Roger gives his boots to his­tory

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT - JIM ALOUAT

BUILDERS work­ing on the restora­tion of Ho­bart’s City Hall are tak­ing part in an an­cient pa­gan tra­di­tion not per­formed in a hun­dred years.

In Au­gust, work­ers re­pair­ing the flood-dam­aged floors of City Hall dis­cov­ered an ar­ray of bat­tered, well-worn boots un­der­neath the floor be­lieved to have been left by the orig­i­nal builders in 1915.

Ho­bart City Coun­cil as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of city projects Phillip Hol­l­i­day said builders leav­ing boots be­neath the floor­boards was part of an old pa­gan tra­di­tion.

Yes­ter­day, many of those boots were re­spect­fully placed back be­neath the floor­boards with Mac­quarie Builders site su­per­vi­sor Roger Hensens, who is lead­ing the team on the cur­rent works, adding his pair of leather boots to the col­lec­tion.

“Hope­fully th­ese boots will be found in a hun­dred years’ time when they may need to re­place the floor­boards again,” Mr Hol­l­i­day said.

His­to­rian Ian Evans, an ex­pert in his­toric folk magic, said the prac­tice was meant to ward off evil spir­its.

The re­place­ment of the floor­boards marks the end of the sec­ond stage of works, which be­gan a cou­ple of years ago with re­paint­ing and in­cluded an up­grade of the toi­lets. The City Hall is un­der­go­ing a re-imag­in­ing and the coun­cil needs Ho­bar­tians to have their say on its fu­ture.

“We are en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to have their say about the fu­ture and share their mem­o­ries,” Mr Hol­l­i­day said.

Early sug­ges­tions in­clude mak­ing the City Hall a live mu­sic venue or a place for com­mu­nity groups and schools to hold reg­u­lar the­atri­cal events. To share your thoughts visit https:// your­say. ho­bartc­ity.com.au.

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