Hutchinson Builders chairman Scott Hutchinson outside the Rockhampton Town Hall that was built by the company in 1941, which will host the company’s centenary birthday celebrations in June.
Hutchinson Builders chairman Scott Hutchinson outside the Rockhampton Town Hall that was built by the company in 1941, which will host the company’s centenary birthday celebrations in June. Allan Reinikka

It's 100-year-old's big party

IT will be the type of party Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire would feel most at home at.

The Rockhampton Town Hall will turn back time and revisit the 1940s when Hutchinson Builders hosts a 100th birthday party in June.

Hutchinson Builders chairman Scott Hutchinson visited the building last week, leading up to the cocktail party.

It was one of the first buildings the company constructed in Rockhampton region, taking two years to build and costing $100,000 in 1941.

"It was a signature project for the company at the time and one that we are still very proud of, which is why it is the perfect venue to hold our Rockhampton centenary celebration event - which will have a 1940s theme," Mr Hutchinson said.

The town hall was used as a headquarters for General McArthur and the American Army for periods during the Second World War, and was visited by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

"It also still has an underground bunker - often referred to as the 'bomb shelter', although we understand it was most often used to store documents," Mr Hutchinson said.

"There's very few things that we've built in the 1920s and 1930s that haven't been replaced with something different.

"The current building retains many of its original heritage features, such as the flooring and staircase."

Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter, who welcomed the company's use of the town hall, said to the best of his knowledge, this was the first time in the hall's history that it had been hired out for a party.

Hutchinson Builders have delivered a number of major projects in the region, including the $4.4 million East Street Commercial Complex - the first new building in Rockhampton's CBD in a long time - and the redevelopment of the recently reopened Rockhampton Southside Pool.

Hutchinson Builders was established in Queensland in 1912 and has had a permanent presence in Rockhampton, employing about 16 staff, on and off site.



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