A moveable feast of music and the arts to bring our communities together

Beryl, the sound stage, gets a trial run at Towamba at the end of January.
Beryl, the sound stage, gets a trial run at Towamba at the end of January.

A discussion in Cobargo last July has lead to a lasting legacy that provides a connection for communities battered by bushfires and COVID.

Only only that, it provides a stage - literally - for entertainment and the arts.

On Sunday, February 14 Beryl, the Far South Coast's new mobile stage, will share the love on Valentine's Day at the Pambula Rotary market with performances by Ricky Bloomfield, Chelsy Atkins, the Figmentz and local buskers. Beryl will be officially launched by the mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick.

The artwork on the back of the sound stage.

The artwork on the back of the sound stage.

The project funded by the Minderoo Foundation, $30,000, Pambula Community Bank (Bendigo) $20,000 and Pambula Rotary, $3000 transpired after seeing a photo of a stage in the UK, made from a converted container.

We thought that a sound stage could be used by our traumatised community for many activities.

Colin Dunn, Pambula Community Bank

Colin Dunn, chairman of the Pambula Community Bank and a Rotarian with help from Mick Brosnan of the Social Justice Advocates and Minderoo Foundation personnel helped to turn the idea into reality.

"We know that music, entertainment and just plain good fun and laughter assist people to recover from trauma. And we thought that such a sound stage could be used by our traumatised community for many activities: music, drama, puppets, film nights etc and by local schools," Mr Dunn said.

The sound stage has a motorised opening and closing mechanism.

The funding which also includes commitments from Merimbula Rotary and Lions covered the costs of the modified container, the professional sound system that goes with it and other things such as the carpet for the stage floor, signage and the trailer that is being built to go under the container, designed by John Moffatt and Brian Hammond.

"Word went out fairly early and, on request, we decided to go to Bemboka in mid-January to trial the pod and on the 30th she (by now she was being referred to as 'Beryl' after Beryl depicted in Mark Knofler's song of the same name 'Beryl is on another level') went to Towamba," Mr Dunn explained.

King Smash Repairs Eden transported the sound stage to Bemboka and Towamba after lifting it onto the back of this truck.

King Smash Repairs Eden transported the sound stage to Bemboka and Towamba after lifting it onto the back of this truck.

"Kings Smash Repairs have been fabulous. Andrew White agreed quite early to, until it was on the trailer, take it wherever we wanted it to go on their tilt tray truck. And that is how it got to Bemboka and Towamba," Mr Dunn said.

John How, the organiser of the Towamba event, was full of praise for the stage and the event, saying it brought the community together.

Getting ready for the next gig, Colin Dunn prepares Beryl for her big outing on February 14.

Getting ready for the next gig, Colin Dunn prepares Beryl for her big outing on February 14.

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