The grand Victorian-style post office of Townsville, Qld

News of the day

Telegraph, Saturday 9 January 1886, page 4

Townsville Post Office.

We learn that the tender of Mr. D. Kelleher for £5,975 has been accepted by the Public Works Department for the erection of the new post and telegraph offices at Townsville. It is expressly stipulated that the foundation shall be of concrete.

Telegraph, Wednesday 22 January 1890, page 4

Townsville Telegraph Office.

Townsville. January 21.

The post and telegraph offices have been completed at a cost of £18,000. Mr. McMillan, the inspector of buildings, is satisfied with the manner in which the work has been carried out by Mr. Kelleher, who has had many difficulties to contend with. The painting and decoration Co. been done by Messrs. Turton, Savage, .and has but the clock is not yet erected.


The Townsville Post and Telegraph Office’s construction commenced in 1886, designed by colonial architect John James Clark who also designed Brisbane’s well-known Treasury Building.  If you’re familiar with the Townsville Post Office, you might well be wondering why the clock tower looks so very different today than in this picture. 

The building’s original ornate, Renaissance inspired tower (featured in our image) was dismantled in 1942 in an effort to reduce the building’s visibility to aerial attack during World War II following the Darwin bombings which devastated Australia’s lines of communication through a direct hit on the Darwin Post Office and adjoining Telegraph buildings. 

After much community petitioning, the redesigned clock tower that we see today was finally installed in 1963-1964.

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