AFTER a year of intensive fundraising, the Parish Hall Restoration Committee has today announced that the fundraising target for Stage 1 works on the historic Quetta Parish Hall has been reached.
The news is a major milestone, and means that Stage 1 construction comprising the removal of the asbestos roof and replacement with colour bond roofing, and the installation of new decking and railing on the verandah can now begin.
Committee Chair Chris Lemke said it was a real achievement to reach the first target without receiving any government grants.
“This is fantastic news and I congratulate the Committee for all their hard work fundraising. We also couldn’t have done it without the support of the community.
“There are too many individuals and businesses to name but it has been heart-warming to see how everyone has come together for this cause.”
Federal Member for Leichhardt and project Patron Warren Entsch, who helped launch the fundraising campaign in July last year in partnership with the Anglican Church, said he was “blown away” by what had been achieved.
“More than a year ago, Bishop Mabo of the Anglican Church approached me to look at how we could restore the historic Quetta Parish Hall on Thursday Island. I suggested we should take it on as a community initiative and we went on to form the Parish Hall Restoration Project Committee, of which I was proud to be the Patron.
“The restoration of this run-down little hall has really captured people’s imagination. It’s also brought the community together committee members have met almost every week for a year to keep the momentum up and from what I hear, it’s a very social occasion!”
Mr Entsch said it was great to be present on Thursday when the Committee won the My Pathway Ken O’Brien Achiever Award at the Torres Strait Recognition Awards 2013, for ‘outstanding achievements, going beyond and working towards excellence’.
“This was well-deserved and a real boost for the team, and I’m honoured to have been involved. I really congratulate and commend them for everything they’ve achieved with the support of Torres Strait residents, businesses and community organisations.”
Added Mr Lemke: “We’re not going to stop the fundraising; there is still a Stage 2 target to reach which will enable us to paint the exterior and refurbish the interior, as well as elaborating on the current garden areas.”
The winner of the much sought-after Sea Swift raffle, a trip for two on the MV Trinity Bay, was Tamworth resident Ross Sharrock. Mr Sharrock is a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) and initially donated $100 towards the project before buying the winning ticket from PHRC member Vonda Moar-Malone at one of the ARLP sessions.
Ross and his wife Ed are very excited to be the winners of this prize and are very much looking forward to visiting the region before the end of this year.
The Committee’s next fundraiser is a Christmas Raffle; tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the National Australia Bank. Prizes are as follows:
1st PRIZE: Return tickets between Horn Island and Cairns for two people (kindly
donated by Matt Trevett-Lyall at QantasLink)
2nd PRIZE: Traditional pack including a matching pair of shorts, a Lava Lava
and a handkerchief (kindly donated by Linda Fell) and a pearl pendant of a
Dhari (kindly donated by Brendan O’Connor)
3rd PRIZE: $100.00 NAB Classic Bank Account (kindly donated by Louella
Tidswell and Thursday Island NAB Branch)
Members of the PHRC would especially like to thank major sponsors Seaswift and QantasLink for their continued support.
Contributions of labour and materials will be gratefully accepted, and financial donations can be made at the TI branch of the NAB, or by direct deposit (BSB 084-951 Account 142-116-121).