Darwin Heritage Festival Report 2019

The Heritage Festival is over for another year! Usually held in April, dates were changed this year to 5 May through to 19 May, so as not to run over Easter, Anzac Day and the Arafura Games.

The launch took place in Raintree Park with a beautifully restored 1927 Chevy driven by Paul Van Bruggen and National Trust members in dress of the times. The Minister for Primary Produce and member for Port Darwin, Paul Kirby, attended and Festival brochures were handed out to residents and visitors alike.

Throughout the 2 weeks, there were 22 events including 10 umbrella events.

A number of events were sold out early including the ever-popular Ghost Walk, Mothers’ Day High Tea, and the 2 Channel Island Leprosarium Walks. Other highlights included the Heritage Debate – subject “It’s been 20 years! Let’s rebuild the Hotel Darwin”. The debaters spoke with great hilarity, wit and wisdom and the final result? A well-deserved draw!

The Administrator of the Northern Territory –and Patron of the National Trust NT, the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran, delivered the Barbara James Memorial Lecture in the gardens of Burnett House on the subject of “The Women of Government House – their roles and stories.” Her Honour also attended Afternoon Tea at Burnett House and drew the winning tickets of the raffles run throughout the Festival.

Sue Dibbs and her team ran an excellent Quiz night with Quizmaster extraordinaire Daryl Manzie. Numbers were a little down on the previous year but those that attended had a great night.

The Roadmasters’ House Museum relaunch was hosted by Trevor and Helen Menzies and showcased the upgraded building well.

On the last night of the Festival, the play-reading of “Dragged Screaming to Paradise”’ read by the amazing Annie Gaston was also a sell-out. The setting, in the enormous lounge room at Audit House, provided the perfect backdrop for this event and patrons were delighted with the evening.

Our thanks go to the many volunteers who helped throughout the Festival. It was a great success and we couldn’t do it without you.