Tuesday 22 July 2008

Lucky Malanda!

Co-ordinator of the group advocating to save the historic Cairns Yacht Club, Wendy Richardson, found it interesting that the State Government is quick to save Malanda's old Majestic theatre.

It has a proud history, dating back to 1928, some 21 years after the Cairns Yacht Club building was constructed, and 33 years after the club was formed.

Even the old shell of Herries Hospital has been sitting derelict in McLeod Street for years.

It appears to me that if the Yacht Club building was sitting on the corner of Anderson Street or Amuller Street, or in any suburb for that matter, we wouldn't be having this fight to preserve of past. It's because the greedy buggers want that bit of waterfront dirt to flog it off and make a quick buck. That's all.

The arrogant and mean folk who tout that they're 'representatives' are ignoring the wishes of the Cairns community to retain the Cairns Yacht Club building.

Here's what Wendy had to say...

  • I recently read a press release from the office of Warren Pitt, Minister for Main Roads and Local Government in regard to the restoration of the historic Majestic Theatre in Malanda.

    Lucky Malanda! Their CBD is obviously not worth too much (yet) so the state government can afford to leave this piece of history standing, AND contribute to its renovation. Not so it seems, one of the oldest buildings in Cairns – the Aquatic Clubhouse, known more recently as the Cairns Yacht Club.

    What double standards. Let’s stop and compare for a minute.

    1. Warren Pitt says of Malanda’s theatre:
    "This theatre is a living icon. It's played a part in the lives of locals since the Malanda area's gold rush days and it remains a popular source of entertainment for locals to this day.

    Let’s run that again with a few subtle changes.

    "This aquatic club and dance hall is a living icon. It's played a part in the lives of locals since the Cairns area's tin and gold rush days and it remains a popular source of entertainment for locals to this day.

    2. And then of course there’s this part;

    It is famous for its large timber clad parapet at the front of the building and its original-style oak-framed canvas bleachers for theatre-goers on the inside.

    Let’s try instead:

    It is famous for its rainforest hardwood dance floor resting on special wooden springs – greatly appreciated by the millions of dancing feet that have waltzed across the floor boards for the last hundred years.

    3. And then again there is this bit for comparison:

    Mr Pitt said the restoration of the theatre was a great way to commemorate the history of the area and serve the community into the future.

    And saving the Aquatic Club is not? Even though it’s used by the community just as much as the picture theatre?

    There are more examples of this double standard as we read down the press release, but I’m sure you are getting the point.

    And the point is .... the Bligh State government does not need the land the Aquatic building is on for vital port development – they just want the cash! And where will that be spent? You can bet, not up here.

    Numerous people have asked for years now why the Labor government plan to demolish this building, when it is an obvious historical link to our past and has considerable social and tourism potential. Well, it seems history and the wishes of the ordinary citizens takes a back seat where cash is involved.

    Surely though, with money coming soon from the sale of the airport, they could change their minds. The people of Cairns have said so many times they want this piece of their past preserved? Would that be too much to ask Desley?

    Wendy Richardson

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