Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

The Mary Poppins Building

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

The Mary Poppins Building

Article excerpt

LOOKING BACK

GEORGE SEYMOUR

THE stage of the Brolga Theatre has been the scene of some amazing productions over the years, but few of them have been as special as the weekend's performances of Mary Poppins' Happy Ever After by the Maryborough Players in association with the Proud Marys.

This pantomime musical was a really magical way to open this year's Mary Poppins Festival which celebrates our connection to one of the world's most beloved characters.

Most people know little beyond the Disney production, but between 1934 and 1988, PL Travers published eight Mary Poppins books.

Through the talents of many people a single chapter from her 1943 book "Mary Poppins Opens the Door" has had new life breathed into it through the weekend's production.

I think one of the more popular, and perhaps most photographed, sites in Maryborough is the bronze statue of Mary Poppins on the corner of Richmond and Kent Streets, where the pedestrian lights are Poppins themed.

The Mary Poppins statue was installed on this specific spot due to the building beside her; the former Australian Joint Stock Bank. This heritage-listed building, like others in the CBD, is part of the physical legacy brought about through the wealth and prosperity that flowed through Maryborough as a result of the Gympie Gold Rush and the growth of the Port of Maryborough.

Buildings like this were necessary to accommodate and encourage the increasing commercial activity in the town. It was a common aspect of these bank buildings that the business premises were sited on the ground level with the manager's residence on the upper level.

At the close of the nineteenth century, the bank manager was Travers Goff. His daughter, Helen Lyndon Goff, was born in the upstairs residence on August 9, 1899. She would go on to publish the Mary Poppins stories under the pen name of PL Travers. …

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