HISTORY OF DELAMORE
Delamore has an enormously rich history. The beautiful Delamore house was built in 1890 for the paymaster in the Queensland Treasury, Henry St John Somerset. However, the Somersets did not stay - in 1892 the Queensland National Bank foreclosed on their mortgage.
In 1900 the Parry-Okedens took up residence and lived in great style with an entourage of servants to care for the family and their numerous guests. The marriage of their daughters, and the receptions at Delamore, received great publicity in the newspapers of the time. In the front room of Delamore are photographs of the wedding of daughter Hilda to Doctor Herbert Roger Cope on August 14, 1903, together with an extract from “The Queenslander”. Delamore was the home of the Parry-Okeden family from 1900 – 1912. After the Parry-Okedens came the Robbins family who lived in Delamore until 1935. In 1930 the Missionary Franciscan Sisters, at the invitation of the Franciscan Friars, had come to Kedron to commence and staff St Anthony’s Parish Primary School on the corner of Turner and Broughton Roads. The Sisters’ convent was the present parish hall opposite the school. In time, this convent became too small for the increasing number of Sisters. So in 1935 when the 11-acre Delamore property became available for sale, the Sisters purchased it and took up residence in 1936.
Early in the fifties, a portion of the Delamore property was purchased from the Sisters by the Parish to extend St Anthony’s School to accommodate the increasing number of students. And in 1956, the Sisters commenced Mt Alvernia College on their property adjacent to the convent and fronting Cremorne Road. The number of Sisters increased over the years as they carried out their teaching ministry in St Anthony’s Primary School and Mt Alvernia College. New buildings were built beside the Delamore House to accommodate the Sisters. However, the ageing of the Sisters and the diversification of their ministries, combined with an increase in the number of lay teachers, meant that fewer Sisters were involved in the Kedron schools. The smaller number of Sisters meant the Delamore Convent was too large for their needs.
In 1986 and 1987, research was done by the Sisters on the needs existing in the Church, with a view to finding new ways to utilise the beautiful Delamore House and property. Accommodation and care for retired people was identified as a great need in the Church community. So, after significant consultation, planning, and building, the first stage of the Delamore Retirement Community was opened in April 1990. Stage two opened in October 1991, and the third and final stage was opened in May 1993. The Franciscan Sisters, together with their staff, continue their ministry of care in Kedron at the Delamore Retirement Community.