Its full steam ahead to the past, Border Mail

YARRAWONGAS 19th century railway station is now a community centre after being saved from demolition. Yarrawonga Mulwala Historical Society members fought for years to have the station restored but it wasnt until they landed a $600,000 grant that the buildings existence was assured. The refurbished site resembles as close as possible how it was when it was built in 1888. Historical society member Bill Church, said his group would now seek to have the station added to the Victorian Heritage list. It started a long time ago. I tried to get the station heritage listed in 20006, Mr Church said. It has been a long haul for the society. Elaine Price took over after many years trying to get something done and now we can finally see all the hard work has come to fruition. Its been a long ride, but its good to see it finished now. I hope people in town get behind us and we can get it used 100 per cent of the time. It will be good. The historical society has raised money to fit out the building with chairs, tables, crockery and other items. The walls, ceiling, roof and floors had to be either repaired or replaced. They were either decayed of bricks had been removed by vandals. Two old waiting rooms at the north end are now meeting rooms that the public can hire. At the southern end, the old ticket box and luggage room are now one large room for an artists club. The building also received a fresh coat of paint on the inside, with the double-door entrances painted heritage red as well as two kitchens and a toilet block installed. The member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes said the project would make the station part of everyday life in the community. The restored building will be a community and cultural centre, with meeting, exhibition and activity spaces for local groups to use and enjoy, Ms Symes said. It will be used by a range of groups including Yarrawonga-Mulwala Artists Association Inc, Lake Mulwala Quilters, Yarrawonga Urban Landcare Group, Yarrawonga Mulwala Historical Society Inc, Save our Station, Yarrawonga Mulwala Historical Society and the Yarrawonga Community Garden. To inquire about use of the building, people can contact the historical society on 03 5744 1402. Its been a long ride, but its good to see it finished now and I hope people in town will get behind us. BILL CHURCH Caption Text: Jim Drysdale, of Yarrawonga Mulwala Development Inc and the historical societys Bill Church and Tom Hutchison are delighted that the railway station has been restored to its 1888 grace and beauty