Oh – how we celebrated the recent opening of the Majestic Cinema in Wynnum. Against a backdrop of fireworks and flame throwers, everyone and anyone partied at the Waterloo Bay with music and champagne.
What a contrast then to 1977 when The Flinders Building (formerly Oxley House) was celebrated as Wynnum’s first high rise with 6 stories allowing stunning views across the bay. Such was the occasion; the public were invited to attend the official opening in 1978 with a day of festivities. There were stalls and displays along with raffles.
Entry to inspect the building and ride the lift to the top floor was 20 cents for adults, 10 cents for children and 50 cents for the family. For those who truly wanted to join in the merriment, helium balloon with a tag displaying your name and competition details were available to buy. The balloons were released from the top floor with the winner being the balloon which travelled the furthest and had the tag returned by the finder. First prize was two Ansett Pioneer coach tickets to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Cairns. And the lucky individual who returned the tag was prized a transistor radio. Fun times.
Over the years it has been occupied by many budding businesses and undergone a number of renovations. The lifts are still a feature along with the windows affording views over the bay to the islands and the Port of Brisbane.
In 2006, a Wynnum CBD Renewal Planning Charrette claimed the structure “shoots straight up into the sky with featureless brick walls – to the community it is ugly”*. Major design changes were recommend including extending it out towards Chestnut St with added verandas and awnings. The building escaped this fate and as recent as 2018 it was given a coat of paint to transform the dated yellow and grey exterior to a modern white, black and green. At this time, it was noted to be built to a very high standard with no major repairs required.
That is good news to locals who have come to appreciate Flinders as a part of Wynnum history at a time when many iconic landmarks are being lost to progress.
Today the Flinders building is home to a wide variety of businesses from lawyers, accounts, and financial advisors, to engineers, allied health providers, and the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation.
With the recent addition of B’eats on Bay Café on the ground floor, the building is now 100% occupied, giving a new generation of local businesses a great place to meet, grow and thrive while enjoying those famous Bayside views.
Contributors: Leisha Robertson; Benn Woods & Karyn Stroet, Ray White Commercial Bayside