Freneau Park College Toowoomba - Peters Genealogy Page

Peters Genealogy Page

Freneau Park Gates

The old Freneau Park Gates have now been found

Freneau Park College Toowoomba

Freneau Park College Toowoomba

Freneau Park College Toowoomba

Also known as

"O.L.S.H." - Our Lady of the Sacret Heart Junior College.

OLSH Crest

2014 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the closure of Freneau Park College.

I am looking for any information and photos of Freneau Park College. Please forward by email to Peter Richards at Richards Brothers Seafoods (Qld) Pty Ltd - Geebung Brisbane.

This is the email address to use.

Email Rich@rds Bros

There is more information about Freneau Park on this page.


Catholic Leader article on Sunday 13th April, 2014 on this link.

Downlands Past Students new link

"While many groups choose to coordinate their own reunions, we do offer a weekend of reunion events here at the College to coincide with the Downlands Grammar rugby match each year.

In 2014 we welcome the Classes of 1944, 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994 and 2004.

Friday 29 August 2014

Saturday 30 August 2014

Sunday 31 August 2014


D.U.P.S. on 07 4690 9501 Melanie.

Liz Wells has written an article about Freneau Park School in the Toowoomba Telegraph dated 08th June 2013.

Click this link for a copy of the article

Liz Wells writes: -

"About OLSH College

Freneau Park College Add

IN 1928, the OLSH Boys' College moved from Corinda to Whinstanes, near the Brisbane River in what is now Eagle Farm.

The sisters and around 40 boys moved to The Range, and in May 1947, they moved to Freneau Park, named in honour of the order's Mother Superior, Florence Freneau. Army surplus buildings provided a dormitory, wash-house and classrooms and chapel, where mass was conducted by priests or brothers from St Patrick's Cathedral or Downlands College."

End of Story by Liz Wells.

OLSH College

The information about Whinstanes and Camp Whinstanes has now been transferred to its own web page.

Peter Richards writes: -

Freneau Park College was located off Hursley Road in Newtown Toowoomba on the Darling Downs.

As far as I can see now the property was bounded by Hursley Road, Hampton Street, Boundary Street and as far as present day Coolana Court.

During the four years from January 1955 that I spend at that boarding school, it was also a working dairy farm. There was a farm manager and the dairy cows were milked twice a day and fodder crops were grown on the 80 acre property. A further 34 acres were also acquired some time after 1951.

Freneau a Dairy farm

Freneau Pines Toowoomba

Street Map showing the original Pine Trees that were well established in 1955

Peter Richards Frenueu Park 1955

Peter Richards Freneau Park 1955 to 1958

Freneau Park Toowoomba Map

Google Map of area

I started my education in 1953 at Saint Bernadette's School at Scarborough and then in 1955 we were sent up to Toowoomba to Freneau Park College which was run by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (From Grade 3 to Grade 6). Boys from Freneau Park would traditionally go on to Downland College to complete their education. In 1959 I attended Downlands College until my Senior year in 1964.

There is not much information on the internet about Freneau Park College. Parts of the grounds appeared to be used for target practice for very large bombs. In one extremely large crater they had made it into a rubbish tip full of rusting machinery etc. - but not garbage.


There is no development on the old bomb crater site

Norfolk Island Pine Trees

Norfolk Island Pines on Norfolk Island

Bunya Pine

Bunya Pine - Araucaria bidwillii

On one section of the property there were two rows of very large Norfolk Island Pine trees forming a driveway to a deserted house. In a visit, some years ago, some of the the pine trees remain and a water tower now stands somewhere near where the house stood. In the area close to the house there was a very large Macadamia tree and a Bunya Nut Pine Tree.

It has now been established that the trees were planted by the third Mayor of Toowoomba and his German gardener named "Kube".

Mr Thomas George Robinson (1834- 1889).

Thomas George Robinson

"The former Mayor lived with his wife and family of five in a shingle-roofed house named "Raceview" located opposite the racecourse.

Robinson moved from the property in 1880 and brought a property named "Hursley".

