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Douglas Colston


Douglas Colston was a carpenter. When he was 14, his father took him out of school to be his apprentice. His father, Arthur Colston was building houses around the Burrumbuttock area in New South Wales, and Douglas assisted his father.

Arthur’s father and grandfather were stonemasons. Arthur was first a coachbuilder and also a wheelwright, so building was ‘in the blood’.

Arthur and Douglas were building a house in 1926 when Arthur took ill. Douglas took him to Albury Hospital, where tragically he died soon after from complications following a kidney infection. He was 43 years old.

Douglas eventually went to Melbourne, as his stepmother had never been very nice to him. While in Melbourne, he fell on a building site and broke his leg. He went to Queensland to stay with his brother, Fraser, to recuperate. He met Myrtle there; they married and lived in Brisbane.

He bought a half built house at Mitchelton about 1940, and finished it with the help of some friends. There were two extensions made later, the first after his third child, Jennifer, was born in 1950. The next was when the sewerage came through and an inside toilet was required.

Douglas worked at various jobs in Brisbane. At one point he was building houses for the Housing Commission. He also worked for Hornibrook for a long time. During World War II, he was unfit to be in the army because of his leg injury and instead worked for the Civil Constructional Corps.

Although he was offered positions as leading hand or foreman, he preferred not to take these jobs, as he didn’t want the responsibility that went with them. He retired aged about 60.