Community Centre opens in Bay
THE LONG-AWAITED Hervey Bay Community Centre opened on Monday to the words of former US inventor Henry Ford.
Quoting Henry Ford, Butchulla elder Aunty Jan Williams told about 100 people in Pialba: "Coming together is a beginning.
"Keeping together is progress.
"Working together is success."
The opening celebration was 12 years in the making and involved local volunteers and charities, the council, the media, and State and Federal Government.
Even a prime minister became involved in the process.
The Community Centre will provide a meeting space and focal point for social and infrastructure services for more than 20 programs.
One of the organisations to take up residence in the centre is Reconnect Fraser Coast, which looks after homeless youth.
Michael Massingham, from Reconnect Fraser Coast, said it was "really important" that young people had a user-friendly space they could go to and find everything from mentoring to simply a place to hang out on bean-bags with a guitar or drum to tap on.
One of the most emotional attendees on the day was one of the driving forces behind the centre, Joyce Chorny.
Ms Chorny's voice shook as she thanked the long list of people who have helped her turn the dream of a place for aged, the infirm, the young, the homeless and for families into a reality over the past 12 years.
Senator John Hogg and Mayor Mick Kruger officially unveiled the centre to a warm round of applause following Ms Chorny's speech.