Step Back in Time with Empire Swing’s ‘Swing Shack’ at The BrisWest Centre

Every Friday and Saturday night, the BrisWest Centre at the Latrobe Terrace in Paddington transforms into a lively swing dancing venue with Empire Swing’s “Swing Shack.”

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The BrisWest Centre Hall opens its doors to dancers of all ages and skill levels this upcoming March 23, inviting them to immerse themselves in the infectious rhythms of swing music and the lively social atmosphere.

As the doors open at 6:45 p.m., a beginner’s taster class kicks off the evening, introducing newcomers to the basic steps of styles like the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Charleston, Blues, and Balboa.

Photo credit: Empire Swing/Facebook

But it’s at 7:30 p.m. when the real magic happens. The lights dim, the disco ball starts spinning, and the hall transforms into a vibrant scene reminiscent of bygone eras. Couples and solo dancers take to the floor, swinging, twirling, and grooving to the diverse tempos spun by Brisbane’s talented swing DJs.

You will see people of all ages practising their moves. From the classic Lindy Hop to the energetic Charleston, and even solo routines like the Shim Sham or Big Apple, it’s a celebration of swing dancing in all its glorious forms.

With a welcoming atmosphere, no partner or experience is needed – just a willingness to let loose and embrace the infectious spirit of swing. 

About Empire Swing

BrisWest Centre
Photo credit: Empire Swing/Facebook

Empire Swing is Brisbane’s longest-running swing dance school, specialising in fun dance lessons that teach a variety of swing dancing styles including Lindy Hop, Balboa, Charleston, and Blues.

Their swing dance classes in Paddington cater to all levels of dancers, from complete beginners through to intermediate and advanced swing dancers. Empire Swing’s lessons are designed to get students dancing from the very first night.

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The dance styles, music, and fashion taught are all inspired by the big bands and music halls of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s era. Empire Swing offers regular weekly classes that take students from the basics of swing dancing all the way to feeling confident to hit the social dance floors hard.

Visit their website to learn more about their dance styles and upcoming events.

Published 13-March-2024 

Revisiting History: Ithaca Memorial Park

Did you know that the heritage-listed Ithaca Memorial Park used to be called Alexander Jolly Park, Ithaca’s landscape gardener who laid out the park grounds?

The Monument

Ithaca Memorial Park features Brisbane’s lone war memorial clock with a face on all four sides, perched on a concrete platform. Dry stone retaining walls surround the clock tower with four steps leading to each side, thereby forming a cross around it.

Although many types of war memorials exist in Queensland, not too many clock towers were built. The Ithaca Memorial clock tower is the earliest of its kind built in the state, and only clock memorial in Brisbane.

The war memorial was erected between 1921 and 1925 at a cost of £650 through the funds raised by a committee representing the Ithaca citizens. A. H. Thurlow was commissioned to design and create the clock tower under the supervision of Ithaca Engineer, R Black. 

Ithaca Memorial Park clock tower
Photo credit: The State of Queensland /

The clock was manufactured by Synchronome Electric Company. A master clock located at the adjacent Ithaca Fire Station was originally used to drive the clock mechanism.

The front inscription of the memorial reads:

“Honour The Brave


Ithaca War Memorial

1914 – 1919

Erected by the townspeople of Ithaca 

In honour of their soldiers who fell in the Great War”

The back inscription, on the other hand, reads:

“This memorial was unveiled by His Excellency the Governor Sir Matthew Nathan P.C., G.C.M.G., on Saturday, February 25th 1922

J. F. Hayward (Ex Mayor) Hon. Chairman.

Ald J. Tait       Mayor, Hon. Treasurer.

C. Campbell   Hon. Secretary.”

All four side inscriptions include the names of the soldiers who died in the Great War.

War memorial
Photo credit: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The memorial was unveiled on 25 February 1922 by Governor Sir Matthew Nathan.

The Park

The park where the memorial monument resides lies between Enoggera and Latrobe Terraces, Paddington. Alexander Jolly, Ithaca Town Council’s landscape gardener, was the man responsible for the landscaping of the park.

Alexander, the son of a Scottish farmer, came to Brisbane at age 22. An avid horticulturist, he was the head gardener on Alexander Stewart’s Glen Lyon estate in Ashgrove, prior to working for Ithaca Town Council.

His other landscaping works include the rockeries along Musgrave and Waterworks Roads and the landscaping of Cook’s Hill, which was removed when the Paddington Tramways Substation was erected in 1929–30.

Alexander Jolly
Photo credit: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

In memory of his death, the park was renamed the Alexander Jolly Park. Today, it is known as Ithaca Memorial Park, under the care of Brisbane City Council since 1925.

Alexander Jolly’s son, William Jolly, became the first Lord Mayor of Greater Brisbane. Years after Alexander’s death, his legacy continues.

Locals Object Proposal For Three-storey Development In Latrobe Tce

A group of residents in Paddington has expressed their objection over a proposal to build a combined retail and residential space at Latrobe Terrace and develop the rear of the property into a three-storey multi-unit development.

