Sir George Jugiong Open – Where The Past Meets The Present.
Construction Coordinator Andy Banderwacht, Kate Hufton and Liz Prater have brought the Sir George back to life. The iconic pub opened its doors to the public on Friday. They are pictured after a hard days work in early November 2016.
More than anything they just “loved the old building” and that is why Kate Hufton and her mother Liz Prater are now set to open the Sir George in Jugiong. The project has been a labour of love and hard work for the pair who have been assisted by Construction coordinator Andy. The trio took on the enormous task of restoring one of the countrie’s oldest pubs over the course of one of the regions wettest winters in recent memory. Kate said “We just wanted to restore it and we have.” She joked “The business we have to run now is a scary prospect. It will be fun and mum’s partner will be our operations manager.” Liz said “I have done developments in Perth but the next step is quite the unknown. It has been a really good fun process. The pub has been here so long that the people who stop by have a feeling of ownership. Its been a public building and a lot of great stories come out from passers by. We were pretty determined to strip it back to its bones and reveal its history again. Over the years a lot of it has been covered up.” The group uncovered a 1920 stove and they have been able to reveal parts of the building including some of the handcrafted stone walls which haven’t been seen for up to 100 years.
The Sir George was restored using the services of many local businesses and tradespeople.
It’s going to be not only great for Jugiong but for the whole region.” Liz said “We are only just a tiny spec in time. It doesn’t matter how many years we own it we are just a tiny part of it. We are priveliged to be a part of this building now but we won’t be here for ever. The pub makes you feel like you are a blip in time.” The restortaion has taken just over 9 months. Andy rolled up in his caravan on March 4 and the group spent nearly every day for the last 9 months on site working from 7am to 5pm, 6 to 7 days a week. He said “ It has been all comsuming.” Kate said “What we have achieved in 9 months is amazing.” Andy, Kate and Liz completed the project with just the core crew of the three of them and they brought other tradesman in as needed. It is remarkable that they have been able to achieve what they have in the short time. There is no doubt the pub will draw people from everywhere. Kate said “We hope to get people from Canberra to Wagga and everything in between. We hope to put busses on soon where we can bus people down and people can book a night with friends before being driven home.” There is no accommodation up stairs as yet but they are hoping to build early settler cottages within the grounds. They will also be redeveloping the 1845 cottages to the north of the pub where many people stayed during flooding of the township over a century ago. The Sir George is a landmark building which will no doubt attract the attention of those in the region and many of the 14 million travellers on the Hume Highway each year.
Head down to Jugiong and have a look at a beautiful building where modern luxuries meet old world charm.
You won’t be disappointed.