Livingstone Shire Historical Markers A project of Capricorn Coast Historical Society and Livingstone Shire Council
The Historical Marker's location is located on Haven Road.
The Early Years
“Ritamada” was a stately home that stood on 33 hectares of land on the uppermost northerly aspect of Tanby Point, overlooking Shoal Bay and Kinka Beach. It was built as a seaside retreat by Rockhampton solicitor, Robert Gamble Brown. Construction was undertaken in stages, commencing around 1905. When completed the chalet style mansion boasted six bedrooms, each opening onto a palatial verandah with expansive ocean views from the entire north wing.
Importance to the Community
Robert Brown died in 1918 and his home was bought by a syndicate of four Rockhampton businessmen who shared it as a holiday retreat. One of the owners, Robert Cecil Boland, later purchased the property outright.
In the 1920s ownership passed to Adam Boyd, general manager of the Mount Morgan Gold Mining Company. It was Boyd who gave the property the name “Ritamada”, a combination of his late wife’s name and his own spelt backwards. Boyd used “Ritamada” as his personal retreat for many years until his retirement in 1935 when he went to live there permanently. Boyd used his skills as an engineer to make the house self-sufficient in solar hot water, probably one of the first homes in Central Queensland thus equipped. The system employed a series of glass roof panels, galvanised water pipes, and a storage tank.
When Adam Boyd died in 1948, “Ritamada” was sold to Mrs Ernie Coleman and converted for use as a holiday guest house. It was sold again in 1962, this time to Robert Mackay Brown, son of the original owner.
The Later Years
In 1971 the property was presented to the Rockhampton Grammar School which continues to use it as a life skills education centre and has added new facilities. The original “Ritamada” building has been demolished due to structural deterioration, probably the result of salt present in its concrete.
1. View of Ritamada from the beach. (CCHS Collection)