Heritage Quarters Official Opening
A speech delivered by Air Commodore Mark Gower OAM:
Your Excellency, Mrs de Jersey, thank you for joining us.
My remarks this morning will be brief.
The refurbishment of these Heritage Quarters – originally built in 1937 as staff quarters – will greatly enhance the capacity of the Office, and the Governor, to promote Queensland’s interests.
These are fine lodgings. Having been through the new rooms already, I am sure visiting dignitaries will be very comfortable here.
The six suites have been named after Governors who have resided at Fernberg since it became the vice-regal residence in 1910. In chronological order, they are: Sir John Goodwin; Sir John Lavarack; Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith; Sir Alan Mansfield (who incidentally was married on this day in Stanthorpe in 1933); Sir James Ramsay; and Sir Walter Campbell.
Their contributions to the estate and Queensland are outlined in a commemorative booklet you will all shortly receive.
Each suite also features furniture made, where possible, from local timber. And the plaques identifying each suite are recycled from silky oak door frames of the original building.
It is fitting that the equitable access enhancements completed in June, and now this Heritage Quarters project, should be completed in Fernberg’s 150th year.
I thank the dedicated Queensland Government staff, at all levels, represented today by Fiona Wright and her able colleagues from Housing and Public Works.
Their involvement in these projects goes back many years. Their professionalism and support is very much appreciated.
I thank also Kane Constructions, particularly Ben Fehervary and Dave Farrell – Fernberg must be starting to feel like home for you!
They have been constants throughout both projects. They have also tactfully answered many questions from an inquisitive Governor!
I welcome onsite, too, Kane’s Director, David Rutter.
There are many others to thank, including Villari Property Group.
I have been very pleased to see relationships between all parties continue to develop; having Kane look after both projects over the past 15 months, for example, resulted in considerable savings. This is a very good outcome for taxpayers.
Finally, I pay tribute to our own experienced team led by Scott Allen. They have once again ensured the smooth continuation of the Governor’s busy schedule throughout construction.
Please accept the hospitality on offer this morning as a token of the Governor’s, and the Office’s, gratitude for your support.
It is my great honour to now invite the Governor to come forward and make some brief – at least I hope they’re brief – remarks, before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the official opening of the Heritage Quarters.