High Tea for Cumbooquepa Stained Glass Windows Reveal

Somerville House Foundation hosted a special high tea on Saturday 15th February, 2020 to unveil the restoration work completed on the Cumbooquepa Stained Glass Windows.

In late 2018 the Somerville House Foundation was advised the Stained Glass Windows in Cumbooquepa were in need of restoration. There were concerns about the state of some in particular and the impact of further deterioration in the near term. The Foundation did not hesitate in undertaking this campaign and in 2019 began fundraising. A number of morning teas were held in Cumbooquepa where we could see the windows and explain what work was needed and the financial support required to preserve these beautiful pieces. Between the morning teas and our annual appeal we quickly reached more than the $75,000 needed with the extra funds used to providing much needed lighting so everyone can see the windows in all their glory.


On Saturday 15th February 2020 the Foundation hosted many of the donors who contributed to the Stained Glass Window campaign at a high tea in the dining room of Cumbooquepa. There is certainly something special about entering the main foyer of this majestic building with its restored Shakespearean themed windows and the sounds of the grand piano played by a current Somerville girl. On moving through the foyer into the dining room everyone was able to view the rest of the windows which have been so beautifully restored ready to be shared and admired by the Somerville community past, present and future. The event was attend by over 50 members of the Somerville community and served as a thank you for their generosity, an opportunity to learn about the windows and their restoration, the unveiling of the plaque recognising the contribution of so many and an opportunity to share in the love of Somerville and the building that represents our school as it sits with such presence overlooking South Brisbane and beyond.


One of the highlights of the event was hearing from Gerry Cummins (window restorer) who had everyone in the room captivated by his expertise and information about the process of window restoration, the history and likely stories the windows tell and the fact they far surpass the best windows in Switzerland which he and partner Jill recently viewed on an overseas trip. The attention to detail in both the original design and creation of the windows as well as the restoration is truly a work of art and something to be admired.



There is certainly something about Somerville and Cumbooquepa that brings the community and multiple generations together. Present at the event were Old Girls, past OGA, P&F and Foundation Presidents, daughters and their parents, former teachers, current OGA and Foundation executives, outgoing PMSA Chair Greg Adsett, Somerville School Councillor and current parent Fleur Johnston and Principal Kim Kiepe. This campaign was a marvellous example of One Somerville and particularly what can be achieved by working together. As stated by Foundation Board Director and OGA Co-Vice President Rebecca Bauer in her opening, the Old Girls have such passion for our school and the preservation of the physical and cultural representation of its heritage.


Gerry Cummins (Restorer), Kim Keipe (Principal), Fleur Johnston, Dominque Layt and her daugher Ashleigh Layt, Jill Cummins


On behalf of all Directors of the Somerville House Foundation I wish to thank everyone who contributed to the campaign and in particular the Old Girls Association for their continued support and partnership. 


Dominique Layt (Chair, Somerville House Foundation)

Old Girl (1987) and current parent


We have compiled a couple of photos from the day here for you.  For the complete gallery of photos visit (https://www.somervillehouseoga.com.au/media_center/folders/8d3cac4b-5d26-491c-b28b-ac4ace1577ea). 



Kara Rodwell (VP OGA), Dominque Layt (Chair for Somerville Foundation and OGA), Liz Washington (OGA President) and Rebecca Bauer (VP OGA and Somerville Foundation)

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