Facility just like grandma’s house
PALM Beach and Currumbin communities have a new place to call “grandma’s house” with the opening of Thrower House by Gold Coast City Council last week.
Herbert and Ethel Thrower were among the original settlers on the Gold Coast.
Their daughter-in-law, Ivy Thrower, and granddaughter, Jenny Thrower, live together in Elanora and attended the opening of the house with invitation-only guests.
Jenny Thrower said her grandparents moved to Currumbin in the early 1900s with their young family.
Ms Thrower said Herbert was a blacksmith but, when motor cars became popular, he opened the first petrol station on the Gold Coast between Southport and Tweed Heads with Ethel and their sons, Kenneth and Arthur.
The Thrower family lived in a tent at the Currumbin Creek crossing – near what was the only connection road between Southport and Tweed Heads when they moved to the area.
They then purchased land nearby and constructed four houses, plus a general store.
Ms Thrower said the family built Currumbin’s first tennis courts at their own expense and convinced the council to allow holiday-makers to access the land.
She said the tennis courts still stand near the intersection of Mitchell Avenue and Duringan Street. Division 13 councillor Daphne McDonald said Thrower House was designed as a community hub for young people and their families – a revival of the Thrower family’s lifestyle in helping the community.
“For a number of years I have been trying to do something for youth in the area,” Cr McDonald said. “The local young people, community and sporting organisations, service clubs, local networks and committees provided the guide as to what they wanted and needed.
“There is not much use building a facility if the youth aren’t involved in the planning stage,” she said.
Cr McDonald said the original Thrower house was offered to the Gold Coast City Council for the project.
“The land was being developed so the house was offered to us but, when council looked at the house, it was very dilapidated.” Cr McDonald said an exact replica was approved as it was cheaper to build than to restore the original house.
The project involved students from Palm Beach-Currumbin High School and Cr McDonald said their feedback was encouraging.
“Some have said it felt like ‘grandma’s house’ and we are looking at running programs at the house for the students and community,” Cr McDonald said.
“Red Cross members have said they would be happy to come and teach basic cooking classes.”
Thrower House includes a computer room, lounge room with television and games, a kitchen, bathroom and even a piano.