City hall was funded by fruit
MARYBOROUGH City Hall was built from the fruits of one man's labour - no kidding.
One of three mosaics inspired by the history of Maryborough and installed as part of the Kent Street Revitalisation Project opened last week supports the statement.
Maryborough Storyteller Ian Brown said George Ambrose White, who donated £10 000 - more than $2 million in today's terms - to build the city hall made his fortune growing pineapples, oranges and sugarcane at Tinana.
"The new mosaic, created by internationally recognised artist Helen Bodycomb, on footpath at the intersection of Kent and Lennox streets is based on this story," Mr Brown said.
"George's great gift will be remembered by the people of this town when we gather in our hall made of oranges and pineapples with the telling epitaph: Farming Pioneer and Philanthropist."
Fraser Coast councillor Daniel Sanderson said the mosaic on the eastern corner of the intersection was designed by Bundaberg artist Paul Perry.
A central component of the mosaic is a manhole cover retrieved from the street during the refurbishment works. It is surrounded by branches of Crimson Bottlebrush - Maryborough's Floral Emblem.
"The cast-iron manhole cover was made by Cockburn and Watson foundry in Maryborough and is a link to our engineering history," Cr Sanderson said.
Also included in the revitalisation project are five brass sculptures made by Brisbane artist Mela Cooke, based on sketches created by local artists April Spadina and Valerie McIntosh.
They were inspired by other stories written by Ian Brown which described the shops and hustle and bustle of the Maryborough CBD.
The Maryborough Family Heritage Association helped pinpoint the location of the shops mentioned in the stories so the sculptures could be positioned near the buildings from which they were inspired.
Ms Cooke created other bronze works that feature in the story trail across the CBD.
"The story trail includes sculptures, street furniture, interpretative signage, our monuments and memorials such as the Gallipoli to Armistice walk in Queens Park, the video cabinets scattered through the CBD and the Hub on Kent Street," Cr Sanderson said.
"Our aim is to showcase our stories and encourage visitors to stay longer by getting people on to the streets to explore and experience the city's heritage and cultural experiences."