The huge crane in operation.
The huge crane in operation. DEIRDRE SMITH

Art gallery loses roof

MOST people check the weather reports for rain. Jon Day of Border Refrigeration has been looking for a long time as well, except it was blue skies he was after, rather than the wet stuff.

A deluge is definitely not wanted when you're taking the roof off the Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery and replacing the air-conditioning system.

Even though all the artworks had been taken out, there was no sense in getting everything else wet.

Long-range forecasts determined the middle of June to be a good bet and hire of a crane - 'one of the largest in the Warwick area' - was locked in.

Blue skies came as predicted and once the roof came off last Tuesday, the air-conditioning infrastructure was demolished and the new system was craned in before necessary pipe work and electrical connections were done.

Six employees were involved in the initial operation, with three finishing it. The project was one of the largest the company had undertaken in Stanthorpe and Jon said it involved a huge amount of planning, co-ordination and logistics.

The two-week project will be completed and "handed-over' on Friday, just in time for the gallery's Local Art Prize. The gallery was closed for the entire period, forcing the rescheduling of a Granite Belt Choir event to Robert Channon Wines at Amiens.

"It was the only window we had with the art gallery,” he said.

Funding came from the Queensland Government.

Stanthorpe Region Art Gallery director, Mary Findlay said people had assumed she would have nothing to do when the gallery was closed.

"It's more a question of what I won't do,” she said.

"There is always so much to organise and prepare for.”

Jon and his wife, Julie, twin sons Alex and Thomas and daughter Sophie moved to Stanthorpe from Brisbane in 2017, when they bought the Border Refrigeration business.

The twins are both refrigeration mechanics, which Jon said caused some confusion at a job they were doing at Spano's IGA.

"Thomas was there one day and Alex the next,” he said.

"They wondered why he didn't answer.

"So now they just call them the Border Boys, that covers both of them.”

Jon said the family decided to make the move to Stanthorpe so they could all work together and because there was a lot of 'old-school refrigeration' in the area.

"In Brisbane, it's just putting in air-conditioners,” he said.

Jon also put together a huge welded refrigerated snowflake that will be used as a decoration at Snowflakes in Stanthorpe.

"Last year we had a bit of a look as to what was up there,” he said.

"We thought we'd give something to Stanthorpe as Stanthorpe's been good to us.”

Stanthorpe Border Post

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