Heritage champions recognised with accolades

The restoration and adaptive re-use of part of an historical building occupied by Gold Empire Tattoo Barber in Wood Street has struck heritage awards gold.

Suite 2/36 Wood Street won the Gold Award for the Tom Casey New or Refurbished Heritage Place – Commercial Building – at council’s 2020 Heritage Awards tonight.

Built in 1922, the original Daily Mercury building is one of the Mackay City Centre’s most important historical commercial sites.

The Gold Award for New or Refurbished Heritage Home went to Michael Sleeman for the refurbishment and restoration of “Olive” at 127 Field Street, West Mackay.

The Berenice Wright Heritage Champion – Individual or Organisation – Gold Award went to Pioneer Valley Museum volunteers for their disaster recovery and re-curation project.

In February last year the museum’s collection came under threat when the roof leaked during a significant rain event.

The volunteers turned this mishap into an opportunity to improve, redesign, re-theme and collaborate with Queensland Museums to transform the collection.

The Heritage Media Gold awards were shared by:
> North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) for its Port of Mackay 80th Anniversary celebrations; and
> Daily Mercury for its local history feature articles

Silver, bronze and highly commended awards were also presented in various categories.

A full list of all winners can be found in the Book of Finalists.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the Mackay community was renowned for having a strong heritage focus.

“It is fitting that we acknowledge the efforts of people working to preserve the heritage of this great place we call home,’’ Cr Williamson said.

“Like the old saying goes; ‘How can you know where you are going, unless you know where you came from,’’ he said.

Cr Fran Mann, chair of council’s Character and Heritage Advisory Committee, said the Heritage Awards, first celebrated in 2004, were a biennial event.

She said they paid tribute to those who made outstanding contributions to the promotion, conservation and understanding of the region’s heritage and history.

“I would like to acknowledge volunteers and partners in our building industry who have contributed to restoring buildings, matching colours, sourcing materials, undertaking research, interviewing residents, and giving endless hours in the pursuit of heritage preservation.

“Without these passionate people in our region, our heritage may not be so richly preserved and kept alive for future generations.”