Opening of new interpretive centre named after pioneering woman
  • Wednesday 03 June 2015
Pictured left to right Ron Gillinder, Cr Jenny McKay and Cr Rick Baberowski

The official opening of Council’s new, purpose-built interpretive and archival building, the Mary Grigor Centre, was today marked with a commemorative re-enactment of the history of the centre’s namesake.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said it was an honour to officially open the Mary Grigor Centre, in the Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct at Glass House Mountains, which was made possible thanks to the Cultural Heritage Levy.

“The new Mary Grigor Centre is an excellent example of the levy working hard to protect the region’s stories, traditions and places so that they can be experienced by future generations,” Cr McKay said.

“Bankfoot House and the new interpretive centre are a great addition to the region’s cultural heritage tourism trail.”

Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski said the State heritage-listed Bankfoot House played a significant role in the history of not only the local community but also the Sunshine Coast region and, more generally, the stories of our pioneers.

“Today’s opening of the Mary Grigor Centre is very important as it is a fitting acknowledgement of Mary Grigor who, with her husband William, was the first resident of Bankfoot House,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Mary Grigor was a well-known mid-wife, and local women would often go to Bankfoot House to give birth with Mary in attendance. Men would also leave their wives with Mary Grigor when they went on to Gympie in the search for gold.

“Council recently endorsed the naming of the whole property, on which the Mary Grigor Centre, the State Government heritage listed Bankfoot House and all other out buildings sit, the ‘Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct’.  This significant step recognises the important contribution this precinct makes to the region’s rich history.

“The Mary Grigor Centre provides archival storage for the paper and textile collections from the house and property, work space for the Friends of Bankfoot House who have been conserving the collection, and visitor and interpretive spaces for the general community.
 
“I would like to thank the Friends of Bankfoot House for their significant work of preserving and making the collection accessible to the public. Their knowledge of the Bankfoot history is rich and their generosity in sharing this knowledge will continue in the new Mary Grigor Centre’s conservation and archival space.

“I encourage the community to utilise this unique facility which offers spaces for events and community meetings with the verandah space presenting a fresh perspective on and appreciation of this historic site.”

For more information on the Mary Grigor Centre, visit Council’s website or to make a booking email culturalheritage@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.