The Abbey is one of a group of houses built by John Young, adjoining his property, Kentville at the Northern End of Johnston Street. See also John Young 'The Eminent Australian Builder'
"Unlike the earlier attempts to form associations, the 1873 BCA/NSW [Builders' and Contractors' Association] had a clear leader in John Young, who remained president for over four years. Young was a pragmatic and practical individual, who had great administrative and managerial acumen. He was polite under duress, but blunt when he thought it necessary for discipline.60 A successful and charismatic builder, he was born in England in 1827, and had been articled to a firm of architects and surveyors and attended King’s College. In 1851 he was superintendent of draftsmen for the Crystal Palace under Sir John Paxton. John Young migrated with his wife to Victoria in 1855 from where his building operations extended to Tasmania, New Zealand and Sydney." - The History of the Master Builders Association of NSW: The First Hundred Years, Elder, John, August 2007, CHAPTER 3 THE ORIGINS OF THE MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF NSW 1873 - 1889 page 21, viewed 4 August 2011, http://hdl.handle.net/2123/1936
"The Garden Palace was a large purpose-built exhibition building constructed to house the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879....Builder John Young built the massive structure in only 8 months out of Oregon timber shipped from America." - More and Images at www.sydneyarchitecture.com.
An alderman on the Leichhardt Borough Council from 1879, he was mayor that year and in 1884-85. Returning in 1891 from travels in Europe and Asia, Young led a secession movement resulting in the incorporation of the Annandale Borough Council in 1894; - Australian Dictionary of Biography - Young, John (1827 - 1907)
"ANNANDALE...Mr WH Mahony, who was mentioned in our electroal list of last week was a candidate for Annandale, contests that seat in the freetrade interest. We are apprised by the other freetrade candidate, Mr Joseph Howe, that he has retired in Mr Mahony's favour in the interest of the freetrade cause. Mr John Young, who is a candidate for the electorate of Annandale, had an interview with a large number of supporters at the Town Hall Hotel, St. John's Road Glebe, on Friday evening. He explained his view on local government, the labour question, the fiscal issue, and federation. A unanimous vote of confidence was carried in Mr. Young, and a committee fromed to secure his return"- The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 15 May 1894 Page 6
A Marquee was setup for the auction, on the northern side of the Abbey. The barbeque below was doing a brisk trade as people milled around viewing the contents of the Abbey.
At the sitting of the Public Works Commission to-day, Mr. John Young, contractor, of Annandale, said he regarded Messrs. Carter and Gummow's tender for contract No. 69 as reckless, and 'it should not have been accepted, as In some particulars it was in such a form as to deceive the department. - The Brisbane Courier (Saturday 8 August 1896)
Young was the highest ranking Mason in Australia and The Abbey incorporates Masonic themes. It is possible that the building may have been used by Young as a Masonic Lodge. After Young's death, The Abbey was occupied by a series of tenants, who subdivided the house to create flats and flatettes. A new owner acquired the house in 1959 and restored it. - Wikipedia Annandale, New South Wales
More about John Young
Photographs of John Young: Alderman John Young [1876-87] Mayor 1886 | Alderman John Young [1876-87] Mayor 1886 | Alderman John Young, J.P. [1876-1887]
Correspondence regarding Port Jackson fig trees from John Young's property. (1909) cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
Journal of Mayor John Young (1886) cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
.. in 1883, the water meter for Young's property, (the only meter in Annandale), was reset..John Young 1855-1907 cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
Christina Stead lived her last few years in Annandale and died at the Abbey on 31 March 1983 - Movers and Shakers
The house was subdivided and turned into flats in 1924. The grand old dame was rescued by Sydney surgeon Geoffrey Lancelot Davis, who paid £4500 cash for the house in 1959. Dr Davis leased out the flats to folksy artists while he began a lifetime of work to restore the creation. During the acid-dropping, folk singing 1970s, ghost hunters would brave the night with ectoplasmic machines. - Mysterious and Spooky, The Abbey Family (May 22, 2009)
On 21st April 2012, Barbara a Town Planner, happened to mention she attended a Sydney Push party or two at the Abbey in the 1950s. She also worked on the Cumberland Plan. She recalled The Bushwacker's Band, Kep Enderby's parties and the beginnings of the Council for Civil Liberties in Balmain.
