5 August 2005

Genge Street

| Spitfire3
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Apparently the recently-built street in Civic that joins Cooyong St to Bunda St near Gus’ Cafe has been named Genge St.

Anyone know where this name came from?

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Hey David, trust the second time ’round with the new family is a lot more civilized than the first eh? Great to have a name to get one through life’s misgivings and inconveniences.

Struth, old age catching up. LONSDALE St had Genges Suzuki, A Honda shop and many others….

I suppose there are lots of us out there that don’t know/remember that Mort St used to have several bike and auto shops there. I remember many times going to Genge’s to buy Suzuki parts for my mates 425. The service and good feeling was worth the trip to town.

I was pleased to see that new street named in honour of the family. As much as it hurts to say, “Good job ACTPLA”

David, any record or memories (or artworks!) of/from an eccentric Australian/Englishman cartoonist called Adam Newcombe who visited Islamabad for several months in the mid 1970s straight after attending the Canberra School of Art? He stayed in one of the Consulate dwellings apparently.

Genge music is a genre of hip hop music that had its beginnings in Nairobi, Kenya. The name was coined and popularized by Kenyan rapper Nonini who started off at Calif Records. It is a style that incorporates hip hop, dancehall and traditional African music styles. It is commonly sung in Sheng (slang), Swahili or local dialects. The term Genge is a sheng word for “a group or a mass of people” derived from the English word ‘gang’. The street therefore was named after all da ngiggers that occupy the street after dark.

OT = Off Topic

I agree that it is good the old Canberran’s are recognised. To ‘Cranky’, there are some old timers here in Islamabad but none left anymore that date back to the mid 70’s I am afraid – but that’s another story to Reg Genge and Genge St of course…….


I have a funny anecdote related to me by Sandy Hollway about working at that post in the days of the white Australia policy, but well, that was the gist of it really!

Hey David,

A bit OT.

Give my regards to any local staff who date back to the mid 70’s. They may remember a wedding at Dauth’s place.

It’s heartening to know that the recent history of this area is being held and regarded by someone somewhere, enough that this illustrious Canberran has been recognised.

Reg Genge was my grandfather and his background was pretty well summarised in one of the earlier (researched) comments as a pioneer of Canberra. He started the Londsdale – Mort St square pretty much – hence the affiliation of the name connecting Genge St to Lonsdale St.

While one of the comments attributed me to the Australian Passport Office (I was in the policy section there at one stage) and perhaps the street I am writing this from the Australian High Commission in Islamabad. As a career diplomat, I can take no credit other than being a relation (pa helped me a lot) and also bequeathed his number plate 25 on the strict proviso I pass it to my son. A lot of the old timers know the number plate well.

Rivetting stuff I am sure – but someone did ask……

David Genge

You can call me Mr Helpful… 🙂

Good work, Smackbang.

Thanks for that Smackbang, very interesting 🙂

Special G, this question came to mind after reading up on Section 84 from the link posted by areaman in the “Another Plan for Civic, Oh Yes, Another” thread.

According to ACTPLA’s website, which includes a database on the origins of all streetnames in Canberra (, it is named after Mr Reginald Robert Genge:

Canberra Pioneer Reginald (Reg) Genge was born in Guernsey, Channel Islands and came to live in Sydney, Australia in 1923. His fiancée, Marie Louise Duquemin, arrived thereafter and they were married in 1924.In 1925, Reg and Marie moved to Singleton, NSW where Reg worked as a mechanic. From there they moved to Queanbeyan, NSW, in 1927, where Reg operated a branch agency for Austin cars, a mechanical workshop and petrol pump.In 1929, Reg also started to run a motor mechanic workshop in Mort Street, Canberra. After purchasing a block of land in Mort Street (No. 24) in 1935, Reg built his own garage, workshop, showroom and residence. Genge’s Garage was the Austin agency for the district and also sold Hudson, Armstrong, Siddeley and Rover cars and motorcycles.In 1946, Reg bought the adjacent Mort Street block to expand his showroom and workshop space.In the 1950s, Reg purchased No. 7 Lonsdale Street and later built what was then called Genge Building.After selling the Mort Street properties in c1963 he opened R&J Motor Services in the Genge Building. The business sold and serviced Suzuki, Triumph and Norton motorcycles. The property sold in 1987 about a year before his death.Reg & Marie raised three children: Reginald George, John Robert and Marie Louise.Reg’s interests included a great love of motorcycles stemming from his purchase, at the age of 15, of a 1910 model Quadrant motorcycle; flying – he learnt to fly at the Canberra Aero Club; lawn bowls and Rotary.

Was this story in relation to the comment I made about Genge St?

I thought they would just keep calling it Lonsdale, but there I go for thinking too much.


Could also be that a dyslexic signwriter misspelt “dengue” – bloodsuckers aplenty in that part of town.

Or the author Ngaire E Genge. But why?

Samuel Gordon-Stewart9:33 pm 05 Aug 05

It seems that Genge is a fairly common last name on the Internet, although I just love the BBC’s explanation of it.
“another blend of Kenyan hip-hop similar to kapuka”

I doubt that the street is named after that though.
Perhaps it is named after Mr. David Genge of the Australian Passport Office?

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