He died there on March 28, 1883."

When the Weetwood Cup was held the school would charge the punters 2/- to park in the school paddock. We would direct the traffic and collect the money. The pine tree driveway was opposite Clifford Park Race Course.

Plews Toowoomba

It appears that the "Engineer in Chief" of the Railways a Mr. Henry Taylor PLEWS lived in the farm and house known as "Hursley" up till 1870.

Henry L Plews was also a Police Magistrate.

Image of Auction Notice 1870 H T Plews with information on the Farm and House contents.

Link to Trove Newspapers 22 January 1870.

It would appear that he had left the Colony by 1872.

Two Shillings

The Nuns residence at Freneau Park was known as St Helens and at one time was occupied by Racehourse Owner Trainer Fred King up to 1933.

Fred King St Helens Clifford Park

The Brisbane Courier 11/04/1933

Breakfast was held in silence unless they played the wind up gramophone and if they had spare needles for the 78's. Mass was celebrated every day by Priests from St. Patrick's Cathedral or from Downlands College. We were not given any pocket money and there were no tuck shops or local shops we could go to. If there was an occasion that required that we had to go to the Toowoomba show grounds, like Corpus Christi, we would walk there in formation. During the swimming season we would walk to the Christian Brothers School to use their pool on a particular day each week.

I was about 8 when my brother Billy and myself was sent to Freneau Park in 1955 However, there was one boy, who after the death of his father, Adolph Theodore John Albiez, who died in 1951, was sent to Freneau Park by his mother. Robert was about 3 and he had to wait two years before he started Grade 1. This boy was Robert Albiez. I understand his mother, Clare Ellen Albiez (d. 1991), had several Hotels in Warwick. Robert went on to Downlands but was then sent to De La Salle College at Scarborough. In his final year, the Senior year, Robert was "Dux of the School" . Ironically in those years we lived in Scarborough, not far from this College. Robert has an older sister, Elizabeth Mary (1945-1977), and she was sent to another school in Toowoomba.

Robert Albiez was an Engineer and he and his wife Margaret went on to establish at Caloundra "Norcoast Refrigeration" in 1983 and produced specialised refrigerators, including the Trailblaza portable vaccine refrigerators as used by the Australian Army as well as truck and camping refrigerators. Sadly Robert has now passed on and Margaret is the proprietor of "Norcoast Refrigeration".

Phillip Earle recently wrote from Kansas USA

"Hi Peter I was at Freneau Park i think 1956 -1958 I came from Adelaide SA to Toowoomba my mother dumped me off & went n worked for Myers McWhirters in the valley in Brisbane, my memories of there arnt good, there was a little Nun sister merry Exavierine [ far from Merry ] Ha Ha a little horror with protruding bottem teeth and nasty and a sister st Augustine who had a strap , you are right cows dairy gardens and race course car park , and swimming pool at the christain brothers school and at Downlands , we used to go to rugby union games from time to time and I remember Ken Mc Caffery was my hero, I remember the Dormitoriem all the beds end to end and the nuns walking up n down them would retire too a room on the west side .many times pulled out of bed to attend Mass early mornings in the icy cold , I remember the occassional movie nights [ Father flannigan Boys town ] Gene Autry, hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rodgers ect many times hauled out for no reason to sit up in the class room and learn Latin To hear the boys laughing . I remember visitors and the Sunday eve sandwiches n cakes etc we were served all sitting around in a circle as boys came around with tin plates & cordial jug, As for remembering boys names that is a zero and I have no pictures I remember two brothers who came off a propity in Gainda a Adren Cluny."

Kevin Daniel "Kev" Carmody was born in 1946 in Cairns, Queensland and is an Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter. Kevin Carmody's father was of Irish descent and his mother an Indigenous Australian of the Murri people. His brother Laurie was born about 1950. From 1950 the family moved to a cattle station near Goranba which is 70 km west of Dalby. After his schooling at Freneau Park College and Downlands College Kevin worked as a country labourer, shearing, wool pressing and welding for the next seventeen years. Kevin was in my year class from 1956 till 1964.

