History of Holland Park Mosque
The first mosque in Queensland was a tin shed situated in Cloncurry, which served the needs of the Cameleers and other Muslims in the area at the time.
In the late 1880s, Muslims of Afghan and Indian origin settled in the Mt Gravatt-Holland Park area. They regularly met on a small block of land on the corner of Crest Street and Logan Road for prayers and religious festivals. By 1908 the local Muslim community raised enough funds to build a timber mosque, in the quintessential Queenslander architecture style that blended in with many of the other houses in the area at the time.
The establishment of this mosque marked several historical and important milestones event to the people of Queensland. It was the first established mosque on the east coast of Australia, and it was met with no opposition. In fact, it became a landmark in the Mt Gravatt area, as a mosque is essentially a first step towards fostering unity amongst people, and consequently a powerful force in our humble endeavor to unite mankind.
The mosque became an important hub for Muslims on the east coast of Australia. It catered to the spiritual needs of seasonal South Asian migrant workers, Muslim traders, and important dignitaries who wished to participate in prayers, festivals, and connect with people of their own culture and language.
Early prayer congregations were modest as there were only a small number of settled families, but the numbers swelled for religious festivals. The mosque had a small adjacent building that provided temporary accommodation travelers and elderly men. No one felt lonely, as various members of the community were often present at the mosque.
Children loved visiting the mosque, playing under the mango tree and watching the men cook curries on the wood stove. Families gathered at Eid festivals to exchange presents and share delicious food. Some would come as far away as the Gold Cost, Hope Island, and even Lismore in New South Wales.
In spite of the White Australia Policy and state discrimination at the time, the Muslims were a happy, hard-working group. The majority white population accepted their presence with the knowledge that they were productive members of the community and relatively small in number.
The Queenslander mosque, the only one of its kind in Australia, went through many renovations over the years to cater for the growing population. The migration of Muslims after World War II and later the end of the White Australia Policy, when business migrants were allowed to re-settle in Australia led to an increase in numbers and plans were developed to build a larger brick building.
It was not until a new two-storey brick mosque was completed in 1966 that the original mosque was demolished. Many would feel the loss of the unique Queenslander, but it couldn’t cater to the needs of the growing population of Muslims.
In the early days, Imams of the mosque were usually voluntary. The longest serving volunteer Imam was the late Haji Rane who served 30 years. He travelled throughout Queensland when needed to perform the Islamic rites at weddings and funerals. He was not only self-taught but the only Australian-born Imam of this mosque thus far.
The Holland Park Mosque, the oldest established continuous mosque in Australia celebrated its centenary in 2008 with an open day and street fair welcoming all levels of government, leaders of other faiths and of course, members of the public. There are now close to 20 mosques and prayer rooms in the Greater Brisbane area, mosques in each major regional towns, all of which owe their existence to the grande dame, the “mother” Holland Park Mosque.
Progress and success can only mean expansion. Two halls and a house across from the mosque have been purchased in recent times. The hall adjacent to the mosque now has a small museum opened on 12 March 2017 to preserve and house the history of Muslims in Queensland.
Community with over 62 different
Over 1,200 men and women attend the
weekly Jumma prayer service.
60 percent of our community
is under the age of 34.