Big send-off for the Ipswich Mall
WITH development set to begin very soon in the Ipswich Mall, residents have one last chance to experience the end of an era with a fundraising event on Sunday, June 4. ‘An Italian Affair’ will be a five-hour lunch set to take diners to New York’s ‘Little Italy’, with Rat Pack-inspired music, Italian food and giving diners the honour of being part of what is going to be last official function in the Ipswich Mall, raising funds for a local charity, the Red and White Foundation. Once the tables are loaded, the kitchen packed up and the diners sent home, the era of the Ipswich Mall in its current form, will end. Demolition work preparations on the next phase of redevelopment is anticipated to be under way when this event is held. Alli Grant, from the Red and White Foundation, is one person who has an association with the mall, spending many hours there as a teenager. Like many people who will be there on the day, she’ll be sharing her memories of the old ‘Ippy Mall’. “The historical element (being the last event in the mall) is great for everyone coming along,” Alli said. “That’s the only date we can do the event according to council regulations, and it’s very exciting. “We wanted to do something that’s never been done before. We are shutting down the mall for this event, celebrating everything that has happened in the mall while looking to the future of the new CBD. “Construction will have begun in some form by then at the far end and move up, so it really is the last chance to do something in the mall. “We are aiming for 500 people and we want it to be a community celebration. “It’s all about Ipswich coming together with friends and having that beautiful Italian relaxed feel, giving the mall the send-off she deserves. The idea is to transport people back to little Italy in the 1950s, with ‘Rat Pack’ music, and a great Italian banquet.” Alli, like many people, has very fond memories of the Ipswich Mall, as she used to hang out and work there when she was at high school. “I remember it being a social hub. As a teenager, in Year 11 and 12 we would walk down the mall and meet our friends, have a ‘Maccas’ then just hang out,” Alli said. “For me that was my first real job, at the old McDonald’s on the corner of Brisbane and Bell streets. “It was where we went to get an outfit for the school dance, and the mall always represented independence as it was okay for me to walk from school to the mall. “I worked at Sportsco, Cue and Maccas, plus when I turned 18 there was Easy Street, where the Motorsport Museum is now. I went there every week. “It was such a pivotal point in my life. It saddens me to see the mall isn’t what it used to be back then, but we are going to give it a good send-off and look forward to the future.” For more information and to get tickets visit www.redandwhitefoundation.com.au
Left: Alli Grant & Tim Krause, of Red and White Foundation, with Chris Went, from St Andrews Hospital Ipswich, launch the event.
Above: The old ‘Mac and East’ entrance plus the grand opening of the Ipswich Mall.