Woodridge

Location

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History

The area where Woodridge now stands was set aside as a timber reserve when the first selections were being taken up in the early 1870s. The township of Booran was surveyed in 1888, following construction of the railway. The current streets of Victoria, Smith, Bruce, Edward, Douglas, Plunkett and North indicate the location of the Booran township.

Woodridge became known as Grahams' Siding in 1913, after timber getter Dugald Graham received permission to erect a siding. Initially he wanted the siding called Grahamvale or Grahams' Siding, but then suggested Devar.

Graham sold to Octavius Stubbs in June 1913. Stubbs had a poor impression of Graham and objected to the locality being named after him. Unofficially, Stubbs named his property Woodridge, although the Railways Department called it 15 Mile Siding. The Railway Department officially accepted the name Woodridge when the platform was made accessible to the travelling public in January 1917. The post office recognised the name in November 1917 and the first Woodridge name plate was erected on 19 January 1918. Local progress associations were important in these developing areas. In Woodridge, the progress association under Secretary S McDonald built its first public hall in 1917.

In 1916, Stubbs began to subdivide his land. Initially, 10-acre lots were created along Wembley Road and into Bardon Road. Stubbs built simple timber homes on six of these lots and sold them for £340. By 1918, Garfield Road was surveyed, with further subdivisions in that area. On the other side of the railway line, Arthur Blackwood began subdividing land between North and Ewing Roads, including Blackwood, Defiance and Croydon Roads. This was marketed as Dorothy Park Estate and subdivision approval was given in November 1918. Land parcels were generally one-quarter acre lots. Blackwood also subdivided Mabel Park Estate, beginning in 1915. Land along Garfield Road was further subdivided by Stubbs in 1924. The site of the current progress association hall was held in trust by William Seeleither and John Thomas in 1918 and, in June 1927, was further held in trust by Seeleither and Edward Miller. Seeleither later ran the local sawmill.

A provisional school operated from the progress hall from 1924 to 1932. In 1932, a new school opened on the corner of Wembley Road and Railway Parade. Mr Boyle, who operated a sawmill in Railway Parade, donated one acre of the two-acre site. During the 1930s, about 30 farming families lived in Woodridge. They grew fruit, vegetables and fodder crops, and started a poultry industry.

Government services to Woodridge started with the appointment of a receiving officer for the mail, Mrs J Towning, in May 1923. The Townings had been living in the area since at least 1917. John Towning ran the local store for many years from his property at 34 Railway Parade, near the corner of Charles Avenue. The telephone exchange opened in 1928 with Lloyd Barden, a retired grazier, the only subscriber. A second telephone was installed in 1938 by Mr H Newmann. Electricity was connected to Woodridge in 1939.

Land for housing was in demand and, in 1943, the Tingalpa Shire Council offered allotments in the old town of Booran (Woodridge) for £5 ($10). Further growth occurred in the 1950s, with subdivisions undertaken by R G Oates of George Street Brisbane and Arthur Trinder. The Oates subdivision was approved in May 1951, and included Oates Park. At that time, the park was reserved as the Woodridge Sports Ground.

Arthur Trinder had purchased most of George Cannon's original property, including Karawatha Forest and land along the railway line. Trinder began subdivisions in 1952, and he built houses on many of the allotments. In 1959, Trinder gave 222 acres to the Lutheran Church. By August 1966, plans were underway for construction of the Trinder Park Rest Home, which opened in 1969.

Woodridge telephone services expanded slowly. In October 1953, there were five telephone subscribers in Woodridge. By 1958, there were 58. From 8 June 1945, the post office was run by George Livingston from his home at 22 Railway Parade. The post office remained in this area until 1 July 1953, when it relocated to Station Street in a new office run by Thomas Tonkin.

Reticulated water was installed in Woodridge in 1963. Much of the development in the 1960s was the result of the developers buying up large parcels of land. The Queensland Housing Commission began building homes in Woodridge after the water was connected. Eight homes were constructed in Woodridge between June 1963 and June 1964, making a total of 13 constructed in the area since 1945. By the end of the 1968–69 financial year, 472 Housing Commission houses had been built in Woodridge, with that number rising to 1,547 by mid-1977.

The post-war growth in Woodridge saw four churches built in Railway Parade. The Methodist Church operated from 1951. St Catherine's Catholic Church opened in August 1954, followed by St James' Anglican Church in October 1955. A Lutheran Sunday School operated in the progress hall from 1961 and an Air Force Hut was later erected on the Railway Parade site donated by Pop Trinder. The Sunday School hall was dedicated in March 1964.

The ambulance service began in 1964 in Railway Parade, with the building completed in 1967. A fire station opened in Garfield Road in 1965.

In April 1961, a new automatic telephone exchange opened in Kingston Road, opposite Paradise Road. It superseded manual services in Woodridge, Slacks Creek and Kingston. During 1967, demand for telephone services in the Woodridge/Kingston area led to calls for an upgrade to the exchange. An unofficial post office was located in the Argonaut Shopping Centre from 1970.

The Woodridge Post Office changed hands in March 1968, with Mrs Ngaire Horner purchasing the post office and residence from Mrs Truran. In 1969, Mrs Horner built a block of 12 shops in Station Road, which were known as Horner's Court. The post office relocated to Shop 41 and a TAB was built on the old post office site. The post office remained at Horner’s Court until a new building opened at 36 Blackwood Road on 2 August 1976, with Woodridge now the district mail centre.

A new ambulance station opened near the Parklands Shopping Centre in 1970, and a library was established in the old ambulance station. The library was relocated to the Parklands Shopping Centre in 1972. In 1971, a temporary police office was established in a relocated home in Station Street, with a permanent site procured in Railway Parade later that year. The new station opened in 1972, and is now the home of Radio FM101. In 1975, the Woodridge Civic Centre opened with a shire office, community hall and library. The shire office and library are now occupied by the Logan Art Gallery.

In 1969, a new Catholic school opened in Woodridge and a state school was established in Woodridge North. Woodridge State High School opened in January 1972 and the Woodridge Opportunity School opened in November 1972. Enrolments at Woodridge State School continued to rise rapidly in the early 1970s, following an influx of British migrants. In January 1974, enrolments totalled 1,689 students, making it the biggest school in Queensland at the time. Other schools were quickly built to take the pressure off Woodridge, including Mabel Park State School in 1974, Harris Fields State School in Smith Road in January 1975, and Berrinba East State School in 1977. Woodridge State High School built its community hall in 1986.

The Woodridge Tavern opened in 1973, followed by the K-Mart shopping centre in 1978. Woodridge Centrepoint shopping centre was under construction in 1981.

The new Logan Shire Council began operations in July 1979, with some officers based in the Woodridge office of Albert Shire. Logan was declared a city on 1 January 1981. The new administration centre was almost complete at the time and was formally opened by the Governor of Queensland, Sir James Ramsay, on 21 February 1981.

A new Catholic Church was under construction at St Paul’s in Woodridge during 1980–81. It was formally opened in October 1981. Mabel Park State High School opened in January 1984.

The growing population of Woodridge led to the construction of a new police station in 1992. A revision of the policing structure meant the new building became head office of the Logan Police District. The official opening was on 10 October 1992.

The Booran Park Neighbourhood Centre was formally opened in October 1995. In 2004, community renewal funding provided a new multi-purpose community hall on the site. It was completed in November 2004 at a cost of $340,000.

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