Read: Hope And Anchor: English Pub In The Heart Of Paddington

Based on plans (A005693375) submitted to Brisbane City Council, the applicant is seeking to change its previously approved development application, which required the partial demolition and redevelopment of the existing character commercial buildings fronting Latrobe Terrace with a duplex at the rear.

The subject site, located at 173/175a Latrobe Tce and 8 Hazlewood Street, currently contains a character commercial building divided into separate shops and is surrounded by single-storey, character buildings. 

Satellite view of the subject site and surrounds (Photo credit:

Locals’ concerns

Although there are residents who support the development,  some oppose the revised proposal because of its potentially detrimental impact on the streetscape and roofline appeal of the area.

“The brutalist design is imposing and completely unsympathetic to the intact character of that corner. Significantly impacts the look of pre-war commercial and the low rise intact cottages in that pocket,” stated the Facebook group Paddington, Milton, Rosalie 4064 residents.

Residents also believe the three-storey structure is too high and does not blend in with the low rise cottages which are typical of the area. The proposed building exceeds the maximum 9.5m building height allowable in the city’s neighbourhood plan. 

“Where on Latrobe Terrace is there another three-story residential (with token commercial) building? It will create an eyesore for anyone driving up Latrobe Terrace with no benefits to locals or people visiting the area. Architects use sleight of hand to show the proposed development as low impact,” said one resident, who wishes not to be named.

One resident said they would welcome and support development on this site, as long as the proposal complies with the requirements and objectives of the Latrobe and Given Terraces Neighbourhood Plan

Proposed plan (Photo credit:

With regard to the design, the developer said the architectural representation is now more traditional and less of the modern influenced derivative which has sharp clipped and minimalist gable forms, which was initially proposed.

“While this does not comply with the two-storey limit in the area it is noted that the current approval also exceeds this limit and the 9.5 overall height limit, the development conforms with the approved variations of the current approval in its intent,” the developer said.

The applicant also claimed that they insisted on saving the existing tree on Latrobe Tce but Council previously approved its removal, for safety reasons.

“We made every attempt to plan for the retaining the tree, including gaining a second arborists report in the hope of a differing opinion, but cannot do so given that it is likely to shed large branches,” the applicant stated.

For updates on this development, see DA-A005693375.

Have a Joyful Time at this Year’s Paddington Christmas Fair

The countdown to the most wonderful time of the year has already started and to celebrate, this year’s Paddington Christmas Fair will be a little earlier. On Friday, 30 November 2018, Given Terrace and Latrobe Terrace, Paddington will once again be filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas.

From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., lots of fun pre-Christmas activities, great finds, and entertainment will be up for fairgoers to enjoy.

Photo credit: Upper Latrobe Paddington/Facebook

Event Details

What: Paddington Christmas Fair
When: Friday, 30 November 2018; 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Given Terrace and Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

Paddington Christmas Fair 2018

Kids will surely enjoy the afternoon as Christmas fair favourites are coming back to the family-friendly event.

Photo credit: Bubble’licious Creations/Facebook

For those who loved her act, Bubble’licious Creations will again be amusing the crowd with her bubbly performance. Kids and kids at heart will surely be busy popping some bubbles at her show.

Photo credit: Danibelle’s Musicadium/Facebook

Another fair-favourite, Danibelle’s Musicadium, returns to the Paddington Christmas Fair this year. Danibelle will be doing three sets of Christmas carols at different locations.

Photo credit: Paddington Christmas Fair/Facebook

Face painters will also be available along Latrobe Terrace. The team from Cherry Cherry Art will be present to whip up some awesome Christmas face paints.

Photo credit: Paddington Christmas Fair/Facebook

Head over to the Paddington Christmas Fair and have a great time with your family. Good food, great buys, and a fun-filled afternoon is something that shouldn’t be missed. You can even bring your lovely pooch with you at the event.

For more information, visit the Paddington Christmas Fair event page.

Latrobe Terrace Gets Busy For Paddington Christmas Fair 2017

Make sure not to miss out on this year’s Paddington Christmas Fair on the 8th of December from 4:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. at Latrobe Terrace.

This is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season, with plenty of activities for you and the kids. There will be face painters, bubble-ologists, an animal farm, and other attractions guaranteed to keep the kiddos busy and having fun.

There is also something for your pets. A Pups’ Christmas market will be part of the event so you can buy some presents and goodies for your furry friends. Santa Paws will be there as well to meet and greet your precious fur babies!

Don’t miss out on the choir performances whose melodic voices will give the place a decidedly holiday feel.

This is the Fair’s fourth year and it’s bound to be even more successful than the last ones! All the occupants of Upper Latrobe Terrace have combined their efforts to ensure that fair-goers will have the best time.

Green Tangerine is even hosting a colour competition, for a chance to win a huge teddy bear! A drawing competition will be held as well with a grand prize by Artkid Jewellery.

After the event, the adults can continue to enjoy the night at various locations along Latrobe Terrace such as at Atticus Finch, King Tea and Naim.