Neilson Stanton & Parkinson, takes great pride in operating a modern and sophisticated legal practice out of a heritage building which has a direct link to Gympie’s prosperous gold mining era.
Construction of the firm’s stately premises at 236 Mary Street, Gympie commenced in the early 1880’s. However, unlike many of the hastily erected buildings of that period, it was architect designed and built with hand-made bricks.
When construction was completed in 1882 the building was occupied by The Australian Joint Stock Bank. After the bank restructured in 1893, the building was then taken over by The Gympie Stock Exchange with a Mens’ Club downstairs.
The Gympie Stock Exchange was one of only two Queensland stock exchanges to ever operate outside Brisbane. The other operated at Charters Towers.
When production on the Gympie Gold Field reached its peak in the early 1900’s more than 70 mines were listed on the exchange with 28 brokers operating at the 11am and 7pm calls, which were heralded by the ringing of a large brass bell. At the 7pm call Mary Street was so thronged outside the Stock Exchange with speculators and curious spectators, that Mary Street had to be closed to all but pedestrian traffic.
As a result of declining fortunes on the Gympie Gold Field the Stock Exchange closed and the Mary Street building changed hands yet again, in 1922, when it was bought by Mr F B Sykes, Solicitor.
The purchase by Mr Sykes was reported in The Gympie Times of the day, wherein the building, with a large strong room was described as being ideal for a solicitors office. Proof of this is that it has remained a solicitors office ever since 1922.
Neilson Stanton & Parkinson has occupied the premises since 1984. Predecessors of the legal firm include F B Sykes, Geoff C Sykes & Sykes and Sykes, Neilson & Co.
The current partners of Neilson Stanton & Parkinson have been careful to maintain the original character of their heritage listed building. As a result a large part of the building looks much the same as it did when the Stock Exchange closed in 1922. More particularly the building’s features including an intricately designed wrought iron balustrade each side of the front steps, roman like support pillars, very high ceilings, a huge walk-in bank vault supported by 8 feet of solid sandstone and a magnificently carved front counter featuring a top made from a slab of hand-sawn fiddleback red cedar all remain.