Land of the Beardies Museum committee Archie Cameron, left, Pam Grimes, President Colin Price, Tony Trollope, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Annette McCormack, Olga Dawes and Secretary Eve Chappell welcome a $131,000 State Government grant to restore the old Glen Innes Hospital War Memorial Children’s Ward.
Tuesday, 22 June 2021
NINETY-SIX years after the War Memorial Children’s Ward at the old Glen Innes Hospital first opened its doors the commemorative building is being restored for community use, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall this week announcing a $131,000 State Government grant for the Land of the Beardies Reserve Trust.
Mr Marshall said the people of Glen Innes and Glencoe fundraised to build the ward almost a century ago, as a way of paying tribute to their WWI servicemen and women.
“For near on a century the children’s ward has stood as both as a reminder of young lives lost at war and a salute to future generations,” Mr Marshall said.
“After so many harsh Glen Innes winters the work of original builders Freak Brothers has deteriorated and the gabled brick cottage is no longer able to play a prominent role in the Land of the Beardies Museum.
“A deterioration report, commissioned by the Glen Innes and District Historical Society, determined considerable work was needed structurally and aesthetically to restore the building for community use.
“This grant will see that refurbishment happen in full, with fibro sheeting, rotten timbers, leaking gutters and downpipes all to be replaced and the old windows resealed to create a level of climate control.
“Externally the building will be painted in heritage colours, while a new roof and wall cladding will assist in protecting the building from the weather.
“The War Memorial Children’s Ward was built in recognition that it was Glen Innes’ children, not war, that were the key to a prosperous future.
“I believe the town’s forefathers would be extremely proud to know this building is still being used and that efforts are being taken to preserve their legacy.”
President of the Glen Innes & District Historical Society Col Price commented the renovation will deliver a structurally sound, attractive looking building that will promote the museum and the town.
“For over 50 years our society has protected our district’s heritage and increased the knowledge-bank available to researchers investigating our pioneering history,” Mr Price said.
“These works to the War Memorial Children’s Ward are critical to the future activities of our group and provide an opportunity for us to engage with a wider audience
“With the interior enhanced through repairs and painting, historical items will be safely stored in the building with no risk of water damage.
“The building will generate a new revenue stream for our society as we hire it out for seminars, workshops and small events.
“Just as local builders Freak Brothers constructed the original ward in the 1920’s, I am please we have been able to secure local firm TA and BA Baker Building Contractors to undertake this project.
“We expect the renovation will be finished by 30 April 2022.
“On behalf of our members I thank Adam and the State Government for enabling our society to preserve this valuable war memorial building.”