When Fyshwick was an internment camp

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The interesting history of Fyshwick’s past weaves between the passionate business owners of today. This is a sponsored post.

WITH an enormous range of different businesses that call Fyshwick home, the busy commercial hub has been a suburb in Canberra since the 1920s. 

But a couple of years earlier it was destined for something else. And, in early 1918, an internment camp was built between the railway line and Canberra Avenue. 

It was known as the Molonglo Internment Camp, although it was also referred to as a concentration camp. The site was intended to accommodate 3500 German and Austrian nationals being expelled from China, but once the camp was established in May 1918 the internees were no longer destined for Molonglo.

Instead, the camp housed 150 detainees transferred from the NSW Bourke Camp. It closed in late 1919 after the internees were deported to Germany. 

After its closure most of the camp’s buildings were sold off, with the remaining buildings being converted to house construction workers, some of whom were unemployed returned servicemen. 

Gradually the camp buildings were moved to other camp sites around Canberra and the roads used to service the camp became the first streets of Fyshwick.

These days it’s a busy commercial hub well known for the enormous range of different businesses that call Fyshwick home. Here are some of the leading ones…

Mechanic prides himself on honesty

LOCATED on Townsville Street, Latin Motors owner Damian Jones has all car owners covered, no matter how minor or major their car repairs are.

The family-owned, long-established workshop opened its doors in 1979 and specialises in European makes and models. 

But, Damian says the repair centre is equipped with professional-grade auto-repair tools and equipment, which enables Latin Motors to service all vehicle makes and models.

“We always put our customers first, making sure they are notified and assured if there is any extra work found on their car,” he says. 

Damian, who did an apprenticeship in European cars, says he appreciates their fine engineering. 

“I am factory-trained in Audi and SAAB and have more than 13 years of experience in all European vehicles,” he says.

“I pride myself on providing and delivering reliable, honest and efficient customer service and information to my customers, notifying of any additional work required prior to it being carried out.”

And, Damian says, when it comes to Latin Motors, customers can feel comfortable knowing they’ll be liaising directly with the mechanic who is working on their vehicle.

“It creates a directness between me and the customers. I am able to provide a personalised service,” he says.

Latin Motors, 56 Townsville Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 5586 or visit latinmotors.com.au

Solace Creations owner Karen Porter.

Double glaze for a cool summer

JUST as people would insulate every wall of the home, they should also complete the job and insulate all the windows too, says owner of Solace Creations Karen Porter. 

“Double glazing windows will help stop energy bills in their tracks, it’ll provide comfort, insulation and [it will make the home] look beautiful,” says Karen. 

“Single glass windows have no insulation value. It doesn’t make sense to invest in insulation in your walls but not in your windows. 

“We need to see windows as part of an insulation plan.”

With the warmer months approaching, Karen says double glazing helps keep homes cooler even after the air conditioning is switched off. 

She says the all-female team at Solace Creations pride themselves on offering a friendly and warm customer service when they deliver any range of double glazed windows, doors and skylights. 

“We are not just focussed on double glazing and all the benefits it provides, we are also focussed on how to make your home more beautiful,” she says. 

“Clients tell us they love the look of their new windows.” 

Karen says Solace Creations has the largest double-glazing showroom in Canberra and she recommends people visit them to see the products and speak to the team about a home consultation. 

Solace Creations, 17 Townsville Street, Fyshwick. Call 6260 1621 or visit solacecreations.com.au

Team builds decades of trust

WITH almost 40 years’ experience in home building and renovations, Kenro Services is passionate about providing quality, reliability and trustworthiness to its customers, says owner Mark O’Shea.

Mark, who has operated the business with fellow owner Ivan Radovanovic since 2000, says the Kenro team includes employees and long-standing contractors that are all qualified, insured and licensed.  

“We do everything by the book and will only use licensed tradespeople who make sure the job is done right,” says Mark. 

“We have been around for a long time and have built up a trustworthy reputation.” 

From knock down rebuilds, to extensions, room renovations and decking, Mark says Kenro Services works with its customers to achieve their vision for their home. 

“We do a lot of bathroom, kitchen and laundry renovations and project manage the whole job, from the design, demolition, rebuilding, electricals, plumbing, grouting and clean-up,” he says. 

“We also transform outdoor entertaining areas by building decks from hardwood or other materials such as plastic composite.”

Mark says Kenro Services prides itself on prompt responses and quote turn-arounds and is committed to establishing an open line of communication with their customers.

He says their customers are so happy with the work Kenro does that they tell their friends and ask them back for their next home project. 

Kenro Services, 20 Isa Street, Fyshwick. Call  6239 3211 or visit kenro.com.au

Safety gear from the boots up

FOR high-vis workwear, safety equipment and boots, Seears Workwear has the lot, says a Seears spokesman.

Located on Barrier Street, Seears Workwear is family owned and operated, run by Pat Seears and his son Shane. 

The 1400 square-metre store sells clothing and safety gear for pretty much every kind of industry and worker, he says – from building labourers, chefs, blue and white-collar workers to hospitals, major companies and government departments such as Defence.

“We also have a corporate section, where we provide a free measure-and-quote and free delivery service,” he says. 

“We are a very competitively priced business and are always negotiable on large bulk orders. 

“We offer a full embroidery and screen-printing service, too.”

Seears keeps a huge range of stock on the premises and sells online.

Seears Workwear, 60 Barrier Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 4111 or visit seearsworkwear.com.au

Ex-Government Furniture’s Taylor Radnell, left, James Fullerton.

Designer furniture that’s budget friendly

FINDING a sought-after original piece of designer furniture is within budget and reach at Ex-Government Furniture, says owner James Fullerton. 

Original second-hand chairs designed by influential (of the 20th century) husband-and-wife team, Charles and Ray Eames, as well as famous German and Danish designers Walter Knoll and Arne Jacobsen are in stock. 

“There’s been a lot of imitations in the market but we have the originals,” says James.

James says that customers love to come to Fyswick on the weekends and make a day of it by enjoying some of the great local cafes, markets and then drop by Ex-Government Furniture to see what exciting designer furniture they can find.  

“Fyshwick is a great place to do business during the week. It’s the place to get things done. But on the weekends it’s a fun place to hang out and explore,” he says.
Operating out of Fyshwick for the past 20 years, James says they offer high quality, second-hand furniture that will stand the test of time.  

“We get weekly shipments of furniture, with everything from vintage to modern, so there’s always something interesting coming through our doors,” he says. 

Ex-Government Furniture, 6 Yallourn Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 6490 or visit exgovfurniture.com or via facebook.com/exgovfurniture

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