Retiree’s heartfelt search to reunite two pieces of history
Dr George Freeman’s cedar front door tells a story of unfinished business.
It was removed from his former house on the Gold Coast, Leamington Lodge, before the property was sold and transported to Grantham.
Now the 91-year-old retired medic, who lives at Ashgrove, wants to return the door to its rightful spot on the historic Queenslander.
The problem is, he doesn’t know where the house resides, other than it was relocated in 1983 from Southport to somewhere near Grantham.
Mr Freeman said Leamington Lodge on about three acres in Southport had been the family home since late 1959 but when the kids grew up, the four-bedroom house was too big.
“When eventually I did retire and the kids left home we were in this enormous house and Beverly decided to sell it,” he said.
Thinking the house was to be demolished by the new owners, Beverly told her husband she would like to keep the door.
The red cedar door, decorated with circular lead lighting, was removed and placed on their new house in Ashgrove where it remains to this day.
“It’s a very handsome door and I feel a bit guilty about taking it in the first place – I feel a bit sorry for that,” he said.
“I feel it really belongs on the lodge and I really want to make sure this door gets back to its proper place it was built for.”
Mr Freeman said the house was originally built in the late 1800s in Bulimba and transported in parts by sea to Southport.
It came into the family when Beverly’s father, who owned an umbrella shop in Melbourne, bought properties for his children.
The square house had two bedrooms and a kitchen at one end, a large living room in the centre, two bedrooms at the other end and a wraparound veranda.
Before her death in 2004, Beverly visited the house at its new spot near Grantham but Mr Freeman said he had since been unable to find it.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Dr George Freeman in 5539 5223.
Articles contributed today by Kat Donaghey were supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.