A COTTAGE CRY
REGARDING Zone 2 – The Community Zone of the Lathlain Park Management Plan.
On the Draft Plan the caretaker’s cottage is earmarked for demolition. This demolition was not recommended by any group at the recent community meeting.
This is a valuable asset for the community of Lathlain Park and the wider community of Victoria Park.
The house was constructed in the 1920s and is a solid brick building with an unsympathetic paint job over the tuck pointing.
Firstly, a bit of history; one of the children who lived in this home built his own family home across the way from his family home.
They were great community people. The St John Ambulance cadets operated at Lathlain Primary School for many years with the guidance of a few dedicated community minded people; one of them being Mr Smith.
I understand that Mr Smith made and donated the school bell to Lathlain Primary School.
Secondly, there are very few old style houses left (especially in Lathlain). The mindset of some people is to knock it down and build something new. I cannot see that a modern building will last nearly 90 years. It will cost money to renovate the old home, but done properly the community will have an asset that will last a long time. It will not be money wasted. Thirdly, there are community groups that require a meeting place. Like the women who currently (or used) to play tennis on the courts that have been demolished.
In the current plan for the old bowling club area, there is only a toilet block and no “club area” where players can rest between sets or at the end of the day’s play. Could the car parking near the cottage be multi-functional? Allowing for tennis courts during the day and parking in the evening and night time. The cottage could provide a rest place and a toilet. There are many community groups that would use this type of venue.
Fourthly, this cottage can be a valuable focal point for the community, a blend of the old with a modern twist. The cottage can appeal to a wide range of smaller community groups, for example history, friends and nature groups (many currently meet at members’ homes).
I strongly feel that retaining the cottage is the best outcome for the Town of Victoria Park. We have already destroyed too many of our older style homes, community and business buildings in this area.
We need to save our precious heritage, even if it is only 90 years old. The Swan River Colony is not 200 years old until 2029.
Let us be more sustainable and retain, restore and renovate. JEANETTE McPHEE, Victoria Park.