Official opening of the Bick and Bailey Corridor
Speech delivered by Air Commodore Mark Gower AM LVO OAM (Mil), Official Secretary:
Your Excellency, Mrs de Jersey – thank you for joining us.
Good morning everyone and welcome to the official opening of the latest addition to the Government House estate, the Bick and Bailey Corridor.
Infrastructure such as this might not attract as much fanfare as works completed to the House, which is so widely recognised for its symbolism and striking architecture.
However, the heritage-listed gardens of Government House are immensely significant and very much part of Queensland’s ‘living history’.
Integral to evolution of these gardens were two prominent horticulturalists – Ernest Walter Bick and John Frederick Bailey.
When Fernberg became the vice-regal residence in 1910, Bick became head gardener. With Bailey, he began a process of transforming these gardens to better suit the requirements of the Governor and household.
Over the following 110 years, the garden has continued to evolve. Yet it has always been a place that values function as well as form – just as Bick and Bailey intended.
The Corridor we open today continues the important work of the men in whose honour it is named.
It creates a functional connection between the formal landscaped zone, the Ridge and the bushland.
This will ease pressure on the Ridge, enabling machinery and equipment to move more easily to the Bushland, Pavilion and beyond. It will also facilitate buggy tours, enabling visitors to enjoy a more fulsome Government House tour.
As with all construction endeavours, a vast team has contributed to this project’s success.
To the Government House staff who have overseen the Corridor’s development: you have executed this project with great patience and professionalism, despite its challenges. I thank you all.
I also thank the Department of Housing and Public Works for their vital support. The grounds here at Fernberg are of great significance to the history of Queensland and we appreciate the Department’s continued recognition of this.
I thank Kane Constructions for providing us once again with a highly accomplished team. You have delivered work of an impeccable standard.
Finally, I thank His Excellency and Mrs de Jersey for their patience during construction, as well as their unwavering commitment to the ongoing improvements to this important piece of our State’s heritage.
It is now my pleasure to now invite the Governor to say a few words and officially open the Corridor. Thank you.