Tiny Wintringham

Tiny Wintringham

Gordon House

‘Tiny’ Wintringham was a massive 145 kg invalid pensioner who, in the 1960’s, resided at the original Gordon House in Little Bourke Street.

Gordon House provide cheap accommodation to about 400 homeless and low-income people up until the time that the private owners of the building decided to close it down rather than meet new fire safety requirements.

In 1970, the owners of Gordon House had decided to have the building pulled down because it would be too expensive to make it compliant with fire regulations. Knowing that he, and other long-term residents, would thereby be made homeless, Tiny approached politicians, the unionist Norm Gallagher (leader of the Builders' Labourers Federation) and newspapers.

Tiny Wintringham Gordon House

He made sufficient fuss that the Sate Government was forced to build another Gordon House for Tiny and his comrades.

Tiny was quoted in the newspaper as saying,

“Gordon House is a club—it’s essential for many blokes who have otherwise got no hope. But they don’t want assistance from charitable or religious organisations. They want freedom and independence—to be their own men as far as possible.”

When, in 1989, a name was being sought for the company that was started by Bryan Lipmann to address the entrenched neglect of the state’s elderly homeless, the stories about Tiny came to mind. Although Tiny had died by this stage, the story of his actions still circulated. 

This new building has long since been closed, but Tiny’s successful fight against what appeared to be insurmountable obstacles, continues to inspire the company that has been named in his honour.