DARK skies lingered and the rain poured down, but despite the weather, it was all smiles for those involved in the official opening of the Grace-Millsom Function Centre yesterday.
With rain belting the roof of the facility, guests and dignitaries – including Councillors Carol James, Geoff Kettle, Margaret O’Neill, Robin Saville, Bob Kirk, Alfie Walker, Andrew Banfield, Denzil Sturgiss and Sam Rowland (pictured) - huddled into the foyer.
Mayor Kettle pronounced the centre officially open in a ceremony that included Member for Goulburn Pru Goward and representatives from NSW harness racing and NSW greyhounds.
“What you have in front of you is a state of the art facility,” he told the crowd, “that will be here for many, many years to come.”
The $5.7 million centre is named after the late Norman Grace and the late Gordon Millsom, both of whom were prominent in the harness and greyhound racing fraternities.
Mr Grace was instrumental in gaining the racing licence from the state government in 1985.
Gordon Millsom had been a popular member of the Goulburn Harness Racing Club and is considered a saviour of the country trotting industry in a time when the industry was depleted by a move of harness personnel to the metropolitan areas.
Goulburn Greyhound Racing Club Manager Patrick Day said the opening of the Grace-Millsom Function Centre was the culmination of many years of cooperative work between Greyhound Racing NSW, Harness Racing NSW and both the local code clubs.
“We have finally been able to give the Goulburn community a professional, modern, versatile centre that caters for both of these valuable racing codes,” he said.
“It will also be able to cater for other community group functions, small conferences and weddings.”