Heritage announces 2011 Calendar House

A striking home atop the Toowoomba range, with strong ties to a legal dynasty from the city, has today been unveiled as the subject of the 2011 Heritage Building Society calendar.

Gold coin donations from members for copies of the prized calendar will raise approximately $25,000 for charity this year.

Rebuilt in 1929, “Dawnie” occupies a prized location right on the edge of the Great Dividing Range in Toowoomba’s leafy eastern suburbs. The original homestead reportedly earned its name as the first residence in Toowoomba to see the sunrise.

Noted Toowoomba lawyer Edward William Cleary purchased the house in 1935 and it remained in the Cleary family for more than 50 years. His son John Cleary was also a prominent member of the Toowoomba legal fraternity, and John’s son Simon followed as the third generation of the Cleary family to enter the legal profession. Simon, also a noted author, helped launch the calendar today.

Current owners Dr Emlyn and Deborah Jones bought the home in 1988.

Heritage Chairman Mr Brian Carter said the house was another magnificent example of the varied architectural history of Queensland.

“Dawnie is an imposing home that defies standard architectural categories, with large columns and masses of glass-panelled windows dominating the exterior, “Mr Carter said.

“It’s a wonderful addition to our calendar house series, now in its 30th year, which raises public awareness of Queensland’s domestic architectural heritage and has become an extremely popular Heritage Building Society tradition.

“Our thanks go to Emlyn and Deborah Jones for allowing Dawnie to feature on the calendar and for opening their home for today’s launch.”

Brisbane artist Cliff Sheldrake’s painting of Dawnie adorns the calendar

“This is another fine example of Cliff’s work. He has illustrated all but two of the Heritage calendars since being commissioned to paint the inaugural calendar house in 1982,” Mr Carter said.

Dawnie was originally part of a much larger estate which occupied approximately 5 hectares of prime Rangeside land. The estate has been subdivided over the years and the home now sits on a 5700 square metre block that features a circular driveway, tennis court and tree-studded parklike grounds with many trees more than 100 years old. Inside, the six-bedroom, two-story home features a huge oak-panelled lounge and dining room with Belgian-tiled fireplaces, crow’s ash and rose mahogany floors, and extensive lead glass windows.

Current owners Emlyn and Deborah Jones have added a swimming pool, updated the tennis court and renovated the ground floor to provide additional living space.

Edward William Cleary has a colourful place in Toowoomba’s history. He founded the law firm Cleary and Lee, which continues to operate today. Mr Cleary was a noted runner and boxer in his youth, a veteran of World War I, a life member and President of the RSL, President of the Toowoomba Rugby League and Chairman of the Toowoomba Turf Club.

Heritage CEO Mr John Minz said the 2011 calendar was available to Society members, who were invited to donate a gold coin with the proceeds going to worthy Queensland charities.

In 2010, Heritage branches collected around $24,000 from calendar donations. This amount was shared between the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Motor Neurone Disease Association Queensland, Coastguard, the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation and Ipswich Hospice Care Inc.

Funds raised from the 2011 calendar will be donated to Youthcare; Breast Angels; Toowoomba Hospice; The Hopewell Centre; and Headspace Southern Downs Inc

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