Hugo William Du Rietz

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Hugo Du Rietz of Gympie

Hugo William Du Rietz (sometimes written as Du Reitz, Durietz, Dureitz) (c. 1831–1908) was a pioneer gold miner and architect in Gympie, Queensland, Australia.[1] He was the architect of many heritage-listed buildings in Gympie.

Early life[edit]

Hugo William Du Rietz was born 3 April 1831 in Vittskövle, Sweden, the son of Johan Fredrik Du Rietz (a lieutenant in the Royal Navy of Sweden) and his wife Johanna Ulrika Charlotte Borgh [2][3] Hugo Du Rietz was educated as an architect and served in 1849 in the First Schleswig War as a volunteer for Denmark.[1]

Immigration to Australia[edit]

Attracted by news of the gold rush, Du Rietz emigrated to Ballarat, Victoria in 1852 where he had some success in alluvial gold mining. He was present during the Eureka Rebellion.[1]

He came to Queensland following reports of gold being found at Canoona (near Rockhampton). However, Canoona produced very little gold.[4] He then moved to Brisbane where he established himself as a building contractor. In 1865 he built the Bank of New South Wales building at the corner of Queen and George Streets (which was replaced in 1928 with the present Bank of New South Wales Building).[5][6] He was also an active member in the first years of the Brisbane Municipal Council.[1]

Gympie pioneer[edit]

However, he was drawn to the Gympie gold rush in 1867 and then resided in Gympie for the rest of his life.[1]

Although he invested in gold mining in Gympie, he was not successful in any major finds of gold and so instead involved himself in architecture and the development of Gympie and its civic institutions. He designed and/or supervised the erection of most of the large buildings in Gympie. He was Secretary of the Gympie Hospital for many years and an active member of the Gympie School of Arts.[1]

His interests extended to agriculture. He imported the first cream separator into Queensland (possibly the first in Australia) and he built the first silo in Gympie.[1]

Later life[edit]

After a year of poor health, Du Rietz died after a short illness on Sunday 9 August 1908 aged 77 years. His graveside funeral was held later that afternoon. He was described as a man of adventurous spirit and enterprise.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "PERSONAL". Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette. Qld. 10 August 1908. p. 3. Retrieved 18 September 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ [1], Gustaf Elgenstierna, Den introducerade adelns ättartavlor. 1925+36.
  3. ^ "1908/C1297 Hugo William Du Rietz". Search death historical records. Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  4. ^ McDonald, Lorna (1979-01-01), The Rockhampton Delusion: a brief history of the Canoona rush, Oxley Memorial Library Advisory Committee for the Library Board of Queensland, retrieved 18 September 2015
  5. ^ "PUBLIC WORKS". The Brisbane Courier. 16 September 1865. p. 1 Supplement: Supplement to the Brisbane Courier. Retrieved 18 September 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Westpac Bank Building (entry 600154)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Gympie School of Arts (entry 601910)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Surface Hill Uniting Church (entry 601529)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 1 August 2014.