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Logan loses a source of its living history

Published: 20 January 2016

Logan loses a source of its living history
Mayes Cottage, a house museum preserving Logan''s early heritage, built by the late Ian Rohls great grandparents in the 1870s

The people of Logan yesterday said farewell to Ian Rohl, a lifelong member of the community who could trace his heritage back to 1871, when his great grandparents emigrated from Great Britain and settled in Logan.

We know much about Ian’s life, and Logan’s rich history, as he shared his knowledge about his family and his life through local history projects and oral history interviews, where he recorded his knowledge and recollections with the Local Studies Librarian.

The City of Logan Deputy Mayor, Councillor Russell Lutton said Ian was a tireless volunteer and well respected resident who chose to share his life and heritage with the community.

“In 1998 and 1999 Ian volunteered to be interviewed about his life and his recollections of his family’s history,” he said.

“It is a story of an ordinary man who grew up during a war and raised a family in the early years of Kingston and Woodridge.”

Ian was born in 1934 at the height of the great depression and grew up in Kingston, where he attended Kingston State School.

After leaving school at 15, four years after the Second World War ended, Ian trained as an apprentice electrician and began his working life with shipping company Burns Philp, which owned the Penneys store in Brisbane.

He first married at the age of 25 and moved to Woodridge where he lived while continuing to work in Brisbane.

Ian then worked for G J Coles (now Coles) after it acquired Penneys and later worked at Castlemaine Perkins brewery for two years, before returning to work for Coles and finally Westpac Bank.

As a member of the Mayes family, who settled in Kingston in 1871 and built the Mayes Cottage on their small farm, Ian maintained strong ties with this extended family and the property throughout his life.

Ian’s connection with Mayes Cottage was almost broken when the property was acquired by the Queensland Housing Commission in 1974 and scheduled for demolition.

Only a long drawn out campaign by a local action group saved the cottage, which is now heritage listed, from destruction.

This reminder from the past is now a house museum, open to the public every Thursday and Friday from 10.30am to 4pm.

Ian’s living history now resides in Logan’s libraries and the memories of those who knew him – particularly his wife Lillian.

More historical information about Mayes Cottage can be found on the Logan City Council website at