Burwood Public Library (previously King Memorial Library)

The King Memorial Library was built in 1925 by the King Family as a memorial to well-known local George King, his son Lieut. Col. George King D.S.O. and daughter, Mrs Alma Lewis.

Local vicar, the Rev. C.A. Tobin officially opened the building, and in his opening speech he stated that Mr King, who was born near Burwood in N.S.W., came to live in what was then known as New Brighton in 1884, calling his home Burwood Lodge. A few years later it became necessary to change the districts name, and Mr King was instrumental in giving the district its present name, Burwood.

The library building stood in the Burwood School grounds between the school and Rev. Tobin’s All Saints Church. It measured 18ft by 14ft and held 1200 volumes. The walls were adorned with old and valuable pictures and maps belonging to the King Family. Inside the building there was a plaque bearing the following inscription:

Thro’ labour to rest, Thro’ combat to victory.
This building was erected in loving remembrance of -
George King 1850-1922
Lieut. Col. George A. King. D.S.O. 1886-1917
Alma Reka Lewis, née King 1891-1919
-- by the King family.

Opening hours were Tuesday evenings 7 to 8 pm, Saturday afternoons 2.30 - 3.30 pm, and Mr H. Rowse, an old resident of the district, was elected Librarian.

With the population increasing in the district, and library membership steadily increasing, the library building became totally inadequate to give a reasonable service. A new library was needed. In 1959 a new library building for the Burwood district was approved by the City Council, and they offered two building sections not required for waterworks purposes to the Burwood Residents Association to chose from. The section with New Brighton Road as its street frontage was chosen.

The building, made of brick veneer and with a floor space of about 2000 square feet, was designed by the city architect Mr A.K. Allison and built by J.J. Construction Company. The Mayor, Mr G. Manning officially opened the building on 22 September 1962 and named the library the Burwood Public Library.

With the building of a new public library for Burwood, the old King Memorial Library became the Burwood School Library.


  • The Press, 2 June 1925, page 10
  • The Press, 28 April 1959, page 7
  • The Press, 5 May 1960, page 17
  • The Press, 27 April 1961, page 22
  • The Press, 16 November 1961, page 16
  • The Press, 28 March 1962, page 10
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