Some of you will remember, hopefully fondly, "Mrs O'Malley's Magnificent Music Hall', Uralla's annual theatrical extravaganza, which literally exploded Uralla's slumber.
Each season, 1976-1988, "Mrs O'Malley's" attracted some three thousand eager patrons, more than the township's population, most making the annual pilgrimage from beyond the region ... Sydney, Brisbane and the North Coast.
Out of that burst of creativity came the visionary team of volunteers who formed Uralla Historical Society, specifically to acquire the then derelict 1872 McCrossin's Mill.
With expert advice and professional input they got stuck into the hard yakka of the restoration. Then came the creation of an inspiring, progressive Museum and a uniquely beautiful Function Centre.
The society willingly joined the fight to save Tamworth's Dominican Convent, doomed for demolition to make way for a K-Mart car park!
This team has also resolutely taken on the unofficial roles of guardianship and promotion of Uralla township's charming built heritage.
All of which is why Uralla is now a Cultural Tourism destination, and a hive of activity and optimism, even in these troubled times. Visitors are flocking here. It is so refreshingly different to other places, because its special charm has been conserved.
That's called "progress", isn't it?
Yet sadly some people still don't comprehend this.
The Museum and Function Centre is Uralla's cultural heart. Still owned and operated by the volunteers of the Historical Society, McCrossin's Mill is under serious threat.
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Without having the good grace to first consult with its neighbours, local Foodworks supermarket submitted a DA for a major expansion.
The Developer and Senior Council Officers have ignored 30 expert submissions arguing against various aspects of the proposal. They have simply refused to negotiate.
The intrusion by Foodworks, of what is basically "a big shed" into this historic precinct will shatter the heritage ambience, imperil the stability of the existing structures, destroy a tastefully designed courtyard and garden, block access to the 1878 Stables/Store, and lay a huge treeless tarmac of a car park right up to the neighbours' boundaries. The viability of the future operation of McCrossin's Mill and Function Centre may well be jeopardised.
To their great credit, a slim majority of Uralla Shire Councillors identified discrepancies in the DA, consistently refused to approve it, and requested modifications. But all to no avail, the DA just keeps coming back, like a naughty boy to the Headmaster's office.
We must ensure the principal doesn't lose his principles.
Those who value Uralla's heritage and future prosperity should urgently send a strong message to the General Manager of Uralla Shire Council before next Tuesday, August 25, when the unmodified DA will be submitted yet again!
Surely we'll all welcome a supermarket upgrade, if it's done with respect. Not too much to ask, is it?