Belfield NSW

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Name

Belfield
SydneyNew South Wales
Population: 6,043 (2011 Census)
Postcode: 2191
LGA: City of Canterbury
State electorate: Lakemba
Federal Division: Watson
Belfield Hotel, ca 1980s.
From information supplied by the Postmaster General's Department, the name "Belfield" first appeared on their records in 1930 when the Belfield branch of the ALP wrote asking that the Department establish a post office at North Belmore. Although several applications were made over the years, it was not until 1936 that the postal inspector reported in favour of a non-official post office. His report read:

"........There is a business centre here consisting of sixteen shops, one garage and one Hotel. It is a prosperous business section. This part of the locality is approximately mid-way between Belmore and Enfield. It is known as Belfield"..... - the name derived from its position between the two suburbs mentioned, Belmore and Enfield.

The Department of Lands advised that it had no objection to the use of the name "Belfield" and approval was subsequently given for the establishment of a non-official post office.

The official boundaries for Belfield were gazetted during August 1993 together with all other suburbs in the Canterbury Local Government Area.

War Service Homes Precinct, Belfied 1921

2 Boronia Street, Belfield, 1994. A typical war services home built in the 1920s. Photograph courtesy Terry Kass.
To assist serviceman returning from World War 1, the War Service Homes was introduced as an important part of the repatriation measures. These Belfield houses were among the earliest War Service Homes erected anywhere in Australia. In 1920, the War Service Homes Commission acquired many acres of land which had been subdivided as the Great Central Railway Estate, and built houses which were occupied early in 1922. The different house styles to be found on the estate are early bungalow style, considered at the time to be and ideal type of workers accommodation.

The distinctive features include rough-cast walls, verandah posts with lattice decoration, six-paned windows, low-pitched roof, and timber gable with wooden decoration. In War Service Homes Commission developments, the streets were often named after war themes, such as sites of battles, training camps etc. For example, the street originally called Wattle Street was renamed Bazentin, after a village near Pozieres on the Somme Battlefield in France. Because of their architectural affinity and historical context, the precinct is one of Canterbury's most interesting heritage assets.

Prepared by Canterbury City Library Brian Madden, Lesley Muir, Historical Office of the Postmaster-General's Department and Canterbury City Council

Australia's first Pizza Hut opened in Belfield in April 1970, but closed in the late 1990s.

Sources

The Suburbs of our Municipality: how and when they were named. In: Canterbury & District Historical Society Journal Series 2, No. 2 p.30