What an amazing venue for our Christmas Party this year!  We were thrilled to be invited to ‘Wybalena’ one of our most historic and beautiful heritage sandstone houses and were very grateful to our hosts Melissa and Joe who opened their home to over 100 Trust members so that we could enjoy a Christmas get-together in this spectacular setting.

Built by Charles Jeanneret in 1874-75 who lived here with his wife and 11 children for 20 years, the house was described in 1878 as having nine rooms, which increased to fourteen by the following year and then by 1884, was described as a sixteen room stone house with two pavilions and a summer-house in 25 acres of land!
Our local historian and academic Dr Beverley Sherry treated us to a fascinating history of Charles Jeanneret, one of the early settlers of Hunters Hill and three-time Mayor, who was responsible for the building of many classic sandstone houses on the southern side of the peninsula in the late 1800s.   We also owe our exceptional heritage of trees to his vision when in 1870 under his direction, the Council introduced a tree policy, planting avenues of trees and giving away trees to residents on the proviso that they be planted near the street frontages.
Melissa and Joe regaled us with tales of their painstaking restoration journey to rescue much of the fabric of the house which had deteriorated over the years, acknowledging their responsibility as custodians of this local treasure.  The lengthy restoration meant replacing over 40 windows, numerous cedar doors and frames, balconies and stonework, all of which were in urgent need of attention. Their insistence on everything being restored faithfully to its original design using heritage stone masons and carpenters has hopefully ensured this beautiful home will last for another 100 years!
A few images below from a very special evening…..