Monday, May 16, 2011

Joynton Smith Drive, Belconnen

These trees decorate a concrete wall along Joynton Smith Drive in Belconnen. The building behind it is part of the Benjamin Offices, which houses various government departments - I think the Department of Immigration and Citizenship might be in this one.

Joynton Smith Drive is named after Sir James John Joynton Smith, who was Lord Mayor of Sydney in 1918 (Belconnen streets are named after Mayors and Lord Mayors). I have to admit I'd never heard of him - this blog is good for my education! - but he sounds like an interesting character. He was born in England, signed on as a cabin boy on a ship when he was about 15, ended up New Zealand and eventually became a hotelier and got married to a local girl. He went to England, on his own, and gambled away his savings. On his return to NZ, he gave up gambling, and moved to Sydney, Australia, in about 1890. He owned hotels, invested in various Blue Mountains properties to take advantage of the area's tourist potential, and was heavily involved in sports, including horse and dog racing and football, before embarking on a political career.

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