THE major contribution to Warrnambool over many years by builder, the late Ern Harris, was recognised last night when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2012 Warrnambool Business Excellence Awards.
Mr Harris’ construction company employed hundreds of people from the 1940s to the 1960s and built numerous Warrnambool district landmarks such as the Nestles (now Fonterra) factory at Dennington, the former Lady Bay hotel, the Fletcher Jones factory and the original Warrnambool Base Hospital.
Air Warrnambool won the top award, the Powercor Business of the Year, at last night’s gala event.
Owners Tony and Melissa Franc accepted the award in front of about 350 people who packed the St Pius X Hall.
Warrnambool City Council economic development officer Seona Taylor said more than 50 businesses nominated for the record total of 17 categories in this year’s business awards.
The awards featured new categories for social media and hospitality.
Ms Taylor said social media had become a prominent marketing tool for businesses across the city.
“We are seeing a lot of new and existing local businesses popping up in the online world with a particular emphasis on Facebook,” she said.