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Alex Smith


Alex Smith (1899–1973), or Alexander Patterson Blakie Smith, was a noted designer-builder on the Redcliffe Peninsula. Born to George Smith and Maggie Blaikie who resided in Redcliffe.

Alex's father, George was a successful building contractor who moved to Redcliffe in about 1920. The family business was called Geo S. Smith and Sons Contractors.

 

Alex's brother Robert George Smith who was born in Bundaberg in 1899 .

Robert attended Humpybong State School and married May Elizabeth Tilbury in 1915 and they lived in Redcliffe where Robert worked as a carpenter. Robert enlisted in March 1917. On his return from the war Robert resumed his career as a builder.


 

George Smith was a successful building contractor who moved to Redcliffe in about 1920. His son Alex (possibly the young man seated in the back of the vehicle) became a very well known builder himself.

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-001\001610


Alex's work is now widely recognised as being of heritage significance. All the extant construction by Alex Smith on the Redcliffe Peninsula either has heritage listing or otherwise has official recognition as being of significance.

Hal Buchanan, Chairman of Redcliffe Fire Brigade Board and Alex Smith builder with two others studying the building plans for the new fire station to be built on Oxley Avenue. Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-002\002290

Alex P. Smith with car c.1930. Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-000\000300

Alex Smith was a very well known builder on the Redcliffe Peninsula in the first half of the 20th Century. He built this beautiful brick for himself in Ernest Street Margate. Photo by Jim Fenwick from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-002\002080

 

Seabrae Guest House

This was built by Alex Smith around 1928 and represents a specific era on the history of Redcliffe as a seaside resort. The guest house was popular with visitors from Brisbane and interstate, and was also popular with service personnel stationed in Redcliffe during World War II. This building has since been demolished.


Dumbarton House

27 Ernest St, Margate. This is believed to have been constructed by Alex Smith in the 1930s. Dumbarton House was listed in the Moreton Bay Regional Council (formerly Redcliffe City Council) Local Heritage Register simply on two grounds: a) it represented a modern house, and b) it represented a construction by Alex Smith.


CWA Hall

The CWA Hall, or the Country Women's Association Hall,was constructed by Alex Smith in the 1930s. The Hall is listed of being of heritage value with the Moreton Bay Regional Council Local Heritage Register, and one of the stated reasons for the listing is association with Alex Smith as builder.


The Redcliffe Rollerdrome, built by Alex Smith, was opened by in 1938.

The Rollerdrome was a roller-skating rink on the beachfront at Redcliffe, and was representative of a number of such venues popular around Queensland in that era.

The Rollerdrome was demolished in 1985.


Initially known as the Margate Theatre, this was constructed by Alex Smith in 1940. The Theatre served as a cinema, concert hall and ballroom, and was especially popular with service personnel stationed in Redcliffe during World War II It was during World War II that the Theatre was renamed the Renown Theatre, as part of a plan to avoid locality names which might assist invading Japanese forces. The building was demolished in 1971.


The Redcliffe Fire Station was constructed by Alex Smith and opened by the then Opposition Leader Sir Frank Nicklin on 1 November 1949.

The construction of the Fire Station was part of a concerted action at the time by the then Redcliffe Town Council to develop its infrastructure. In 2005 the structure was placed on the Queensland Heritage Register.


Waltzing Matilda Motel

This is an example of modern early 1960s motel design and was constructed by Alex Smith in 1963–64 The official opening was on 1 April 1964 as the venue of a Rotary Convention.

The motel features the ample use of brick which typified the era, as well as an angled design to give guests a sea view. The Waltzing Matilda Motel is featured in the Queensland Places Directory, published by the University of Queensland, as one of the landmarks for the seaside suburb of Margate and is recognised locally as an important part of the history of Margate and the Redcliffe Peninsula.

 

Alex Smith is listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:

A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.

For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post:



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