Dear Bendigo: Please excuse the loos

I put in a call to someone for work this week only to be told that no, sorry, giggle giggle tee hee, they couldn’t come to the phone. Ahem. Because they were otherwise engaged. 

At the opening of the toilet.

Ahh... yes... the new loo in Pall Mall. It’s all done and primed for flushing. It’s flash, too, isn’t it.

What do you wear to the opening of a toilet? Something inspired by the fashion sense of Princess Beatrix perhaps?

 A few jokes ensued... we wondered if the invites were perforated. 

The guy on the phone laughed that he would have liked to have gone, but apparently you had to be on the list.

 I wondered how you got your name on the door... then agreed you were better off nowhere near it, considering what’s normally scratched onto those things. 

What is it with Bendigo and an avant-garde public toilet? Someone here loves them. 

(See exhibit a, Hargreaves Mall.) 

Someone here likes to take the type of architecture usually reserved for arty spaces and apply it to farty ones. Excuse me.

 But what a shame to see a gorgeous pocket of our grand city eclipsed by a toot. For that is essentially what the new late night taxi rank is. 

Such a beautiful view, across the plane trees to Rosalind Park, now commandeered by conveniences. Convenient for some, maybe... If you’re a gen Y on the drink, on the brink of breaking a seal while waiting for a ride home.

 I was talking to a friend this week who lives in a heritage overlay area. 

Her family home is a sweet timber cottage with a large front garden and the carport at the back. 

We were talking about the ongoing resurgence of our humble mining heritage, and she mentioned they weren’t allowed to put a carport in view of the main street, for fear of spoiling the historic neighbourhood. Fair enough.

 So why is it OK to go all cutting edge in front of some of our most beautiful heritage buildings? The Rosalind Park Conservatory included here.

 I understand city planners and architects prefer modern design to mock heritage. 

I understand that with each new layer of construction in a city, you add to its story, so you want it to tell a tale of that time.

 I’d understand it if the structure was, say, a place for music or design or quiet contemplaion... then again...

 But seriously, to place such an all-consuming taxi rank and toilet in such a prominent, historic public space, is just embarrassing.

 Anyone who’s lived through those night clubbing days can tell you, most decisions made concerning late-night revelling can be cringe-worthy in the cold hard light of day.  And I reckon this is one of them.


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