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Pacific Murals Gathering in Bowen on Track for September 2005

Convenor Ron Wearne Sets Out the Bowen Agenda

With only 11 months to go now, Bowen's Festival of Murals Society under the convening leadership of Ron Wearne has finalised its plans for the next Global Association event - the Pacific Murals Gathering. The Programme Committee also includes Society President Henry Young and Secretary Helen Hansen.

Click on all images to enlarge

Invitations have been extended to, and accepted by, Lil Hardy from Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada and Dr Karl Schutz of Chemainus, two of the foundation team that set the Bowen Shire Murals Programme rolling in 1988. Sponsorship has already been received from the Mayor, the Federal Member of Parliament and a host of local businesses.

The programme will be published and circulated to all Global Association members in the coming weeks but it can already be announced that whilst focusing on the key success factors of all murals programmes globally there will be extensive sharing of ideas from other murals towns around the region. Kati Kati and Foxton in New Zealand, Sheffield Tasmania, Mendooran and Kyogle in New South Wales are all very much expected to attend along with sizeable Canadian, Scottish and Californian delegations.

Mural restoration activities are of particular concern to Bowen and two will actually be 'in progress' during the Gathering. Restoration is a challenge many of the longer established programmes face of course, and there is much to debate and learn.

Many visitors to Bowen over the past two years and local enthusiasts have expressed a wish to share in the sessions and strong atendances are to be expected. The fees involved are being kept to the Global Association norms and will include all daytime and evening hospitality.

And for first time visitors to the Whitsundays region where Bowen is located, astride the Great Barrier Reef, the optional opportunity to explore first hand the tourism industry of the area will also be offered at special rates on two excursions.

Global Association Vice President Gordon, Baron of Prestoungrange, was in Bowen October 9th/ 10th [representing President Dr Karl Schutz] to review the plans for the Gathering and the accommodations on and around Horseshoe Bay. He commented:

"They're quite briliant. The town of Bowen and its murals always merit a visit from anyone committed to a murals programme, but with the added bonus of a Pacific Regional Gathering - it's a must! In recent years many members of the Association have overlooked the successes achieved in the South Pacific region but this Gathering gives us all the opportunity to get right up to date. And the Whitsundays are an area of the most amazing beauty." And if you like agriculture just taste the mango or marvel at the sugar plantations!

Footnote: Salt Panning a Specialty

Cheetham Salt manages an outstanding salt panning facility at the entrance to the town as pictured below. With sunshine Bowen-style there's no need for any further heating to create the vital product straight from sea water. It was captured in an outstanding mural more than a decade ago. It made the Vice President especially envious. It's all a far cry from the artificial energy needs the Prestoungrange Arts Festival has to meet as it seeks to re-establish salt panning at Prestonpans - a town whose name comes from that very industry as conducted in medieval times by Priests [Priest-Toun-Pans] as also pictured below in a Scottish mural.

Salt HarvestThe Salt of Prestonpans

Published Date: October 10th 2004

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