Bridget wrote to clarify that "The Bushwacker's Band", Barbara remembered was the heart of the Sydney Bush Music Club, and the band that played for Reedy River at the Sydney New Theatre. It should not be confused with the The Bushwackers which played at the Empire Hotel, corner of Parramatta and Johnston Street, Annandale, on Tuesday 24 April 2012.
DAVIS Geoffrey Lancelot Rutter (1958 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Faculty of Medicine alumni)
Geoffrey's father Lancelot Davis bought the Abbey for his son in 1959 for £s;4500. Geoffrey's stepdaughter Francesca Davis recalls moving in with her brother and mother Daune, who had just married Mr Davis -Mixed emotions as The Abbey goes up for sale(19 May 09).
"MEDICAL DISCIPLINARY TRIBUNAL
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN HIS HONOUR JUDGE WARD, QC
MEMBERS DR G MARCAR and DR F HINDE
In re: Geoffrey Lancelot Rutter DAVIS
Complaint was made pursuant to Section 27 (1) of the Medical Practitioners Act, 1938, as amended, Secretary of the Health Department of New South Wales against Dr Geoffrey Davis, that he has been guilty of misconduct respect. The particulars related to two to as Mrs X and Mrs Y.
After a lengthy hearing before the investigating committee some of the particulars were deleted and in final form they were as follows:
As regards Mrs X
1. Dr Geoffrey Davis failed to advise and inform Mrs X of the Medical risks associated with a second trimester abortion.
2. Dr Geoffrey Davis failed to ensure Mrs X was given proper and adequate medical attention following her admission to Population Services International Clinic, Kings Cross on 16 February, 1982, in particular;
(ii) a medical practitioner was not present and consulted in relation to Mrs X's persistent complaints of pain after dilation
(iii) failure to ensure adequate post-operative assessment and care"....http://www.mcnsw.org.au/resources/513/Davis.pdf
re: Geoffrey Lancelot Rutter DAVIS - MEDICAL DISCIPLINARY TRIBUNAL (1982)
"Dr Geoffrey Davis, friends of Bangladesh and a great Savior of thousands of Bengali women raped by the Pakistani Army during our Liberation War in 1971, has passed away on Friday the 3rd October 2008." - www.priyoaustralia.com.au
Following Davis' death, the contents of the Abbey were auctioned on 23-4 May 2009.
The auction viewing attracted a large crowd, local historians, bloggers and twitterers. Entry to the viewing was by a Gold Coin donation to the Annandale Historical Society.
The Abbey contents included a C19th Sebastian Erard Patent Harp, John Broadwood & Sons London walnut cased parlour Grand Piano, 33rpm and 78rpm Jazz records, books on a variety of topics including birds, art, architecture and encyclopedias. There was a volume on the history of the Sydney Water Board, by Henry and another book about William Morris.
Rooms which were not lined with shelves of books were lined with shelves of records and edison cylinders. There were cameras, projectors, phonographs, gramaphones and horns in all sizes. There were sewing machines, cabinets and paintings.
One of the books, provided a history of the Sydney Waterboard (now Sydney Water)
Chapter 1 - The Board - Its Constitution, responsibilities and procedure
For the first 54 years from the foundation of settlement in 1788, the water supply of the township of Sydney was a Government responsibility. This duty first consisted, as will be seen later, in the protection of the purity of the main source of supply, viz. - the Tank Stream, on and along whose banks the township was located, and when this became no longer possible, in bringing water from the Lachlan Swamps (situated in what is now Centennial Park) by tunnelto Hyde Park, whence supplies were drawn off from a standard into water carts and other recepticles for distribution.
In 1842, an Act (6 Vic. No. 3) was passed, incorporating the township of Sydney as a City and providing for the administration of its services by a municipal council. The control of the water supply and the responsibility for providing sewerage and drainage (which had hither to received practically no attention) then became a function of this body, and remained so, except for a brief... - The Water Supply and Sewerage of Sydney, Henry, F. J. J. (Ferdinand Joseph James)(1939)
This page www.ramin.com.au/annandale/theabbey.shtml © Ramin Communications last updated: 9 January 2013.