On a beautiful warm Autumn day, in its park-like surrounds, McNulty House was officially opened.  Over one hundred friends and supporters gathered to celebrate the success of a project that began as a dream in 2006. 

Chairperson of Old Cromwell Inc, Helen Scoles, explained that In that year, the board approached the owner Frank McNulty, and were granted first option on purchasing the property, as well as the grounds behind the Cromwell Heritage Precinct, both for the location and its history.  She acknowledged the work of Alan Smith and the late Euan Hildyard in progressing the project, along with Terry Emmitt’s help in preparing the funding applications.  Helen thanked the ongoing voluntary work of all board members, past and present.  She acknowledged the many people who have donated to the McNulty House project.

Phil Cheney, of Breen Construction, praised the dedication of Jess Sutherland, board member and client rep on the project, Bernie Scoles for his meticulous finishing of special features of the house, and Helen for her daily supervision.  Explaining the strengthening of the building, he says,

“There are only two buildings I’d like to be in if Cromwell has an earthquake – this one and the new St John’s we are currently doing!”

Anna Harrison spoke as chair of the Cromwell Community Board, who, along with Central Lakes Trust and Otago Community Trust, were major sponsors of the project.  Anna applauded the foresight of the board in establishing what has become a vibrant art and history focussed precinct – a real asset to the town.

“It’s great that our community is still valuing our historic places,” says Anna.

Bill Munro, the oldest remaining person living in Cromwell to be born in the house when it was Marama Nursing Home, unveiled the sponsorship plaque.  Anna, assisted by Dr Anne Cowie and her nephew Brian McNulty, then cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the community house. 

Dr Anne Cowie grew up in the house, and later ran a very successful doctor’s surgery from there.  Brian is the youngest McNulty to live there.

Before people viewed the renovation, Mason Stretch, principal of Cromwell College, conducted a Karakia Whakawatea, to bless the house.

A very enjoyable reminisce over refreshments in the grounds completed the celebrations.

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