Mysterious arch stands as symbol of Glenorchy’s past

8 March 2019|Community News| Off Comments off on Mysterious arch stands as symbol of Glenorchy’s past|

MORE than 200 people attended a highly successful community event celebrating the Glenorchy Arch at the Riverfront Motel in Rosetta in early February.

The ‘Under the Glenorchy Arch’ event detailed the extensive history of the structure through various informative displays, unseen images and memorabilia.

People with first-hand recollections of the Arch were also present and able to impart their knowledge and stories.

The Arch was originally constructed as Glenorchy’s tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh during their 1954 Royal visit and was erected over Liverpool Street on the route traversed by the Royal party.

With comparisons being drawn to London’s Coronation Arch, Glenorchy’s futuristic curved structure was praised by the Duke during a Civic Reception held in Hobart.

Following the conclusion of the Royal tour, it was relocated to a position near the former caravan park entrance at the reserve in Berridale until 1961, when the Arch was acquired by the Motel Derwent, now the Riverfront Motel.

No longer sporting its crown and lettering, the Arch has since remained a prominent curiosity and landmark on the highway at Rosetta.

“Growing up in Rosetta, I was always fascinated by the Arch,” event organiser David Patman said.

“It was such an unusual design, I used to wonder how it got there, it was like it had arrived from outer space.”

Mr Patman said the event was important for people to recognise the rich history of the Arch and its place in Glenorchy’s history.

“It was built at a time when Glenorchy was a relatively young community, transitioning from a rural area into a major manufacturing centre,” he said.

“There was a real optimism about the future, and an ambition to be innovative.

“The Arch can be an important symbol not only of Glenorchy’s past, but it’s future, and that’s worth preserving.”

While most people at the event were unaware of its history, Mr Patman said some saw it as an “old-friend” and were keen to tell their stories.

“The Post-Vintage Car Club brought along a selection of vehicles from the same era as the Arch, and one of the owners had a photo of his Plymouth driving under the Arch in 1954,” he said.

Mr Patman said he hoped the event would continue into the future and was keen to find more ways to share the story of the Glenorchy Arch with the community.

“We’re looking at things like an annual event under the Arch which celebrates Glenorchy’s post-war history right up to present day, and a permanent audio installation that provides historic background,” he said.

“Whatever we do, we want to make sure the Arch continues to intrigue, inspire and help represent what’s great about Glenorchy.”

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*This article is based on detailed historical research undertaken by former Glenorchy resident Julia Knight.

Caption: The Plymouth at the ‘Under Glenorchy Arch’ event in 2019. Photo credit: Simon Cuthbert.

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