Kev Carmody wins Australia Council Don Banks Music Award for outstanding contribution to Australian music.

Kev Carmody Images

The Carmody's at Downlands

Kevin Carmody's parents centre back - Photo taken by Peter Richards at Downlands College 1962.

The Bratt brothers (Pronounced Bra) were from Kalbar near Warwick where their Dutch immigrant father operated a Marble quarry. The boys of the College would always have a giggle when their family came to visit in a very old jalopy that would always boil on the long trip. The two brother, Tony and Garry, went on to Downlands.

Richard Duane and Paul Duane

Richard and Paul Duane

There were the Duane brothers from Margate on the Redcliffe Peninsula. Richard and Paul's father, John (Jack) Duane, ran the Scarborough Art Union for Monsignor Bart Frawley of St. Bernadette's Parish at Scarborough as well as "Luna Park", an amusement park, on the water at the very end of Anzac Parade at Suttons Beach, Redcliffe. Dick was in my year and Paul was one year behind in my brother Brian's year. Another brother Mark Duane was at Downlands.

Luna Park Redcliffe opened in 1944 and closed in 1966.

The Courier-Mail Tuesday 12 September 1944, page 3

Luna Park Redcliffe

Vince Gair

Vincent Clare Gair

25 February 1901 - 11 November 1980

Vincent Clare Gair was an Australian politician. From 1952 to 1957 he served as Premier of Queensland. His stormy relations with the Australian trade union movement saw him expelled from the Australian Labor Party. He was elected to the Australian Senate and he led the Democratic Labor Party from 1964 to 1973. The Whitlam government appointed Vincent Gair Australian Ambassador to Ireland in 1974 and he was buried at Nudgee Catholic Cemetery in 1980. Vince married Florence Glynn and after her death he married (1944) an ex-nun, Ellen Mary Sexton. Ellen was born 26 December 1913 and her father was Louis Desmond Sexton.

Vince Gair has twin sons (1949) who attended Freneau Park while I was there. I can recall seeing the large black Government limousine parked in the driveway on several occasions. I believe the sons were Garry (or Gary) and Vincent Clement (Clem) Gair. Clem died Mudgeeraba Gold Coast 1999.

Recently I received a call from Tom Grieves. Tom Grieves, or Ivor Grieves, as he was known then was at Freneau Park from about 1955 to 1957 when his father passed away. His mother was Matron at Downlands, but not during the period I was at Downlands.

According to Ed Burke, who was at Freneau Park in 1953, Mother Albertus was in charge and Sr. Marina was teaching. Ed did not have fond memories of Freneau Park and went on to Downlands in 1954 until he finished Junior in 1957 and then returned to Port Moresby.

Sr Marina O'Donnell taught at Freneau Park prior to 1955 and then spent the next 52 years working in New Guinea.

"SR MARINA O'DONNELL - Celebrating 60 years!

As a Daughter of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, inspired by our charism that the Sacred Heart of Jesus be known and loved everywhere, I have spent the last sixty years of my life working to bring the knowledge of that love to all people with whom I came in contact. After completing my teacher training at OLSH Teacher Training School, Kensington in 1951, I taught for three years in our schools in Bowral (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Toowoomba (Freneau Park). In January 1955, I went to Papua New Guinea and, for the next 52 years, I worked in Port Moresby, national capital, Central Manus, Milne Bay, East New Britain and Western Provinces, where I taught in our Primary and High Schools and lectured at our Catholic Teachers' College Yule Island. In 1956 I had also done a three months' condensed training in General Nursing and Midwifery at our hospital at Koki in Port Moresby. I then took up the medical duties at Inauaia in the Mekeo district as well as my teaching ones. I spent the last six years of my apostolate in PNG as an HIV /AIDS counsellor at Daru in the Western Province and built a "Drop-In" Centre for these unfortunate people. I returned to Australia at the beginning of 2007."

If anyone can help with photographs of the school or information please e-mail me.

