The builder, James Goyen (10 May 1905 – 3 April 1984), constructed many houses and other buildings in the St George District, south of the Cooks River, New South Wales, Australia. Initially he had trained as a carpenter. His ability, leadership skills, personal qualities and business acumen transformed him from an employee to a builder of note. Many local tradesmen were employed by him, making him an asset to the district in which he lived.
James' company was registered as J A Goyen Pty, Ltd and is listed in relevant phone books. By 1972 the company was in the names Goyen, J A and McIntyre, C R. His works depot was at 18 Montgomery Street, Kogarah and, later, at 4 Montgomery Street, Kogarah.
The first house built by James ("Jimmy") Goyen was a modest dwelling built for his sister, Martha Mannins, at 36 Gibbes Street, Rockdale in 1924. Apart from bricking in the basement the house remained unaltered into the late 1990s. (Martha's son, Charles Nicholas Mannins, later became a builder as well. Mannins Avenue, Kingsgrove is named after him because he constructed the houses in the street.)
The Depression of the 1930s disrupted his building work. During this period he found work as an employee of a greengrocer.
Many of the houses built by James have a distinctive, decorative brickwork which was often used as a signature to his work. Goyen Avenue, Bexley was named after him for he was responsible for the construction of the houses in the street. Houses with this unique style of brickwork are characteristic of many houses in the avenue. Other houses with his typical style of brickwork are dotted around the district. These include houses in George Street, Rockdale and in Bay Street, Brighton-Le-Sands (on the south side of the street, just east of West Botany Street, Rockdale).
After World War II there was a housing shortage leading to a frenzy in house construction. Building materials became very scarce. James and his business partner, C R McIntyre, won the tender to construct houses in a new estate in Brighton-le-Sands in what is now McIntyre Avenue. The contrast in housing design and construction between the pre-war houses in Goyen Avenue and those in McIntyre Avenue reflect this difficulty in obtaining suitable and adequate building materials. This contrast is further reflected by the differences in building materials used in McIntyre Avenue and in the house built nearby several years earlier at 6 Carinya Ave for James' cousin. James was engaged to build the house. But he saw how scarce building materials were becoming and he was not free to start the construction for some months. So James passed the responsibility for building the house at 6 Carinya Avenue to his bricklayer, Mr Cheyney, to ensure that adequate building materials were available for the construction of the house.
James could not serve in the army or air force because of severe deafness, the result of scarlet fever when he was 14 years of age. James and his workmen not of military age were employed by the Public Works Department of New South Wales to build air-raid shelters.
James' firm won the tender to construct the first building of the St George Technical College on the site of the old Moorefields Racecourse. The building is located at the corner of President Avenue and Princes Highway, Kogarah. This college is now (in 2007) integrated into a broader TAFE system.
James' business won the contract to construct the suburb on the new Hooker Estate east of Sylvania Waters, on Georges River. He was responsible for the design, construction of dwellings and promotion of the new suburb.
James Nicholas Jimmy Goyen was born in Surry Hills and died in Kogarah. He was the son of Nicholas Goyen and Eliza Mary Snow Aspinall, daughter of the builder Albert Aspinall. Although his birth was registered as "Nicholas" James was baptised as "James Albert", the name he used throughout his life and in his business name. He only found his registered name by accident later in life. Jimmy, his wife, Mary, and their four daughters lived at several addresses in Bexley and at 2 George Street, Rockdale before moving to Cronulla.
Hurstville is a suburb in southern Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is 16 kilometres south of the Sydney CBD and is part of the St George area. Hurstville is the administrative centre of the local government area of the Georges River Council.
Arncliffe is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Arncliffe is located 11 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Bayside Council.
Brighton-Le-Sands, is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Brighton-Le-Sands is located 13 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, on the western shore of Botany Bay. Brighton-Le-Sands is in the local government area of the Bayside Council and is part of the St George area.
Kogarah is a suburb of southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Kogarah is located 14 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and is considered to be the centre of the St George area.
The City of Kogarah was a local government area in the St George region of southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The centre of the city is located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) south-west of the Sydney central business district and west of Botany Bay.
Rockdale is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Rockdale is located 13 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and is part of the St George area. Rockdale is one of the administrative centres for the local government area of the Bayside Council.
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The Oatley railway station is a heritage-listed railway station located on the Illawarra line, in the Sydney suburb of Oatley in the Georges River Council local government area of New South Wales, Australia. The station is served by Sydney Trains T4 line services. It was designed and built by the NSW Government Railway and from 1905 to 1992. It is also known as the Oatley Railway Station group. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
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Bexley North is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia, 13 kilometres south of the Sydney CBD. It is part of the St George area. Bexley North is in the local government area of the Bayside Council.
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Brighton-le-Sands: a brief history to 31 January 1971, prior to the name change for the suburb
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John Francis McGrath was an Australian politician and a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1941 until 1959. He was a member of the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party and held a number of ministerial positions including Minister for Housing.
Douglas Babbington Gardiner was an Australian architect active in the mid 20th century as a partner of Bates Smart & McCutcheon.
The Georges River Council is a local government area located in the St George region of Sydney located south of the CBD, in New South Wales, Australia. The Council was formed on 12 May 2016 from the merger of the Kogarah City Council and Hurstville City Council.
Bayside Council is a local government area located around Botany Bay which is split between the eastern suburbs and St George areas of Sydney, located between 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south of the CBD in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The Council was formed on 9 September 2016 from the merger of the City of Botany Bay and the Rockdale City Councils.
Lydham Hall is a heritage-listed former residence and now museum at 18 Lydham Avenue, Rockdale, Bayside Council, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was built in 1860 by Swedish stonemason Sven Bengtson. It is also known as Lydham and Lydham Hill. The property is owned by Bayside Council. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.