Billiard Saloon & Barber Shop (c1907)
75 Main St
First billiard saloon lost in town's first fire
The first known billiard saloon in Lowood was built by George Crook in 1903 in Main Street behind the Royal Hotel. In August 1904 Lowood's first major fire destroyed the hotel, Lowood Hall, Jensen's saddlery and the billiard saloon.
Combined saloon and barber shop opens
Around 1907 this shop was built for James Lawlor who operated the town's first barber shop in the front and a billiard saloon in the back room.
Local novice became national champion
This is where Lowood's future champion Albert 'Bert' Sakrzewski learned to play. In 1921 the 16-year-old, whose family owned Sakrzewski's Store in Park Street, was waiting for a haircut when some older boys invited him to play billiards and took delight in defeating him. But Bert had discovered what would become a life-long passion and within weeks he was beating his older rivals.
After he moved to Brisbane, Albert won eight snooker and six billiards Queensland amateur titles from 1928 to 1950. He won the Australian amateur billiards championship in 1932 and was runner-up three times. (He had dropped the 'r' from his surname to make it easier to pronounce and spell.)
Albert was a chartered accountant, successful racehorse owner and breeder, founding Chairman of the Queensland TAB (for 19 years) and a generous philanthropist.
He became Sir Albert Sakzewski in 1973 when he was knighted "...for his distinguished services to commerce, sport and charity, and his generous philanthropic activities."
Owner dropped dead while playing cricket
In 1930 this building changed hands in unusual circumstances. It was bought by John Walters from the family of former owner Ernie Brock who had dropped dead four years earlier while playing cricket. The Queensland Times reported "...Mr Ernie Brock died with his bat in his hand on January 24, 1926 after making a run on the Lowood cricket pitch..."
The 1930 Queensland Times article said John Walters did extensive renovations and "...completed for Mr Jack Josefski an up-to-date billiard saloon and hairdressing rooms. A full sized billiards table has been installed."
Century-old building has had many uses
After WWII other businesses operated from this shop, including the Lowood Music Centre. These days it's again occupied by a hairdresser, but the former billiard saloon is unused.
The property interior still has original decorative pressed metal panels on its walls and ceilings but it is in need of restoration.