ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0083 Reid House Reunion Records

Scope and Content Notes

Call Number

HMSS 0083


Reid House Reunion Records

Date Range


Quantity 0.18m (1 manuscript box)
Access Conditions open
Copying Conditions with attribution
Related Collections -

Reid House opened on 17 February 1950 as a hostel for single white-collar workers. Its facilities were basic – uninsulated timber and fibro walls, unheated rooms, and communal bathrooms, dining and recreational areas. Despite these shortcomings, life was busy with sporting events, musical evenings, dances and socials, and lasting friendships and many marriages were made. The site stretched from the northern boundary of Constitution Avenue, where the Canberra Park Royal now stands, to near the National Convention Centre.

In 1970, Reid House was declared unsuitable as a public service hostel and was to have been demolished. However, public outcry and a need for low cost accommodation for students and the unemployed saved the accommodation blocks in 1971, and the central block became a venue for community art, music and theatre groups. Some accommodation blocks were moved to the campuses of Duntroon and the University of Canberra, and the site was demolished in 1981.

For the 50th anniversary of the opening of Reid House, Alan Foskett wrote a history of the hostel Reid – House of Fame, and a Reunion was held at the National Convention Centre on 3 April 2000. This collection represents the preparation for the Reunion together with material displayed on the day, and photographs of the events, which included a lunch, the launch of the book, and the unveiling of a plaque. 

Box List

Box No. Description Quantity Date Range

Reunion Committee Papers

Heritage Grant: deed of grant, correspondence

  • Heritage plaque: correspondence, map, design papers, copy of photograph and draft text for the plaque
  • Committee minutes, September-November 1999
  • 2 photographs of committee members
  • flyers, newscutting, sheet of Reunion tickets, correspondence relating to organisation of the reunion and book launch
  • address lists of former Reid House residents
1 file 1999-2000


Correspondence with or about former residents of Reid House, unsorted

3 files 1999-2000

People and Activities at Reid House

Includes photographs and photocopies of photographs, some unidentified, and some reminiscences

1 file 1950-2000

History of Reid House

  • Alan Foskett. ‘Reid House – a Home for Many Canberrans’, Canberra Times September 1996
  • Alan Foskett. ‘Reid House – the Origins of a Home for Many Canberrans’, 1999
  • Flyer: Reid House, prepared for the Reunion, 2000
  • Brochure: ‘Welcome to Reid House’, mid 1960s
  • Photographs of Reid House, 1949-1981
  • 2 drawings, hand-coloured, of Reid House, 1999
  • Hand drawn pen and ink floor plan and elevation of Reid House
  • Photographs of later uses of buildings from Reid House, and demolition of the site in 1981
1 file 1949-2000

Reunion Day

Includes photographs of the displays, the book launch and unveiling the plaque, and many unidentified photographs of the participants

1 file 3 April 2000