FAMILY CIRCLE: Shirley Farr (left) and her grand-daughter Rebekah Sanfuentes have both called the old Technical College home at different times.
FAMILY CIRCLE: Shirley Farr (left) and her grand-daughter Rebekah Sanfuentes have both called the old Technical College home at different times.

Lawyer's nan learned to be 'good housewife' at college

THE times certainly have changed in Ipswich - just ask local lawyer Rebekah Sanfuentes and her beloved grandmother Shirley Farr.

The pair recently discovered that the same office where Mrs Sanfuentes now works as head of wills and estates for McNamara and Associates was once the place where Mrs Farr learned the ins and outs of being a housewife.

The ironic discovery was made recently, with Mrs Sanfuentes' firm moving into the newly refurbished Limestone 88 precinct, formerly the Ipswich Technical College.

During a conversation about the good old days, Mrs Sanfuentes said she discovered it was the exact same building, on the same level, that her nan had studied 67 years prior, when it was known as the Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Memorial Technical College.

Mrs Farr would sit right outside the corner window at the top of B block in the heritage listed building, where Mrs Sanfuentes sits today.

Mrs Sanfuentes said both her father and her grandmother had studied there.

"When my nan was studying there she took a course that basically taught people how to be a good housewife,” Mrs Sanfuentes said.

The Technical College was first opened up by Queensland governor Lord Lamington on June 4, 1901, and ran courses like sewing, cooking, woodwork, science, business and typing classes.

In recent years, it has been painstakingly redeveloped into a dining and business precinct, incorporating Pumpyard Bar and Brewery, Dovetails restaurant and McNamara and Associates.

Mrs Farr said the technical college was basically what they called high school for students now.

"We had one class called housewifery where we learnt how to run a home, ice cakes and dress make,” Mrs Farr said.

"Throughout the housewifery course we learnt how to remove scum from pans and how to make a Dolly Varden cake.

"The cake was basically made from a round pudding bowl where you place a doll in the middle and ice it to make it look like a skirt.”

Mrs Sanfuentes took her grandmother on a tour of the building at Limestone St, where she reminisced on her time there 67 years ago.

"My nan was quite impressed with how the historical elements were maintained, she studied there in 1950 to 1951, then 67 years later I took over and sat in the same spot,” Mr Sanfuentes said.

"I would like to go back in time and see what it was like, but at least my nan can see what it is like now. I do believe everything happens for a reason as does my nan, as to what the reason is I am not entirely sure yet. We have always shared a special bond so it's very special out of all the places my office happens to be where my nan sat.”



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