by Bill Hoffman
A LAST hurrah for an iconic piece of Coolum's history will be held this weekend signalling the first event of the Sunshine Coast Festival of Community Halls Festival which runs until September.
The festival was launched at Montville yesterday and will involve more than 20 community hall events through August and September as part of the 50th anniversary of the naming of the Sunshine Coast.
"We will be celebrating the contribution that the halls and local communities have made in the development of the Sunshine Coast and the important role they continue to have in creating the social fabric of our region,” Mayor Mark Jamieson said.
The Coolum event will feature music from Barry Charles and photographs of the town's past in a slide show that records its change over time.
And it will provide a platform for speakers on a range of issues from Sunshine Coast Council's plan to rock wall the Maroochy River mouth through to proposed changes to the planning scheme.
Organiser artist Blair McNamara said the event was both a last hurrah for the iconic hall, at one point the town's main street picture theatre, and also a tool to bring attention to the argument that it be kept where it is.
Sunshine Coast Council plans to shift the hall from Jack Morgan Park to land on the corner of Banksia Avenue and Jones Parade requiring the removal of 28 melaleuca trees.
Mr McNamara said the decision had been made with little regard for the town's history.
He said while protesters, back by the Coolum Residents Association, would prefer it remained in its current location, the alternative was to shift it into Lions Park opposite the Coolum Hotel where it could be restored to its original open plan form.
A council spokesperson said despite being a loved community asset the hall had little historical architectural value.
Once relocated it would undergo a range of modifications which would also provide disability access.
The spokesperson said the shift was consequence of the Jack Morgan Park Coolum Landscape Plan with its new home identified through consultation.
A contractor to undertake the work is now being sought. The hall would be managed under a 30--year lease by the Coolum Bridge Club.
Saturday's Coolum event will be staged from 4pm to 9pm.
For more information on the Festival visit http://sunshinecoastcommunityhalls.com/.