The Manning RiverStage is set to open with an official handover to MidCoast Council on Tuesday October 27 at 11am.
The ceremony will be conducted on the stage and in the parkland adjacent on the banks of the Manning River at the lower end of Manning Street. Because of COVID-19, the ceremony will be restricted to invited guests and the media.
Project director, Ken Raison, said the opening marks the official commencement of activities on the stage following an extended period of development of the project and construction the stage.
The project has been spear-headed by the Rotary Club of Taree on Manning in association with Taree Lions Club.
It was enabled by a $50,000 grant from the NSW government through MidCoast Council following the amalgamation, followed by a great deal of community financial support.
Ken wished to thank the many community-minded members, businesses and organisations that have brought this signature piece to fruition. Without them this now completed multi-functional facility would not have been possible.
Mr Raison had particular praise for the efforts and professionalism of Stones Oysters who undertook the pile driving, Les Page from Coastal Cranes who expertly handled the heavy lifting, Nigel Young Building and their merry team who physically built the stage; to Ralph Blenkin from Machins Sawmill who stockpiled and milled the timber and to Mark Drury, a local Rotarian, who co-ordinated and managed the donation of all of the timber requirements from the Forestry Corporation NSW.
The carving of the posts was undertaken by our local artist, Russell Saunders OAM and Josh Wood, an emerging local indigenous artist painted the front truss linking Russell's work and, together, giving the stage a unique presence in the park
Apart from the upfront presence of our RiverStage, Ken went onto say that there were a number of behind the scenes contributors to the development. Neil Ryan Dafting completed version after version of drawings and Chris Venn Brown of RPE Engineering Services provided the engineering specifications for the build.
Council has now agreed to lease the RiverStage to the Rotary Club of Taree on Manning for three years at a modest rental.
The club will in turn make the RiverStage available without charge to community based not-for-profit organisations. Commercial hirers will be charged a fee based on audience size.
Booking for use of the stage can be made at email@example.com The site can be found on Facebook by searching Manning RiverStage.