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Street name revoked in Franklin

nanzan 8 September 2008 29

I recently noticed that Minnie Bruce Street in Franklin has had its name revoked! Going through this street in Franklin on the bus yesterday I noticed yellow sign blades had been erected saying “Formerly Minnie Bruce Street” on all the sign posts, with signs for the new street name – Morris West Street – fixed above.

Has anyone noticed any other Canberra streets having their names changed – and for what reasons?

Does anyone know why this change has occurred? What was wrong with Minnie Bruce that she had to be killed off like that? Interestingly, I thought the original street name theme for Franklin was female writers, but now it seems to be “authors – especially female authors”. Am I just imagining this change or not?


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29 Responses to Street name revoked in Franklin
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troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 9:51 am 14 Apr 11

To me the practice of ensuring women who are remembered by street names with a double-barrelled name is patronising and in a roundabout way insulting to the women concerned.

EvanJames EvanJames 9:03 am 14 Apr 11

I read the entire Billabong series when I was young, and never would have guessed that “Minnie Bruce” was in fact Mary Grant Bruce. What a bizarre decision.

I wish they’d re-release the series. Non PC and all that other guff, but it gives us an invaluable snapshot of life and also attitudes prevailing in the Pre and Post WW 1 years in Australia. You can still find the books in 2nd hand bookshops but they cost a fortune.

astrojax astrojax 7:21 am 14 Apr 11

Hercsie said :

I don’t know about the street name being revoked, but someone keeps stealing the sign pointing into Corona Place Palmerston.

They must have replaced it 5 times – they haven’t bothered this time though.

Perhaps they should change the spelling so it is not the same as the mexican beer?

sheesh, such narrow thinking – they should rename the beer…

astrojax astrojax 7:18 am 14 Apr 11

Primal said :

Stupid damn double-barrelled name streets.

+1 what happened to simply ‘bruce st’ or ‘west st’?

MGB MGB 9:47 pm 13 Apr 11

It was at the request of the Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust that the street name be updated. Whilst it is an indisputable fact that she was christened Minnie Grant Bruce, the author was actually known from birth as “Mary”. This is because her own Mother, who was christened Mary Atkinson Whitakkers, was invariably known as “Minnie”.

Details about the author can be found via her website: http://www.marygrantbruce.com.au/

Unfortunately street naming guidelines do not allow for three names as it is considered to be too cumbersome for residents. As a result the road Minnie Bruce Street was agreed to be degazetted in 2007.

The ACT Planning and Land Authority agreed to attempt to find an appropriate place to recognise Mary Grant Bruce elsewhere within Canberra’s nomenclature.

rosebud rosebud 8:23 pm 10 Sep 08

sepi said :

the biggest lost opportunity is KAngaroo Cirt in Nichols – Kangaroo Court would have been cool.

Intersecting with Hicks Drive and Guantanamo Circus (Circus…as in Picadilly…geddit?). Haw haw. (silence)

Bad bad puns I know. (yet more silence)

Sheesh, it’s a tough audience tonight.

Hercsie Hercsie 5:44 pm 10 Sep 08

I don’t know about the street name being revoked, but someone keeps stealing the sign pointing into Corona Place Palmerston.

They must have replaced it 5 times – they haven’t bothered this time though.

Perhaps they should change the spelling so it is not the same as the mexican beer?

sepi sepi 9:55 pm 09 Sep 08

the biggest lost opportunity is KAngaroo Cirt in Nichols – Kangaroo Court would have been cool.

nanzan nanzan 9:46 pm 09 Sep 08

I agree with you 54-11, we ought to do things differently in Canberra, as we do. I think it shows our creativity when we come up with new names every time; it also suggests a sense of history and depth of culture in our nation.

Having said all that, we do find in Canberra still: a University Avenue (Civic and Acton) and a University Drive (Bruce); and, a Haydon Drive (Bruce), Hayden Close (Florey), Heydon Crescent (Evatt) and Heydon Place (Evatt)!

Also, a Crisp Street (Higgins) and a Crisp Circuit (Bruce). However, I am sure they are named after different Crisps!

As an aside, Cook in the ACT may be unique in all of Australia, in that it is named simultaneously after two people called Cook – James and Joseph!!

New Yeah New Yeah 9:43 pm 09 Sep 08

Is it possible that Minnie Bruce already commemorated somewhere else in Canberra?

There is a ‘Bogan Place’ in Kaleen but fortunately the good burghers who live there have so far resisted the urge to have it changed like what happened to ‘Bogan St’ on Sydney’s north shore.

ant ant 9:30 pm 09 Sep 08

Morgan said :

Oops, wrong Minnie Bruce, Mary Grant Bruce 1878-1958 Australian Childrens Author and Journo. What do I know anyway…

Mary Grant Bruce was called Minnie? How odd. If it is her, I hope they put it back to her proper name. She wrote the Billabong series (20-odd novels about a family).

54-11 54-11 9:24 pm 09 Sep 08

Garran streets are also named after Australian writers, and a list of these are on the ACTPLA site. The only issue I have is that Eldershaw Place, which was subsumed within a large redevelopment, was purloined by one of the new Gunghalin suburbs, possibly Franklin based on the above discussion. Wright Place disappeared at the same time but I don’t think that has been re-assigned as yet.

I think that is one of the beauties of Canberra, where there is some sense to street naming.

Aurelius, you are dead wrong. Why should we face the same street naming confusion as other large cities like Sydney do? There is so much logic in only having one street name; avoids enormous confusion and geographical embarassment. Why should we try to emulate Sin City?

heinous heinous 6:08 pm 09 Sep 08

The streets in Narrabundah are named after indigenous names, explorers and pioneers. One of the streets was named after John Roach a Collector of Birds on Mitchell’s 1836 Expedition. The street was named Roach Place. Apparently the residence didn’t like telling people that the lived in Roach Place, probably something to do with living where rodents live perhaps. The street has since been renamed Caley Place.

johnboy johnboy 4:46 pm 09 Sep 08

Ahh, back in the days of paper, rather than plastic, money, Chisholm was on the fiver for rather longer.

Aurelius Aurelius 4:28 pm 09 Sep 08

JB, The Caroline Chisholm/Henry Parkes note lasted for a few years at the turn of the century. Howard had it canned and replaced with the Parliament/Queen fiver and the “story” was that the Chisholm/Parkes fiver was a “Federation Special”.

johnboy johnboy 4:07 pm 09 Sep 08

Aurelius said :

sepi, she was removed because our last PM was a pathetic monarchist.

Pretty sure it happened in the Hawke/Keating years.

Aurelius Aurelius 4:00 pm 09 Sep 08

From several years living away from Canberra, it seems that one has to have spent some time here to even be conscious of the fact that streets are named after something. People in Brisbane when I was there seem surprised by the concept that some suburbs have ‘themes’ to their names (the streets had similar themes, but the locals were ignorant of the origins).

Primal Primal 3:58 pm 09 Sep 08

sepi said :

I think it is good for young girls growing up to realise that women have achieved a lot through history also. (I’m still cut about Caroline Chisholm being taken off the 5.00 note.)

If the only means young girls have of discovering this fact is via street names and currency then our education system truly is in the crapper.

Aurelius Aurelius 3:30 pm 09 Sep 08

sepi, she was removed because our last PM was a pathetic monarchist.

sepi sepi 3:23 pm 09 Sep 08

The double barrelled names are pretentious.

But on the other hand, if it were only ‘Bruce St’ most people would assume it was named after a man.

I think it is good for young girls growing up to realise that women have achieved a lot through history also. (I’m still cut about Caroline Chisholm being taken off the 5.00 note.)

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