Farewell old friend

Farewell old friend

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Amaroo Village residents Margaret White, Elsie Brown and Shirley Cooks stand on the front verandah of Winifred Jones Cottage. Photograph - Chloe Vellinga.

A barbecue lunch and many cups of tea and coffee were shared earlier this month when residents gathered to farewell the beloved Winifred Jones Cottage at Amaroo Retirement Village.

The cottage, which was added to the City of Gosnells Heritage Inventory in 2016, will be demolished later this year to make room for a new village clubhouse estimated to cost $8 million.

Chief executive David Fenwick said the plans for the new clubhouse were a long time coming, with an original plan drawn up eight years ago.

Mr Fenwick told The Examiner the new clubhouse would be the glue that pulls residents together, incorporating all needs under the one roof.

The clubhouse would feature Dot’s Café, a commercial kitchen, residents lounge, internal dining for 124 people, external dining and barbecue station, an arts and craft room, library, salon and an activities centre all at pedestrian level, with administration facilities and a street front to Dorothy Street also incorporated in the design.

The clubhouse would also include a reflections space, which would look to incorporate the original wooden floorboards and the mantle piece from Winifred Jones Cottage into the design.

Artist impression of the new $8 million clubhouse which will replace Winifred Jones Cottage at Amaroo Retirement Village in Gosnells.

Mr Fenwick said although there had been a few voices objecting to the project, the new clubhouse would go ahead as planned with demolition of the cottage starting within the next couple of months.

“We have consulted our residents and held village meetings and at the last one we had about 80 people there and we think there were about three or four dissenting voices there,” he said.

“We also included a suggestion type box, one in the office and one in the Nancy Jones centre and there have been two entries.

“One was a protest and the other one said ‘why haven’t you done it sooner’.”

Manager of property and assets Rob Spencer said some trees would need to be removed to make way for the project, but he said for every tree that will be removed, two would be planted.

“You are always going to get a couple of people that are against it, but from what I have seen in previous villages is that generally the most sought after homes end up being next to the clubhouse and other facilities,” he said.