“Can anyone remember any of the old Mater Prize Homes in Brisbane?” This was the question recently raised by one local Brisbanite in a Facebook group known as ‘Old Brisbane Album’. He kicked it off by recalling 33 Flockton Street in Stafford Heights.
This generated a lot of conversations; 123 comments to be exact! It gave the group’s members an opportunity to reflect on Mater Prize Homes and remember some of the fabulous homes they visited as children and young adults. Back in the day, it was quite the tradition to visit a Mater Prize Home as a family outing! In fact, during the 1960s, it was one of the top three things to do on the weekends!
Mater Prize Home is one the longest running art unions in Australia and held Queensland’s first real estate art union in 1954. First prize was a two-bedroom fibro house in Surfers Paradise, valued at £4,150. Since then, first prize values have reached as high as $2 million!
Members of the group told stories of visiting with their families; “Remember going to prize homes and picking your bedrooms?’ she asked. Another member replying “Our kids used to choose their bedrooms while we were looking through”. For some it wasn’t the house they were interested in as kids, as one member tells, “they had hills swing sets in the yard—something we always craved as kids”. And another reminding everyone of the ice cream vans that were always a hit at the prize homes. There were also memories of queues down the street to get in to see the home.
There was a house on Mains Road that people remembered as very grandeur. “I remember the Mains Road, Sunnybank house. It looked like something out of Gone with the Wind” and another asked “The Gone with the Wind one?” Sadly we were informed that this house has since been demolished to make way for the Mains Road overpass.
Of the Mater Prize Home on Samsonvale Road, this comment was made, “I was only little, yet seemed mesmerised by it, especially the white quartz in the driveway.”
Mater always knew which suburbs were the ones people wanted to live in! One member recalls growing up living next to a Mater Prize Home in Eungella Street, Algester. They went on to buy their own property next door a few years later and found the people who had won the prize home were still living in it! Another member of the group said her and her then-boyfriend viewed a prize home on Danube Drive, Strathpine in 1971 (many of you might remember Bill Bowden’s slogan, Little Aspley—that’s Strathpine). She went on to marry her boyfriend and they bought their own house in the street over, where they still live today! Another member said her friend bought an old prize home in Sunnybank Hills in the 1990s and yet another member whose parents purchased a previous prize home in Stafford Heights from the original winners.
Someone asked if anyone remembered the home on Belmont Road. One member recalled, “It had a letter box shaped like Australia”, another commenting, “And yellow wrought iron”.
Jindalee had a number of Mater Prize Home’s during the 1960s. One member said she always wanted one of them as they had an ‘inside toilet’!
There were memories of a Daisy Hill property with a bright blue tiled roof adjacent to the Pacific Motorway (which was unfortunately swallowed by the extension of the M1 years later), and of coins thrown into the pool.
“One had a roofline like a castle”, along Mains Road that also succumbed to road upgrades years later. There was the home in “Algester with an indoor pool.” And “a Japanese themed one too.”
A property that was given away in Geebung had enough land that the owner subdivided! With the original property still standing today.
Another Mains Road home was remembered as “Spanish style that had cloth ceilings that hung from cornices into light fittings”. Let’s not forget this was the 1970s! And then there is the prize home in Tarragindi that a member said she loved and also told us that it was used it a recent car commercial.
One lady tells of her mother being a lucky winner of the second prize in the late 1970s—a colour television!
33 Flockton Street, Stafford Heights was recently on the market in all its glory, with the new owners paying around $580,000 for this gem of a house waiting for a facelift.
One final comment wrapped it all up; “Isn’t it amazing what we all remember? So many little details!”
Mater Prize Homes are part of Brisbane’s culture; if you grew up in Brisbane then chances are you visited one of our prize homes! And since its inception we have spread far and wide. From properties in New South Wales to Victoria, and from the great South East Queensland to the Far North—we give away six luxury homes every year. Most of these homes are open to the public to visit, view, wonder and daydream about what your life would be like if you won!
If you don’t already, why don’t you bring back the tradition of a regular outing to a Mater Prize Home? Whether you take the whole family and pick your bedrooms, go with your partner and imagine what your life would be like or take a friend and decide which room you think is the best, a trip to a Mater Prize Home will be a lasting memory—as the Old Brisbane Album post proves!
What would it mean to you to win a house? Security? Peace of mind? Dream come true? You could be the lucky winner of a luxury home; all you need to do is purchase a ticket today.