Last year, having a decent budget for a change, we had a very good Fremantle Heritage Festival. Having a new mayor helped, as did having a very energetic officer in Alex Marshall. Also, the Fremantle Society did a lot of work and their events attracted many people. I had 96 people attend a talk I did with Fremantle’s senior architect Rob McCampbell at the old asylum.
It will be over my dead body that Council gets rid of the long running Heritage Festival. Apart from anything else, it incorporates the annual Heritage Awards, something which has run successfully for 30 years.
We already have seen Council ditch the very strong heritage committee it had, and the Heritage Festival should be left where it is as a major annual event on our calendar at the end of May.
This year, with the ISAF sailing championships, there will be increased numbers in town for the November Fremantle Festival. I would certainly support an improved Fremantle Festival, and heritage should always be part of that festival too, as it is the character and stories of Fremantle which attract people in the first place.
But, Fremantle needs a good festival every few monthsI during the year. I would like to see a few blockbuster heritage events this year, like a Son et Lumiere at the World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison for example. I am speaking with some hotshot experts to see if they can be enticed to Fremantle to present their views and expertise on heritage issues, whether those issues be planning matters, port related, advice on restoration, or here just as an excuse for a good debate.
City of Fremanle Councilor John Dowson