Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

Community Bank comes to the rescue

BusinessJoanne Eisemann

A TOTAL of $152,601.80 was committed to 10 local projects in the Deloraine and Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank second community grants round for 2018.

The funds will support dedicated community groups to realise their dreams.

“We feel so supported,” says Sharman Lewis, grants offi†cer from the small but devoted group of people working to restore the fabric of the heritage listed Parkham Church.

The deconsecrated church and hall property at Parkham was purchased in 2016 by Parkham Community Inc to be used as a community centre. The external fabric is in poor condition and needs urgent intervention to repoint the stone foundations, replace leaking guttering and sections of rotting timber before being repainted.

“There are starlings nesting in the walls,” comments Sharman.

Parkham Community Inc. received a $10,000 grant from the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch that enables the group to apply for a further $90,000 from the Tasmanian Community Fund who require that 10% of funds needed for projects be raised from another source.

The old church was built in 1902 by community members on donated land with donated local timber and funds raised by the community largely by growing potatoes. The inner fabric of the church is still in good condition and Parkham Community Inc members are keen to see the beautiful old building restored thereby helping them with fundraising into the future and keeping their heritage alive.

Another restoration project that will go ahead thanks to a community grant from the bank is the refurbishment of Pearns Steam World flagship engine the 1910 8HP Foden traction engine.

A regular attraction at Agfest, St Patrick’s Day festivals, Westbury and Deloraine Shows, without repair, the engine will become a static display at the museum.

As a high-pressure vessel, boilers must meet strict criteria and the Foden no longer meets certification standards.

This type of work can only be carried out by specialist heritage repair people and will cost up to $40,000 for the professional component of the repairs. “The $20,000 grant provided by the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank will go a long way towards breaking the back of the fundraising needed to repair the Foden,” says treasurer of the Pearns Steam World Committee Ruth Paterson,” adding “It’s a big job for our small committee to raise funds. We can’t thank them enough.”

Simon Rootes, Manager of the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank says he enjoys leading a team that are working together to support local community projects. ”As a team we feel so much pride when we see the work we put in throughout the year turn into such great community outcomes. Not only are we providing an excellent banking service to our community each day, we are then able to give back to the community that support our branch. It’s a great organisation to be a part of, knowing that we are really making a difference to our community is what really drives our team.”

The Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank has now returned close to $1.5 million to the Meander Valley community through grants, dividends, sponsorship and donations.

Recipients for the Community Grant Round 2 were:

• Deloraine Agricultural & Pastoral Society (Deloraine Show) - $50,000 - new kitchen/dining pavilion and amenities.

• Deloraine Baptist Church - $5,500 - Hall heating and replacement floor

• Deloraine Football Club - $7092.80 - tables

• Deloraine House - $9,960 - Upgrade to windows and removal of chimney

• Kentish Regional Clinic Inc (CORES - Meander Valley) - $1,900 - Meander Valley Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (one day prevention workshops)

• Parkham Community Inc. - $3,500 - Water Security for Parkham Community Centre

• Parkham Community Inc. - $10,000 - Restoring the Heart of the Community (Church restoration)

• Pearn’s Steam World - $20,000 - The Crown (restoration of historic machinery)

• Rotary Club of Deloraine - $7,000 - Rotary Function Centre Improvements

• Rotary Club of Westbury - $12,649 - Food Van Upgrade

• Western Tiers Film Society - $25,000 - Little Theatre Sound System Upgrade

Simon Rootes, Manager of Deloraine & Districts Community Bank Branch, discusses repairs to the Parkham Church with Sharman Lewis, Parkham Community Inc. Photo by Mike Moores

Simon Rootes, Manager of Deloraine & Districts Community Bank Branch, discusses repairs to the Parkham Church with Sharman Lewis, Parkham Community Inc. Photo by Mike Moores

Pearns Steam World Foden 1910 8HP traction engine delights crowds at local events. Photo by Mike Moores

Pearns Steam World Foden 1910 8HP traction engine delights crowds at local events. Photo by Mike Moores