Guest Book

The Manchester Unity Building is home to a handful of residents and just over 100 small businesses. As well as countless patrons, it attracts thousands of visitors every year, including participants in the Melbourne Opera House tours.

Do you have family members who worked on or in the building in its early days?
Have you toured the building? If so, would you like to share your experience?

You are invited to publish here stories or comments of interest. Also welcome are any documents, pictures of memorabilia, or relevant historical information.

    • Please note comment by John Payne. Walter H Best's daughter was Zoe who married Norman Bisset

      Robert Millar22-04-2013 12:45 AM

    • I am secretary of Loyal Prince Alfred Lodge Manchester Unity at Brighton. The lodge is 142 years established, having opened on 8 January, 1870. Bro. Walter H. Best Past Grand Secretary was a member of Loyal Sandringham Lodge, which merged into Prince Alfred in December 1999. Bro. Best's daughter Norma married George Bisset who had a grocery at Sandringham in Bay Road. I went to school with Walter's grandsons, Jim and Ray Bisset. MU bought the city site from a retail jewellery company who had a 5 storey store. MU also bought a narrow building in Swanston Street. The MU building was the tallest building in Australia for a while having been built to the maximum council limit of 12 storeys, but the tower was not in their control as it was not classed as a residentual component, thus could be extended to a height to suit. The original site bounded by Collins St, Swanston St, Lt Collins St and Howey Place was bought by Captain Howey at the land auction for about 120 pounds. Regrettably he and his family were lost at sea

      John Payne27-09-2012 10:14 PM

    • My father worked at the Manchester Unity as a cleaner and watchman from about mid 1950 to May 1980 when he retired at the age of 65, when saw a lot of changes in that time

      Bryan Leighton24-09-2012 9:23 PM

    • My grandfather was Walter H. Best, the grand Secretary. He was the person who travelled to Sydney and bought the land on which the present building was built. I have not had the oportunity to attend any of the tours of the building, but should there be any in the future I will certainly look forward to it.

      Robert Millar24-09-2012 5:02 PM

    • Dr Kia, Congratulations! how wonderful to see such a magnificent building being cared for in this way. Originally from Melbourne, I work with historic buildings in Europe and we do come across shoes, and other things hidden in walls. The practice dates back to the superstitions mediaeval Europe (or even earlier)and is believed to ward off evil. Putting them in such new building was perhaps a bit tongue in cheek.

      Darren17-09-2012 7:07 AM

    • Thankyou, Dr Kia, for sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge of this outstanding building with us today. That enthusiasm was infectious. If ever you need an assistant for your tour?! What a joy!

      Tiffany Morris-North12-08-2012 10:14 PM

    • We have just had the grand tour with Dr Kia. What an amazing building. Thank goodness for the era and thank goodness for men like Dr Kia for their dedication and foresight. Australia needs more people of his ilk.

      Janet and Ken Bond12-08-2012 5:50 PM

    • A big thank you to Dr Kia for his guided tour of the Manchester Unity building today as part of the Melbourne 2012 Open House. The tour was the most interesting, informative and captivating i have ever been on thanks to Dr Kia. Dr Kia deserves full credit for what he has achieved with this Jewel in Melbourne's crown. I felt privileged to have met such a man as i know others would agree and thank you for letting us share your passion. I hope to visit again one day to see the beautiful tower complete in all its glory.

      Nigel Anson28-07-2012 10:12 PM

    • As a Melbourne tour guide, I have spoken many times to visitors about the history and features of this amazing building, but have never had the opportunity to see many of them with my own eyes. I would love the opportunity to tour my favorite building in Melbourne and see some of its amazing spaces.

      Bradley Posselt26-07-2012 12:48 AM

    • Dr,Kia Thanks for your enthusiasm on revitalization of such a historical building in Melbourne I wish you success in all aspect of your life.

      Ali Khoshroo20-07-2012 12:48 AM

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