James O'Neil Mayne and Mary Emelia Mayne
The James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre is named after two key benefactors to The University of Queensland: James O’Neil Mayne (1861–1939) and his sister Mary Emelia Mayne (1858–1940).
Dr James Mayne, who was a medical superintendent of the Brisbane General Hospital (now Royal Brisbane Hospital) from 1898 to 1903, was a long-time supporter of the University. In 1923, James and his sister donated land at Pinjarra Hills, formerly the University’s Veterinary School Farm, and in 1927 they paid £63,000 to resume riverside land at St Lucia for the University. In 1939, as the sandstone-clad buildings were taking shape at St Lucia, James Mayne died. Upon Mary Emelia Mayne's death in 1940, their Estate went to benefit the University Medical School, their names perpetuated in the naming of the Mayne Medical School.
The Mayne Estate bequeathed a significant number of artworks to the University’s Collection, including works by Thomas Balcombe, Walter Isaac Jenner, Melville Haysom, Marian Ellis Rowan and Romain Steppe, among others. Artworks depicting the family home of ‘Moorlands’ by John Campbell and Robert Rayment were included in this bequest.
Paintings portraying James Mayne by Melville Haysom and Mary Emelia Mayne by Charles Gosford are on display in the UQ Art Museum. Melville Haysom’s 1936 portrait depicts James Mayne holding a map of the St Lucia site.
All photographs courtesy of Records and Archives Management Services, University of Queensland.