HAPPY RETURNS: Tait-Duke Cottage to celebrate 100 years.
HAPPY RETURNS: Tait-Duke Cottage to celebrate 100 years.

Iconic Tait Duke Cottage turns 100

THERE will be a double-header birthday celebration on Tuesday when Tait-Duke Community Cottage marks its centenary, while the first birthday of the Social Service Hub, located at the cottage, is also acknowledged.

“Auchenraher”, the cottage’s original name, is a fine example of an early Queenslander.

It was built in 1919 by Charles Bowden for Charles Tait, his bride Emma Jane (nee Duke) and their much-loved daughter Esme Duke Tait.

The name Auchenraher reflected the Scottish ancestry of the Tait family who hailed from Tulloch, Scotland.

The house stood on the corner of Sidoni and Poinciana streets in the heart of Tewantin for 90 years witnessing great changes to the town and its citizens.

It was gifted to the Tewantin community by Esme Duke Tait upon her retirement to a local aged care facility in 2009.

The marriage of Charles Tait and Emma Duke linked local pioneering families: Emma’s father, James Duke, was active in the local timber industry and the first shire chairman of the inaugural Noosa Council.

Charles’ father, John Tait, owned the Royal Mail Hotel.

He and Charles drove horse drawn carriages to collect passengers and mail from Cooroy Railway Station for transporting to Tewantin.

The house was moved to its current site in November 2015. It has been restored and repurposed as a community centre by a collaboration of community partners including Rotary Club of Noosa Heads, United Synergies (Skilling Queenslanders for Work), Hutchinson Builders and Noosa Council and now fulfils Esme’s desire for it to be used for the benefit of the Tewantin community.

As Esme desired, the Tait-Duke Community Cottage is now used as The Noosa Social Services Hub, a fortnightly drop-in service for people who need a helping hand.

Service organisations including Department of Human Services (Centrelink), Orange Sky Laundry, St Vincent de Paul, Department of Housing and Public Works, Sunny Street, United Synergies, NDIS Carer’s Qld, Salvation Army Supported Accommodation Service, Red Cross Employment Services and Homeless Health Outreach Team work out of the cottage.

The celebration of the Social Services Hub and its purpose of offering residents facing hardship easy access to support and services in one place is a perfect synergy with this year’s Anti-Poverty week event, Dollars and Sense.

The Hub’s regular support and services will be there on the day as well as another 15 local service agencies providing information and support on how you can make the most of living on a low income.

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