Official Opening of 88 Limestone Precinct
Ms Jennifer Howard MP; Mayor Pisasale; Your Honour; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
As the 26th Governor of our State, I am delighted to follow in the footsteps of Queensland’s eighth Governor, Lord Lamington, who first opened this building as the Ipswich Technical College almost exactly a century ago. Our paths have not however been entirely consistent, because unlike me, Lord Lamington could not present himself proudly as a former Ipswich school boy.
In 1900, Lord Lamington also laid the foundation stone here. Then, Queensland was still a British colony and Queen Victoria was on the throne.
When he returned to open the building in June 1901, Queensland was a proud State of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Britain had a new monarch. Fittingly, though, this building was dedicated to the late Queen.
We must forgo today some of the features of that first opening ceremony. There will be no prize-giving, and I am unsure if there will be ‘two handsome iced cakes’ as there were a century ago.
Nor is it compulsory for you to copy Lord Lamington’s audience in responding to my remarks with repeated bouts of ‘loud applause’.
There are, however, historical parallels that deserve our attention.
As we continue to commemorate centenaries of Australian involvement in World War One battles, we should be mindful that G B Gill, the architect of this building, also designed the nearby 1922 RSL Memorial Hall. And that the Technical College provided free tuition for local soldiers returned from the Great War.
That’s an admirable part of this building’s past.
This edifice has long represented an important element of the streetscape of Ipswich. Lord Lamington made a point of noting the artistic worth of the construction. I echo his sentiments today.
In 1901, the completion of this building marked a major point of progress for the Ipswich community.
Then, a new era of locally-based technical education had begun. Now, this complex further animates the heart of Ipswich with a revitalised business, dining and retail hub.
I follow Lord Lamington’s excellent precedent in thanking and congratulating James and Tracey Long, and the architects and builders of 88 Limestone Street, on their skill and commitment in restoring this distinguished group of buildings.
Their hard work and dedication have created a marvellous 21st century asset for Ipswich, while preserving an important part of this wonderful City’s history and heritage. I wish all those involved every success.
It is now my great honour to unveil this commemorative plaque, thereby declaring officially open 88 Limestone Precinct.