AFTER gracing Warrnambool’s Botanic Gardens for 100 years the grand old rotunda was given a community birthday party yesterday ushered in by a marching pipe band.
About 500 people enjoyed concerts and picnics, reminiscent of the era when rotundas were popular performance venues.
Stars of the show were grand-daughters of two men who were community leaders 100 years ago when the rotunda was built for £300.
Marigold Curtis’ grand father, John Wilson Younger, officially opened the building as mayor in 1913 and Helen Clarke’s grandfather, Alex Donaldson was a partner in the construction company.
Research shows a design for the octagonal structure with steeply-pitched roof, cast iron columns, band stand and lower kiosk was probably produced in the local council offices.
It was recently restored along with the installation of a QR (quick response) code for event bookings using smart phones.
“Although it’s old, it’s pretty groovy,” said Friends of the Gardens group vice-president Janet Macdonald.
“Our celebrations drew up to 500 people including Karen Hughes, the daughter of 1960s curator Laurie McPhee.”