Geoffrey Francis O’Donnell Danne

 BORN 4 July 1920
 DIED 1986
 BURIED 22 October 1986 in Macclesfield Cemetery, Vic.
 FATHER Noel Johnston Danne (1890-1969)
 MOTHER Gladys Laura Joyce (1893-1962)
 MARRIED Elizabeth Pemberton (1920-2012) in 1946

Served in the RANVR in the Normandy and Sicily actions and at Burma.

Geoffrey Francis O’Donnell Danne commenced his architectural career in 1938, when he entered the Melbourne office of H W & F B Tompkins and remained there for twelve months. Further professional development was interrupted by the Second World War.

After the War, Danne commenced the Bachelor of Architecture course at the University of Melbourne under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, which provided (and funded) tertiary placements for returned service personnel. However, Danne’s grant expired after three years, and he was obliged to complete his fourth year of study at his own expense; as he was by then married with a child, he could not afford to complete his fifth and final year. Whilst undertaking his university course, Danne gained two years’ experience in the office of Best Overend (1946-48), followed by three months with Bates Smart & McCutcheon (1948-49).

Danne eventually completed his Bachelor of Architecture degree, which was conferred in February 1951. At that time, he was employed with the leading Melbourne firm of Yuncken, Freeman Brothers, Griffiths & Simpson, Architect (thesis 1949). Designed own home at 5 Yarra St, Kew.

In the mid-1950s, Geoffrey Danne undertook two private commissions under his own name, both of which brought him considerable publicity. The first of these was a new residence for himself and his family, which was erected in Yarra Street, Studley Park (Kew) in 1954. At virtually the same time, he designed a house in nearby Carnsworth Avenue, with a distinctive chequerboard facade. Both houses were subsequently published in the Australian House & Garden, and in the weekly property column of the Herald newspaper.

By the end of the 1950s, Danne had joined the office of Stephenson & Turner, and evidently rose to a senior and lucrative position. In January 1960, he applied for a position with Grounds, Romberg & Boyd. An GR&B office memorandum recorded that, as Danne was then receiving the princely salary of £2,300 per annum, I do not think that men of his calibre can be suitably accommodated in the office until alterations have been completed — a comment to which Roy Grounds glibly responded, in a scribbled amendment: He was one of my students — and a bit full of himself! I suspect that at £2,300, S&T are overpaying him!. Needless to say, Danne did not get the job, and thus the Gromboyd office was deprived of the input of one of one of Melbourne’s exciting and talented young architects.

Geoffrey Danne subsequently capitalised on his earlier experience with the ES&A Bank and joined the Buildings Department of the State Savings Bank of Victoria; by the early 1970s, he had risen to the position of Chief Architect. Danne retired in 1982 and, four years later, relocated from his house in Kew to a new address in Blackburn South.


Funeral Notice The Age 21 October 1986

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⬩⬩⬩ web page made 4 September 2009; edited  ⬩⬩⬩