New hub for Trentham

Local MPs Mary-Anne Thomas and Catherine King joined Hepburn Shire Council representatives and a large crowd of locals for the offical opening of the Mechanics Trentham on Friday. Photo: Sandy Scheltema

It’s hosted weddings, birthdays, dances and school concerts for well over a century and now a brand new Mechanics Trentham has been delivered to an enthusiastic local community.

The state-of-the-art facility includes a playgroup space, library and study nooks, workspaces, visitor information, a commercial-style kitchen and a large function space.

The new space incorporates elements of the original building, which dates to the late 1800s and remains an integral piece of the town’s history.

The kitchen has been named Kit’s Kitchen in honour of local icon Kit Manning.

Kit has volunteered at the hall for decades and has memories of many special events there from the 89 years she has lived in Trentham.

Hepburn Shire mayor Cr Brian Hood said Kit was an example of dedication, volunteerism, community spirit and respect.

“When we were looking to name the three function rooms, we took on advice not to name them after local families because they are many more significant families than just three, so we named them after the local rivers,” Cr Hood said.

“But we broke our own rule for Kit, because her position in the community was such that nobody would object.”

Kit said it was an honour that she shared with the whole community.

“A lot of women have worked there beside me, and men for that matter,” she said.

Cr Hood acknowledged that the project had been a major investment for Trentham and surrounds, which was borne of a 2013 review of local facilities.

“I’m thrilled to see the newly completed building open. We are very grateful for the funding from both state and federal governments, and the dedication of council, its officers and the community-based Project Advisory Group who worked together on this wonderfully progressive design,” he said.