Historic dinner for Adelaide's business icons
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
More than 150 of Adelaide's leading business people will enjoy an historic fundraising dinner this Thursday 21 February when the University of Adelaide showcases its finest heritage buildings.
An exclusive progressive-style dinner will be held in and around the heritage-listed buildings of Bonython Hall, the Elder Hall and the Mitchell Building to raise funds for their ongoing restoration and preservation.
Guests will be treated to pre-dinner drinks on the Mitchell Building's magnificent staircase at 7.30pm, followed by a silver service buffet dinner in Bonython Hall at 8.15pm and then performances by the Australian String Quartet and Elder Conservatorium Jazz Ensemble in Elder Hall at 9.45pm.
The University of Adelaide's Heritage Foundation is hosting the event to highlight the cultural and historic significance of these educational buildings to Adelaide and the State.
Heritage Foundation Chair Theo Maras AM said he had been "overwhelmed" by the outstanding response from Adelaide's business sector to the dinner.
"Our initial target figure of $100,000 has been well and truly secured thanks to their generosity," Mr Maras said. "The profits will be used to restore, preserve and conserve the University's iconic, heritage-listed buildings, not only for future generations of students, but the whole community."
"The interest received from across Adelaide's business community goes to show that all South Australians have great pride in these buildings and are keen to see them preserved. They are a wonderful asset and a distinct part of Adelaide's cultural life.
"However, there are significant costs associated with their ongoing maintenance," he said.
The Heritage Foundation has spent more than $500,000 on conservation plans alone for these three buildings since 2005. A total of $2.5 million has gone towards restoring the turrets and refurbishing the interior of Bonython Hall; re-carpeting and reupholstering the worn seats in Elder Hall has cost more than $400,000; and restoration works on the Mitchell Building has cost $1.3 million.
In August 2007 the conservation work on Bonython Hall was the only Australian project honoured in the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards. UNESCO's Regional Advisor for Culture, Mr Richard Engelhardt, will attend the event from Bangkok to present the award to the University's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.