that she thought all women should show their appreciation of the epoch-making flight 


Mrs. Garlick presided, and the following committee was elected: — President, Mrs. John Garlick; Miss June Holland and Miss Margaret Chalmers (Forum Club), secretaries; Dr. Lucy Gullett (treasurer). 

An executive of seven was appointed, including Mrs. Albert Littlejohn (United Associations), Miss S Williams (Women's College), Mrs. Florence Taylor (Arts Club), Miss Janet Mitchell (Thrift Service), Miss M. M Mackay (Queen's Club), and Mrs. Alfred Lee (Red Cross). It was decided to hold the lunch-eon as soon as possible after Miss Johnson's arrival. It is to be called "the Women Citizens' Public Luncheon," and is to be held in the Sydney Town Hall. The price of the tickets was fixed at 5/, and are to be avail-able at the Town Hall and Paling's. 


Others who attended were: — Lady Murdoch, Mrs A. V. Roberts, Mrs. E. M. Griffiths (Women Justices), Miss Norris (ex-Service Women's Club and Victoria League), Miss McKiuuop (Catholic Women's Association), Mrs. Malley Soldiers' Mothers, Wives, and Relatives' Victory Association), Mrs. J. Hayden, Mrs. J. Horne, Miss C. McGauly, Miss Clutterbuck, Mrs. Garton, Mrs. Johnson-Mulholland, and Miss Valmai Jenkins. WAITING HER ARRIVAL (1930, May 17). Daily Pictorial (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1931), p. 21. Retrieved from

The six women pilots who provided an aerial escort for British aviator Amy Johnson when she arrived in Sydney on 4 June 1930. Amy was the first woman to fly on her own England to Australia' and the names of the pilots who formed the escort. The pilots were from left to right: Margaret 'Meg' Skelton, Florence 'Bobby' Terry, Evelyn Follett, Alice Upfold, Phyllis Arnott and Freda Deaton. The photograph may have been taken outside a hangar at the Mascot aerodrome in Sydney. courtesy of National Library of Australia, National Library of Australia number nla.pic-an24664499 - (1930). Escort for Amy Johnson's landing in Sydney, June 4th, 1930 Retrieved from

Amy Johnson CBE (July 1, 1903 – January 5, 1941) was a pioneering English pilot who was the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia. Amy obtained the funds for her first aircraft from her father, who was always one of her strongest supporters, and Lord Wakefield. She purchased a secondhand de Havilland DH.60 Gipsy Moth G-AAAH and named it Jason after her father's business trade mark.

Johnson achieved worldwide recognition when, in 1930, she became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. Flying G-AAAH Jason, she left Croydon Airport, Surrey, on May 5th and landed at Darwin, Northern Territory on May 24th, 11,000 miles (18,000 km). Six days later she damaged her aircraft while landing downwind at Brisbane airport and flew to Sydney with Captain Frank Follett while her plane was repaired. Jason was later flown to Mascot, Sydney, by Captain Lester Brain.

She received the Harmon Trophy as well as a CBE in George V's 1930 Birthday Honours in recognition of this achievement, and was also honoured with the No. 1 civil pilot's licence under Australia's 1921 Air Navigation Regulations.

Arrangements for Reception.

Last night arrangements were completed for the reception of Miss Amy Johnson at the Mascot Aerodrome this afternoon.

The Fokker monoplane of the Australian National Airways, Limited, in which she will travel from Brisbane, is due to arrive at 3 p.m. The Jason Moth aeroplane, in which the flight was made from London to Brisbane, will be piloted by Captain Brain, of Q.A.N.T.A.S., who will land a few minutes before Miss Johnson. The Jason will be drawn up alongside the reception dais.

The Aero Club will send six aeroplanes, in charge of women pilots, to escort Miss Johnson to Mascot. These machines will be over Long Reef about 2 p.m., and will form two separate formations during the flight to the aerodrome. The pilots will be Mesdames Terry and Upfold, and the Misses Arnott, Deaton, Skelton, and Follett.

Miss Johnson will go from the aerodrome to Government House. She will be the guest of the Governor and Lady Game during her stay in Sydney.

