13Buildings & Places

The Spanish Mission Home

Sata Nita

ArchitectRalf Tennant Johnston
Building typeHeritage
Year Built1932
Date7 October 2023
Opening Hours10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Photography PermittedYes
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65 Nind Street, Southport

Ralf ‘Sonny’ Tennant Johnston erected Sata Nita as a bridal suite ahead of his 1936 marriage to bride-to-be Lila. It was built in the Spanish Mission style employed on the Gold Coast beachfront in buildings used by swimmers as change rooms and surf clubs.

Johnston, half of Johnston and Freeman Lumber Merchants, scoured the region for the best timbers, with red cedars from Numinbah and Springbrook used throughout the home. The living room floor was prepared from a single tree. Ceiling plasterwork is typical of the period and still in excellent condition - a master plasterer from Italy spent six months on the job. The entrance door also features some of the original leadlight glass work.

Sata Nita was the Johnston family home until the 1980s when it became an antiques store. Somerville Funerals then relocated from High Street, Southport, in 1994. Sata Nita became White Lady Funerals in January 2018. Much of the original fit-out and decor remain the same.

Other details:

  • Guided tours will run every 30 minutes. Bookings not required.
  • Photography is permitted at this venue.

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