Central Coast News
Rehabilitation & Restoration for Conservatorium and its Conductor
Both are undergoing a long slow rehabilitation and restoration over the next six – 12 months.
In Patrick’s case it follows an accident on Saturday 16th May in which he nearly severed his left hand with a circular saw while working at home.
For the Conservatorium it is the long-awaited upgrade made possible by $2million from the NSW Government as announced by the State Premier in September 2019.
Speaking publicly for the first time about his accident, Patrick paid tribute to his ‘wonderful neighbours’ and the emergency responders who arrived quickly on the scene and airlifted him to Royal North Shore Hospital. It was then largely due to the skill and care of surgeon Dr James Ledgard and his team that Patrick believes he still has his hand.
He credits the kindness and support he has been shown with aiding his recovery. “Since my accident, the support from colleagues and the music and broader arts community on the Coast and from around Australia has been generous and incredibly inspiring,” Patrick said.
"I could never have imagined how much a community could rally around one individual in a time of a crisis. The amount of support and love that has come my way from our community has been truly overwhelming.”
"In all honesty, I’m so glad to be alive and cannot wait to get back to making music and teaching students at the Conservatorium – in our grand old building that is also undergoing restoration and rehab at the same time I am,” he joked.
“People will start to see changes; a new roof (the old one is rusty and leaks), changes to landscaping at the front of the building as we improve the entrance and fix the sandstone wall, create level access at the rear for the elderly and people with disabilities, a new amenities block & offices, upgrade teaching studios & the Robert Knox Hall and generally restore the lovely old building to make it a wonderful place for our staff and students.”
“We have a local architect (FABRIC), local building firm (Buterin L'Estrange) and local contractors on the project, which is wonderful to see.”
Patrick said the Conservatorium Building Committee was working with a heritage consultant to ensure the integrity of Gosford's oldest building is preserved – and thanked Central Coast Council for its $10,000 grant contribution towards developing a heritage plan.
“It is such an important and historic building on the Coast that is still being used every day and the staff and board of the Conservatorium are grateful to be able to facilitate its restoration and rehabilitation for the enjoyment of our community.
As for himself, Patrick said although he is currently incapacitated and learning how to re-use his left hand, he knows his ‘musicians’ mind’ will help him overcome the challenges that come his way during his recovery period.
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