The latest details respecting the flight from Brisbane and of the landing will be broadcast from 2FC, 2BL, 2UW, and 2GB. and from amplifiers around the aerodrome.


A record crowd is expected to witness Miss Johnson's arrival, and elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure effective control of traffic.

The public will be directed to a specially barricaded area, and only those possessing special passes will be admitted by the police into the landing-ground.

This plan has been adopted as a safety measure for fliers and spectators alike, for should the crowd encroach on the landing area in Its present state it would be impossible for the large Fokker and the escorting planes to land with safety.


A force of 500 police, in charge of Super-intendents Leary and Linegar, will be on duty at the aerodrome.

"I am particularly anxious that the public should assist the police in every way." said the Commissioner of Police last night. "The landing-ground must be kept clear, and the public must remain behind the barriers. In this way everybody will be afforded an opportunity of witnessing the arrival of Miss Johnson. After the brief official welcome she will be driven slowly around the aerodrome, so that everybody may see her."

Police will be stationed at all approaches and motorists will be directed to parking areas.


Two motor ambulances will be in attendance on the ground, and the ambulance-room at the entrance to the aerodrome will be fully staffed. An ambulance tent will be erected on the south-west side of the ground. Three other motor ambulances will be stationed at the South Sydney Ambulance Station, Botanyroad, and near General Holmes' Drive, over-looking the aerodrome. St. John's Ambulance Brigade has arranged for 50 men and women members to be present in uniform, and they will be located at various points around the aerodrome.


A special weather forecast for today was issued by the Acting State Meteorologist (Mr. Camm) last night. The weather should be chiefly fine, with some clouds. Cold, fresh, and squally, west to south-west winds are expected.

During the flight from Brisbane, fine weather should be experienced, and the visibility should be good. Winds should be fresh from the west, gradually increasing in velocity as the 'plane flies southward, and averaging about 30 miles an hour in New South Wales.

The "Southern Sun" with Miss Johnson aboard is expected to leave Brisbane about 9 a.m. to-day, and proceed to Sydney by the usual air mail route.

Spectators will recognise the Fokker by its Identification marking-VH-UNA.


On alighting, Miss Johnson will be conducted to a specially erected dais and listen to addresses of welcome, which will be broad-cast. Miss Johnson will be welcomed by the following:

Senator J. J. Daley (representing the Commonwealth Government), the State Attorney-General (Mr. Boyce), Chief City Commissioner (Mr. Garlick), Mr. Mutch, M.L.A., the Mayor of Mascot (Mr. Alexander), the president of the Aero Club (Captain G. F. Hughes), and the New Zealand Trade Commissioner (Mr. Schmitt). Miss Johnson will respond to the addresses of welcome. The proceedings on the dais will occupy about 15 minutes.

The aviatrix will be driven around the aerodrome so that everyone may obtain a good view of her, and will then depart for Government House. AMY JOHNSON. (1930, June 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

Woman pioneer of flight dies

SYDNEY, Sunday. — Mrs Florence M. Taylor, the first Australian woman to fly, died on Thursday. She was 89.

Mrs Taylor was a leading feminist, a qualified engineer, architect, town planner, publisher and editor of journals. Born Florence Mary Parsons in Bristol, England, in 1879, she came to Australia with her family at the age of four. 

She began her amazing career at 19 when the death of her father forced her to become the breadwinner, and she got a job in an architect's office in Parramatta.She then became a trainee architect. Within eight years with certificates for 19 subjects, she was senior draftsman in charge of the drawing room and a complete male staff. She qualified later in the engineering field.

In 1907 she married George Augustine Taylor, pioneer aviator, engineer, surveyor, geologist, astronomer, poet and artist. Mrs Taylor made the first glider flight attempted by a woman in 1909, taking off from Narrabcen sandhills, assisted by her husband and Sir. Edward Hallstrom. With her husband she began later to publish three technical journals.

Mrs Taylor retired in 1961. She died at her Potts Point home. Woman pioneer of flight dies (1969, February 17). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p. 7. Retrieved from

Florence Mary Taylor: First Woman To Fly In Australia, First Female Australian Architect, Engineer - A Women's Champion - threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2021