A passion, willing to put in loads of volunteer work, learn new skills, travel, gain certificates, fund raise and bend the ear of the Local, State and Federal Politicians.
If this sounds like the thing you wish to do after a full working live, then you are in good company.
The Friends of Willow Court Annual General Meeting was held Wednesday night last week and Guest Speaker, Dallas Baker OAM from the Friends of Deal Island told us about the restoration works that they are doing and showed many pictures of the impressive works so far. Dallas has also served as caretaker on the island four time totalling 12 months of full time occupation of the light house and homestead areas.
The connection between Friends of Deal Island and the Friends of Willow Court is Mark Woodley the heritage plasterer who gave tours at Willow Court during a Heritage Month activity in 2016.
Mark has reported that one of the old homesteads on Deal Island is the best house in Tasmania, due to the fact that there was never any late alterations of plumbing or electricity, so the structure remained as it was first built.
It was clear that Heritage is very much an over looked and under funded area, but also an area that is in high demand through tourism.
Dallas informed us about the great history of the area, the need for the light house after the shipwrecks. The lighthouse is one of the highest and during fog is too high for ships to see. It has suffered the same fate as many light houses with the advanced navigational equipment available to ships today and sits as a reminder of the harder and dangerous times of sailing.
What is clear is that there are Friends Groups throughout Tasmania all full of active citizens working hard to preserve our heritage. Also in attendance was Ian Lacey who was the Tidy Towns representative. The two groups have recently announced a joint partnership with the conservation of the Willow Court perimeter wall. The job was stopped in 2015 due to the lack of funding but the joint partners have received a small grant to purchase some scaffolding to continue the job.
Below is the Chair person’s report for the 2016-17 year from the Friends of Willow Court.
Friends of Willow Court
Annual General Meeting
13 September 2017
It is with pleasure that I present this, the fifth report for the Friends of Willow Court special committee of the Derwent Valley Council.
Activities undertaken by the committee over the last 12 months include the following:
* Reviewed and accepted the revised Terms of Reference
* Three committee members participated in the Willow Court Access Working Group to
determine a cost structure and terms of access to the council owned part of Willow
* Held a BBQ at Woolworths to raise funds for Willow Court and to promote the work of
the committee to the public
* Liaised with Assoc Prof Heather Burke on working together to host the open day in
* Liaised with the DVC on conducting history walks during the open day at Willow Court in February
* Liaised with DVC to waive access fees to WC Barracks precinct for the open day tours
and Heritage Month Fiddle Excursion
* Visited Willow Court on two occasions to conduct onsite historical research of the
buildings and related social history to assist in the development of walking tour
* Conducted history walks during the open day that attracted 300-400 people to the site
* Co hosted the open day High Tea with Derwent Valley Players. This event was a huge
success with many compliment on both the play and the sumptuous high tea
* Hosted a BBQ for Associate Professor Heather Burke and her archaeology students
* Liaise with historian Peter MacFie to develop the Heritage Month Fiddle Excursion
* Hosted the Fiddle Excursion in May, which was an outstanding success and a real credit
to the committee, with many compliments from participants on the excellent
organisation of the event, and the wonderful exposure of a unique part of the Derwent
* Represented FoWC at the Built Heritage seminar at Parliament House. The seminar was
an outcome of the Legislative Council Built Heritage Report which identified that more
input in specific areas was needed.
* Met with representatives of Tasmania’s Most Haunted to discuss concerns with their
proposed project in the Willow Court Barracks precinct
* Successfully applied for a DVC Community Grant for the purchase of scaffolding that will
enable FoWC and Derwent Valley Tidy Towns to progress the lime washing of the Willow
Court perimeter wall that was started in 2015
* Unsuccessfully applied for a grant from the DVC Works budget to fund safety equipment
needed for the WC wall lime washing project
* Two committee members participated in the Oral History workshop to develop technical
skills and understanding of the procedures involved in recording oral histories. It is the
committees intention to continue to record histories to preserve the living history of
Willow Court for future generations
In closing I would like to take this opportunity to thank committee members for their ongoing support and enthusiasm for the projects we have undertaken this year.
I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful support provided by DVC staff to assist FoWC with the organization of the open day and Fiddle Excursion.
Thank you also to Councilor Pearce for his support of the committee throughout the last year.
Again, while we are a small committee we can be proud of what we have achieved for Willow Court in the past year.