Council clarifies claims of lost heritage items
Friday 5 February 2015
At the Council meeting on Wednesday 3 February 2016, in a public deputation on the Bega Clock Tower, Ms Judy Geary raised her concerns about Council’s protection of a number of “heritage” items.
“It is not only the Bega park lamps that have been 'lost'. Recent disappearances that remain unsolved include the brass plaques that told the story of Bega that were removed from the footpaths, the honor roll and other memorials that were installed in Littleton gardens to mark moments in time that were important to the people of Bega and I have been told that 10 metres of granite kerb disappeared during recent council works in Gipps Street. The mural that was made by a local community group and hung in the disappeared bus stop has also been lost/destroyed despite being made to be removed easily. I am not convinced that the Dr Evershed memorial clock will be reconstructed after removal. The pattern of behaviour exhibited by BVSC in recent times leads to my opinion.”
The following information is provided in relation to the items raised by Ms Geary. Much of this information was provided to the Bega Valley Historical Society in 2015.
The gas lamps, converted to electricity, from Bega Park; Council’s Heritage consultant, Pip Giovanelli, inspected these and did not consider them to be of significant heritage value. They were not cast iron, but fairly ordinary plain pipe sections. The top sections were added in the 1980’s. New lights are to be installed this year and work has commenced on identifying suitable replacements.
The tiles that were on the Carp Street footpaths with maps and pictures on them; the tiles in question were relatively modern (installed in early 2000s) and not brass but a compound with etching and removed when reported as slippery. Upon removal unfortunately the tiles were damaged beyond repair.
Various memorials from Littleton Gardens; A full inventory of all items including descriptions, photos and involved groups/families from Littleton Garden and the Bega Civic Centre is in Council records and all have been accounted for. Council has consulted extensively with relevant organisations and family representatives in relation to preferred options with agreed actions being progressively implemented.
Some of these agreed actions relating to memorials and plaques from Littleton Gardens and the Town Hall of particular note include:
1. RSL memorial plaques are to be reinstated outside of Bega Civic Centre as agreed with the local RSL Branch.
2. Original Governor’s opening plaque has been reinstated in the Bega Civic Centre foyer.
3. McKee Fountain is now a water feature with a plaque installed.
4. The Littleton Sister City plaque showing the faces of two founders is to be re-installed as agreed with Littleton Gardens Consultative Committee with the plinth currently being designed.
Disappearance of 10 metres of granite kerb Gipps Street: Parts of the granite kerb and gutter on Gipps Street adjacent to Littleton Gardens were in poor condition and deteriorating badly under stormwater flow. All re-useable granite stones were retained and some other granite stones gleaned from the very limited Council supply. As much granite kerb and gutter that could be rebuilt and/or repaired was reinstated by a stone mason – this repair resulted in a small section being replaced with concrete kerb adjacent to Zingel Place.
Bus Stop Mural, Bega: The importance of the mural was noted. Council staff spoke with the individual who was involved with the TAFE students who produced the murals circa 1997. It was acknowledged that the murals could not feasibly be removed. An assessment was undertaken with Gallery Curator, Iain Dawson, who has had them professionally photographed in situ with the intention to frame at full size for later hanging at an appropriate place and time.
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