8-20 Brunswick St, Fitzroy (Como-villa)

Dr Edward Bonaventure Heffernan’s house at 8 Brunswick St Fitzroy. Built in c.1895 and demolished in 1956. It was known as Como-villa (The Argus, 25 Sep 1880, p.5)

Edward Bonadveture Heffernan (Doctor)

“Edward was born in Melbourne, Victoria, on 2nd November, 1852. His father Mr. James Heffernan, of Cork County, Ireland, a gentleman of means, not in business, came to Australia in the year 1840 to visit a relation who had proceeded him to the colonies, and on arrival was so pleased with the new country that he decided to settle here, remaining until the time of his death. Dr. Heffernan received his early education by private tuition, and then proceeded to the Scotch College, where he matriculated. He went through his medical course at the Melbourne University, obtaining the degrees M.B in 1875, Ch.B. in 1879 and M.D. in 1880. He was one of the first Australian natives to take the degree of M.D., Melb., and has been practicing for about twenty-five years. Dr. Heffernan, who is a justice of the peace for the Melbourne district, married a daughter of the late Mr. Edward Delbridge J.P. of Alphington and has a family of three children living – a son and two daughters. Prior to starting in private practice he occupied the position of resident medical officer to the Melbourne Hospital and the Alfred Hospital. (The Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 1. p455)

Contrary to the above, the Yarra Library has a note from the family that suggests that there are six Edward Bonaventures in a row, with 1, 2, 4 and 5 all being doctors. Number 3 is an artist and the sixth was still deciding at the time of the note. They believe that the above Edward was actually born in October 1848 (rather than 2 Nov 1852) and that he matriculated from Scotch College in 1865. (Source: Yarra Library and relative).

According to Yarra Libraries he commenced at Melbourne Hospital in 1874 and set up his own practice at 8 Brunswick St in 1876.

Edward was married to Mary Louisa Delbridge in June 1880 and together they had four children: Eileen Edith (Aug 1881), Edward Bonadventure (#2) (Oct 1882), Minnie Eleanor (June 1886) and Blanche Gillot St Julian (Feb 1896-Jun 1898).

Edward was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1892 (Weekly Times 22 Oct 1892). Edward died in 1908 on 31 March (The Argus, 1 Apr 1908).

Photo from Yarra Libraries Historical Photographs c.1907

After the house was removed, the site was used as the Golden Fleece Petrol Station

Golden Fleece Petrol Station – Photo from the Yarra Library, taken sometime after 1956. This is now part of the Australian Catholic University
It appears that the driveway remains in the same place in this photo taken from a very similar angle.

Image held by Fitzroy Library. Former site of house built for Dr. Heffernan in 1884 and demolished in 1956. This photograph was commissioned by the Fitzroy Photographic Committee in 1986. By Caroline Philipp
Same view – Google Image – Dec 2020

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