Renee Pilcher

Gympie' Freemason’s hotel no more

GYMPIE'S Freemason's Hotel, for more than a century a part of the region's living history, now seems to have become officially a thing of the past.

Mayor Ron Dyne told councillors yesterday the sale by receivers of the hotel car park, on the other side of Reef St, would undermine the building's future use as a hotel.

The car park will be incorporated into a fresh application to develop the old Surface Hill precinct, soon to have a motel, manager's residence and office block on the grounds, as well as the heritage listed former Surface Hill Uniting Church building.

Planning councillor Ian Petersen told this week's Gympie Regional Council meeting the car park sale would impact on any use of the old Freemason's building, by removing its required car parking.

The landmark hotel, part of Gympie's urban landscape since 1880, with the possibility of a previous building on the site.

This would appear to be borne out by the Gympie Regional Council's Local Heritage Register, which says the hotel's first licensee was George Thrower in the 1870s.

The building and the various hotel businesses which have operated within it have been an important part of Gympie's social and architectural history.

The hotel had a difficult recent history, with an associated company - the one which hired its staff - going into liquidation in 2010.

Gaming machine licenses were surrendered in 2012 and it closed in early 2013.

A
A Craig Warhurst
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