Raheen, in the news again!

June 21, 2008 at 12:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )


Raheen is the former home of Archbishop Daniel Mannix, in the suburb of Kew in Melbourne and now owned by Richard Pratt. A house associated with the great and famous and perhaps infamous over generations. The illustrious of Church and State and Commerce have walked in its corridors – from the forenamed Archbishop and Joseph Lyons to John Wren and now Richard Pratt.

   Apparently the name ‘Raheen’ in Gaelic means ‘little fort’. We can imagine the many conversations between Daniel Mannix and Bob Santamaria and even between Arthur Calwell and the Archbishop before the Labor split. Their differences were said to be patched up here before Mannix died in 1963. Even though it was claimed that Calwell had said that there would be no peace until ‘the angel of death had visited Raheen.’ These reputed words of Calwell’s have not been verified.

   I can’t recall that there was any reconciliation between Santamaria and Calwell. Bob Santamaria in an SBS interview recalled running into Calwell in Mebourne shortly after the death of his son and he tried to convey his condolences and Calwell’s response was: ‘I don’t want any sympathy from you.’

   The drama and intrigue directly and indirectly associated with this salubrious piece of real estate still beguiles the country with the misfortunes facing the present owner, Richard Pratt, who is facing criminal proceedings, of lying to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

   Whatever the outcome of this, I guess the old house will survive the present mutable times. That is unless some mad redeveloper with a new grand design for the suburb does not convince the powers that be to pull it down. 


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