Wednesday 2 December 2009

Deconstructing the language behind the Cairns Yacht Club

Ian Turp, writing on Not The Cairns Post reviews the sad de-construction of reporting about the re-construction of the historic ruins that was once our beloved Cairns Yacht Club.

I was reading through the Cairns Post this morning and found a lovely little story about the Cairns Yacht Club – or should I say the “restored Cairns Yacht Club” now the centrepiece of the student hub at James Cook University in Smithfield. You can read the story online and see the nice picture of the happy students.

Now – let me be perfectly clear. I think the students at JCU absolutely deserve new facilities – it’s great that they have a new student hub and I wish them the best and hope they make the most of it. Enjoy!

But, you knew that was coming I bet, it is a subtle bit of continued politics that the Cairns Post continue to refer to this facility as the “restored Cairns Yacht Club”. This adds legitimacy to the flawed process that had it removed in the first place, the con-job that was pulled on the Cairns public and stupidity that has added further expense to an already flawed process.

The article notes “a few of the floor boards” have been replaced… and “the end walls”. I recall from earlier photos that there was only three walls left on the structure which means (to my logic) that at best we have one wall, part of a floor and some roof trusses. Other stories in the Post refer to the decay and what was left collapsing on itself. and photos on the CairnsBlog are inconclusive, but it doesn’t look like much of any wall is standing.

Just how much of the old girl is left?

My understanding of restoration is that you can restore something as long as you bring it back to near original condition, which in the case of the yacht club is pointless I agree. It has rightly been used as a base for a new building that suits a new purpose. The original building would make no sense where it is.

There are examples of moving buildings and restoring them – Cominos House is a prime example and worth a visit if you are in the area. It has a rich history, as did the yacht club, and a well-planned and executed removal, unlike the yacht club building. It is interesting to note that for such a fine example of “restoration” the Cairns Regional Council chipped in $95,000 in 1992.

So – lets start calling it as it really is… a recycled building. There is nothing wrong with that, recycling is good. Not quite sure of the price tag.

To the Cairns Post:– the yacht club was demolished and the bits were either sold by Anton’s, legally – due to a lax contract, or recycled into the new student hub.


sizzle said...

Still, great place for a piss-up !

Rob Williams said...

The only things recognizable in the JCU hall are the remnants of the floor and the silky oak beams that Phil (White rock) recons were all rotten and decaying. JCU is very keen to have a history board up showing the 100 year history of the Aquatic Building which had its origins in 1890. I have a thousand photos of the old Rice mill right through the war areas, with the history of all the Bands and musicians that played there. Anna and Desley lied about building a 6 million dollar complex for the Yacht Club and at the same time deliberately demolished the Historical Building. I and my colleagues spent 3 years on fighting for the historic building, but I’ll wager that if I turned the information over to JCU the real story would be rewritten to protect the source of JCU funding (State Government). The Cairns Post was and still is complicit in the misinformation about the 103 year history of the Aquatic Club, whose anniversary is the 30th March each year.

Justin Ganzer said...

I'm willing to give you a tour of the facilities if you are interested. I can't speak to the other articles, I'm sure every journalist takes a little creative liberties.

Also I can't speak to the relocation and fight to save the club as I wasn't involved.(I signed the petition and helped circulate it)

But if you are looking for a tour of the new student hub, I would be happy to give you a tour.


Iqbal said...

The funniest thing about this campaign has of course been Brian Law's activities. He didn't darken the door step of the place until 2 months before its demolition and then tried to become its saviour. What a wanker. Perhaps if he'd brought a counter meal there before that they could have paid their rent and justified their existence. Reality is there is more people across the road playing black jack right now than ever went regularly to Yacht Club.