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"Water to flow freely at Fawcett Hall"
Media Release by Bill Sykes MLA - Member for Benalla Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Industries - Friday 19 July 2013
Fawcett Hall’s long wait for hot and cold running water is almost over thanks to an $80,000 renovation of the facility which is supported through the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund with funding of $60,000.
Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes said the hall will soon be extended to provide a new kitchen, an outdoor deck with ramps, and all-access toilets.
“Community halls are the lifeblood of any small regional town and this hall– as the only facility for the communities of Fawcett and Koriella – is no exception,” he said.
“The final stage of the hall’s renovation will provide catering amenities and running water to optimise its use for events such as community fundraisers, celebrations and public meetings.
“The more the venue is hired out, the bigger the revenue will be, which will guarantee that the hall remains a sustainable community asset for many years to come.”
Dr Sykes said the extension of the facility will provide training opportunities for local residents.
“Qualified trades people will instruct and train community members through their in-kind contribution to the construction of the hall – which will engage new people, particularly the younger generation, in the life of the community,” he said.
Fawcett Hall's President Sam Hicks is very pleased with the announcement adding, "The Hall Committee, local community members, and local business owners have been very supportive with businesses and individuals willing to assist, by donation of goods and or services and or highly competitive quoting.
“Support has also been pledged from businesses and individuals from as far away as Benalla, Lilydale and Bayswater.
"There have been many locals as part of the project management team (a sub committee made up of local volunteers) working behind the scenes throughout the grant application process who will be thrilled with this outcome that will ultimately equip our small community with a more usable hall.
“This is the last stage of renovation in our conservation management plan and it will be wonderful to having these valuable additions to the hall for functions and events!
“We are already getting inquiries for weddings and events in 2014 and 2015 as people are looking for off the main road venues with beautiful outlooks."
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan said the Victorian Government’s $60,000 contribution to the project was being provided through the Putting Locals First component of the Regional Growth Fund, with a further $20,000 allocated by the local community.
“The Fawcett community has been actively campaigning for an upgrade to this facility for years, taking part in fundraising activities and forming landscaping and catering committees,” he said.
“It’s just this kind of project that the $100 million Putting Locals First program was set up to support. By empowering regional communities, we can devise and deliver service and infrastructure responses that reflect local priorities.”
For more information about the Putting Locals First program, please visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au/putting-locals-first.
Media enquiries Bill Sykes MP 0427 624 989
Background and previous happenings...
Fawcett Mechanics Institute committee proudly announced to the community they recieved funding of $63,100.00 for urgent stabilizing repairs to Fawcett Hall in 2004.
The grant was from the Victorian Heritage program for projects through out the state to support communities in their efforts to retain and creatively use heritage assets.
Work entailed painting, re blocking and re flooring of library and kitchen, replacement of weatherboards, doors, windows and spouting.
As much of possible of the original building components were retained in the works, as this is the philosophy that the Victorian heritage program operates on.
That was stage one - part of an ongoing project to make Fawcett Hall fully integrated back in to the community for all to benefit from again.
In 2007 a Conservation Management plan was completed with support from a Community Recreation, Arts and Culture Grants Program that the team were successful in applying for in 2004/ 2005 from Murrindindi Shire Council.
In 2007 Heritage Victoria approved the second stage of works as identified by the committee could begin. (floor, fire prevention and electrical hook up)
In 2008 the committee had a open day to show case works done so far to the Hall, we had inexcess of 400 people attend to see the halls progression click here for the poster.
Stage two was completed with the floor being sanded and oiled, fire extinguishers being installed and the halls first ever electrical hook up being completed by June 2010.
The third stage will involve landscaping, water tank installation and hook up, ramps and external access.
Once the Ramps and access is done we can prepare for the official reopening for the local community, past community members and residents.
Official Re-opening 28 & 29 MAY 2011 (from 10am - 4pm)
Fawcett Mechanics Institute Hall invited local and past residents to be part of our Official re- opening ceremony held at 2pm on Saturday 28th May 2011.
Attendees on the day came along and see the hall, memorabilia, a slide show of works to date, some even found a bargain at the white elephant sale, many took home a home made jam, relish and or a sauce. People enjoyed the displays of arts, crafts, and photographs over the two days!
On the day we heard a local resident Jimmy Young recite a poem espcially writtern for the halls re - opening, Ian Newman launched with Helen Armstrongs assistance the Fawcett Hall history book - Fawcett Hall a history of the hall and its people, then Alexandra RSL Sub Branch President Henry Andrews presented a letter sent to children at the Fawcett State School (No 3393) by Lt Colonel Leslie Cecil Maygar VC to the committee. Then to mark the occasion of the reopening Cr John Walsh planted a Manchurian Pear tree to symbolise the valleys past connection with Gold and the chinease that mined here. Member for Benalla Bill Sykes representing the Minister for Planning Mathew Guy assisted in cutting the ribbon with represenatives of past and current members of the families in Fawcett that was stretched along the front fence.
A raffle was held and won by local Stephen Mortensen this raffle was kindly donated by Jenny Barca from Arndale Pharmore Pharmacy.
Photo below of Jamie Mulhall drawing out winning ticket at 4pm on sunday 29th May.
THE BOOK - Want to purchase the 74 page commemorative booklet- "Fawcett Hall A history of the hall and its peopl"?
Contact Ian direct on 03 5772 2997. Or email here:
The booklet is $20 per book plus $5 postage and handling.
All profits from the book go to the ongoing restoration of the hall.
