Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Boyle refuses to help

Those that questioned the practises surrounding the demolition of the 100 year old Yacht Club building, had strong reason to believe something was not going right.

Even Jan Wegnar, Professor of History and Heritage at James Cook University, slammed the way the building was pulled down. Nothing was recorded, and the notable unique ceiling was totally destroyed. We all saw large skips filled and dumped. The workers had no experience in deconstructing an historic building and were simply engaged to demolish the building, on the instruction on the Labor government.

Two large historic signs, uncovered in the last days of the demolition, were revealed and discovered for the first time in more than 60 years. Aquatic Dance Palias and Cairns Sailing Club were hand-painted in period typography on the Wharf Street facing weatherboard wall.

In an exercise of embarrassing PR, the Port Authority ordered Anton Demolitions to cover them up with black plastic, so the public and passing tourists could not see the historic value of the site. There is now a hunt to get these signs back, after one was chainsawed out and thrown in a rubbish skip.

Here's a conversation with Martin Anton of Anton Demolitions...
  • "Mr Anton, this is Anne Jackson with PADYC (People against Demolishing the Yacht Club). I believe the signs that were taken down were put in a skip. I would like to know what is happening with them."

    "They are in my possession, I have them and other artifacts from the site," Martin Anton replied.

    "What are you going to do with them?" Anne questioned.

    "I don't know yet."

    "When you do, would you please call me and let me know, I would appreciate it very much, thank you."


However, the Member for Cairns has overnight become an expert archaeologist and knows what was worth salvaging form the site and what was not.

We asked Desley Boyle to retrieve these important artifacts from Martin Anton.

"[The] sign is on wood that is rotten and unsalvageable," Boyle said.

"Others are property of Cairns Yacht Club and so it's their decision as to where they go. Cairns Ports says the core of building (and dance floor) is OK and will go to JCU as announced."

In fact the signs were not rotten, as the embattled politician would have us believe. They were cut out in haste to chop the building in half, and the lads from the demolition company failed to appreciate the significance.

What a bloody ding bat these so called-representatives of the people are. It's possible to save articles millions of years old, yet Desley believes that such memorabilia is not OK. I guess it's because Desley will be flat out saving her self from political history.

I am informed that if it was a demolition, then everything belongs to the demolishers, but a relocation has different rules. So goes the spin from the government. You really have to question the lack of involvement of the current Yacht Club committee in all this sad and drawn out saga. They have been somewhat compliant to this environmental and heritage vandalism. What does Commodore Warner Ferguson has to say about how the building demolition has been handled.

The Member for Cairns has also been silent on the call for an archaeological dig on the historic site. On behalf of the people of Cairns, I will put the call to Desley Boyle again today.

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