Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Palais

Yesterday was a big day in the life of our town. Celebrations to commemorate 100 years of the beautiful Palais Theatre in Franklin were in full swing. The Tasmania Police Pipe Band played outside the Palais and the Tasmanian Lighthorse troop paraded, awaiting our special guests. His Excellency The Honourable Peter Underwood AC, Governor of Tasmania and Mrs Underwood arrived by boat via the canal through Egg Island - in the same boat that David and I "helped" (in my case I use the term loosely) to row during last year's Focus on Franklin festival. The Governor unveiled a plaque to mark this important day. We were entertained by the Tasmanian Heritage Fiddle Ensemble and enjoyed music from around the globe played by the Franklin School Marimba Band - the school that narrowly escaped closure (so far) in last year's round of State Government cuts.

Ruth Young, author of a new book about the history of the Palais - and so much more of the town's history - articulated perfectly what this building means to so many people, and how its survival has been due to the hard work of countless volunteers. Franklin School students presented the chair of the Palais Management Committee with a time capsule that will enclose items from our time for future generations to learn from. An afternoon tea in the local tradition followed, tables laden with scones and slices. I have said before how lucky we are to have found ourselves in this community that is lucky enough to have a facility like the Palais, and yesterday really brought that home again. It was a fitting celebration of the heart and soul of our community.

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