"STATE GOV GRANT HELPS PRESERVE NORTH EAST’S RICH HISTORY"
Media release by Bill Sykes - Member for Benalla Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Industries FRIDAY 1 JULY 2011
The mysteries, triumphs, hardships and legends that make up the rich history of North East Victoria will live longer and reach more locals thanks to the Baillieu-Ryan Government’s Local History Grants Program which aims to preserve and share Victoria’s past for current and future generations.
Dr Sykes said, “We are extremely fortunate in the Benalla Electorate to have active historical societies and community groups who are committed to preserving our rich local histories.”
Recipients of the Local History Grants Program for the Benalla Electorate are: · Fawcett Mechanics Institute Reserve - $3,000 for a history booklet of Fawcett Hall to celebrate the reopening of the hall in 2011."
Jamieson & District Historical Society, Mansfield Historical Society Inc, Merrijig Public Hall Inc, Violet Town Action Group Inc and Benalla & District Historical Society Inc were also recipants.
" Dr Sykes said, “I congratulate all these groups for the initiative they have shown in ensuring local history is not only preserved but also made accessible to future generations.” Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu said the projects funded by the Local History Grants Program reflected the wealth of stories that chronicle the rich and diverse history of a great state. “These grants will ensure the many amazing stories of our past are preserved and shared with the community,” Mr Baillieu said. “Discovering our history can help us to learn from the past and guide our future as a community, which is why the Coalition Government provided $1.66 million over four years in the 2011-12 Victorian Budget to continue the Local History Grants program and the Victorian Community History Award.”
The Local History Grants Program is managed by the Public Record Office Victoria.
For further infomation, old photographs or offers of support please contact:
the Secretary & historial coordinator for the hall Ian Newman on 03 5772 2997 or
the President Sam Hicks on 03 5772 3227 or email here
More on the hall:
Welcome to Fawcett & brief History of the Hall
Conservation Management Plan
Photo gallery (can be emailed on request its a 10 MB file )
DSE - Committees of Management June 2011 edition with mention of Fawcett Hall
We thank our funding bodies, sponsors and supporters:
The Fawcett Hall Committee would like to thank the following people and businesses who enabled the restoration to date, the opening day weekend in 2008 and the official re –opening in May 2011 to happen.
Restoration as per Heritage Victoria Grant and Conservation Management Plan Murrindindi Shire Council Staff and Councillors (Building and planning)
Heritage Victoria – the board and especially Amy Chan.
Thrifty Link Hardware
I. M & M.G Simpson
J.L Goulds Sawmills
Ian Newman for being our project manager for the duration of the restoration works (and for writing the book )
Alexandra Portable Hire – Les Perry
James Swanton and Ian Kilpatrick
Len Sawyer – painter and decorator
Deborah Kemp – Heritage Advisor
Simon Lloyd – Heritage Victoria
Ivar Nelsen – our heritage conservation consultant
Andrew Burgess and Harry Burgess (electrical consultants)
Murrindindi Historical Register – Rex Tate
Ian and Marlene Kilpatrick
The Spring Creek Artists in 2008:
Georgie Dexter, Donna Carney, Robyn Price, Marlene Kilpatrick, Jan Young, Sam Hicks and Rosalie Beadle with her White Elephant Sale.
Our rostered front door team 2008 and 2011:
Marlene, Rosalie, Sandra, Donna, Jan, Jodie and Georgie our roster co- ordinator.
The Spring Creek Rogue crew for our new front fence in 2008:
Jimmy Young – team leader, Geoff Sparke, Pat Mc Veigh, Nipper Young and Doug Carney.
Sponsors of the fence:
Creeds Timber, Demby Family and Alexandra Motorcycles and Machinery.
Artwork frames :
A joint partnership enabled the artwork frames to be funded by CEACA and constructed by Les Perry and Dave Perry on behalf of the Fawcett Hall Committee.
Sponsors for the access ramp:
Yenckens – Alexandra – Mark Hilder
Bill the Builder McAlister and his trusty nail and support crew: Pat Mc Veigh, Jimmy Young, Les Perry and Sandra McAlister.
Jan Young and Sandra McAlister.
And last but not least the communities of Fawcett, Koriella and Alexandra.
The following people and businesses also assisted:
Snobs Creek Winery
Jenny Barca - Arndale Pharmore Pharmacy for our door prize and raffle in 2008 and 2011.
Doug Carney for his ariel photography of spring creek road in 2008 and foresight to lay telecommunications cables for the hall in 2010.
Ian Kilpatrick and Ian Newman for being timber/wood clean up crew in 2008 & 2011 Rowena for the kind donation of chairs for the hall.
Jimmy Young for his display items.
Vicky and Bill Higgins for their wonderful display of carriages.
Hans Schonekas for all those odd little jobs
Sam Hicks – artwork for book, masses of printing, laminating, emails, invites and just lots of stuff really.
Michael and Georgie Dexter for the donations of goods to the Hall over the years.
Advice and support have been gratefully accepted from:
Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE)
Mechanics Institute of Victoria (MIV)
Bayswater Reblocking, Murray Richards, Jeremy Heyes, John Corbett, Len Sawyer – painter and decorator, Middy’s Data and Electrical, Alexandra Newspapers, Bal Spec – Balustradistic Specialists
Official part of the opening:
MP Bill Sykes, CR John Walsh, Jimmy Young, Ian Newman, Ros Coleman (HV) Dian WIlliams (DSE) and Sam Hicks.
(c) The committee of Fawcett Hall Mechanics Instute Reserve.