Peter Richards


Friends United

Kerry Francis

Kerry Francis

Born in Brisbane in 1938, Kerry Francis was educated at Freneau Park College in Toowoomba by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Between 1958 and 1978 Kerry worked in radio drama for the ABC and BBC in London. During this time he adapted and read six novels by Thomas Hardy as book readings. From 1988 till 2001, when he retired, Kerry was a Hospital Lay Chaplain in Brisbane. An ardent devotee of St. Thérèse, he has visited the Lisieux Carmel many times.

Phil Crowe

Phil Crowe

I commenced my schooling as a boarder at Freneau Park College in Toowoomba at about the age of six. The nuns were kindly but the winters were brutal. The land on which the school stood is now a housing estate. I later attended a series of schools conducted by the Christian Brothers, and left little trace except in swimming where I suppose my height helped me to reach the other end of the pool a little sooner.

Judy Hughes was kind enough to respond to my call for information and forwarded the following information.

"I can't help much with information, however my husband Laurie Hughes his two older brothers - Joe & Gary and younger brother Tom attended Freneau Park. Laurie attended from year one until it shut down he then attended Westmar State School and back to Downlands from 1963 to 1965. One of your brothers was in Laurie's Year at school I think his name was Don.

Laurie passed away in 2005 so therefore I can only remember him telling me how the nun's were good at teaching you how to play football.

Another person who attended Freneau Park in Laurie's year was Noel Cook.

I don't have any photos only a few penants from that era I do have the Downlands magazines for 1963, 64 & 65.


Judy Hughes."


Two Images thanks to Toowoomba Telegraph




I have been advised by Jim Nolan that the old Freneau Park dormitory was moved to St Thomas More's Primary School - 152 South Street, Toowoomba and that two of the class rooms can be found at Sacred Heart Primary School 263 Tor St., Toowoomba.


Freneau Park School Gates

Freneau Park Gates

Freneau Park Gates - Photos Pat Pobar

It appears that the Gates from the school entrance have been located on a property at Ramsey Street, Toowoomba. The gates are made of Wrought Iron and have the initials DN which you may remember are from the School Crest.

Freneau Park School Badge

"Dear Peter,

I was never a student at Freneau Park but I do have fond memories of it in the period 1947/48.

My father’s sister (Louisa, born 1907 ) was an OLSH nun, Sr M Beatrice. Sr Beatrice was a non-teaching nun at Freneau Park, and we were frequent visitors there after my father returned to Toowoomba from military service in late 1946, until we left Toowoomba in June 1948.

My first, and possibly my most vivid, memory of Freneau Park, is arriving there one Saturday afternoon to see many of the nuns, with white petticoats over their habits, standing on ladders and trestles painting the walls of the school’s buildings!

My father (a school teacher in Toowoomba) took on many tasks at Freneau Park including becoming the rugby coach for the school’s team. I was a student at St Mary’s CBC, an avid rugby player and the same age (yr 6/7) as most of the team, so I generally “assisted” my father at each training session and became friends with the Freneau Park students, as well as an opponent in matches between the two schools. Freneau Park numbers being quite small, they always lost, but it was not from trying. The only name I can recall from those days is Cyrus Weld, the son of a prominent bookmaker. He was a very good rugby player, and I seem to recall an excellent swimmer.

I also recall being invited to attend the school’s excursion and picnic to the Helidon Spa. Even though it was a school day at St Marys, I attended the picnic! A memorable day! I can recall an incident with one of the students being “rescued” from the pool – the pool was somewhat murky. I also remember the nuns being meticulous in ensuring the boys were covered in their special lotion – a mixture of methylated spirits and strong black tea to prevent sunburn.

Another strong recollection is in visiting the school during school breaks, is that the Sisters were very particular about not being interrupted when viewing the races at Toowoomba’s race track which was visible from the Park. (The afternoon tea cakes were homemade, very delicious and plentiful!)

Eron Poidevin 1 May 2014"

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Kev Carmody - Thou Shalt Not Steal

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Kev Carmody - I`ve Been Moved

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Kev Carmody - MOONSTRUCK

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