The 2020 Season – Cancelled
The Farina Restoration Group committee were in full planning mode from around October 2019 to ensure the smooth running of another great works programme for 2020. The Patterson’s House building project had finished in 2019 and produced a fantastic facility, and plans were afoot to officially open the new building.
Volunteer registrations were opened up in November 2019 and over 160 volunteers stepped forward to fill out the full eight week programme.
Of course we’re all now familiar with Covid-19 and the effect it had on all aspects of our lives, and inevitably the committee had no choice but to cancel the 2020 Work Programme. At the time it looked like border restrictions and lockdowns would prevent many volunteers travelling, as well as the responsibility of the group to ensure that Volunteers are kept safe.
Although the 2020 programme had been cancelled, much behind he scenes work continued. Several of the items available in the merchandise shop are produced by volunteers at home, and this preparatory work continued. The History team led by Steve Harding continued it’s work, moving from in-person meetings to Zoom meetings. In fact the history team has contributed greatly to information available on this website, with a focus in late 2020 on information about the Farina Anzacs. The history team were also busy securing a grant to cover the cost of audio-visual equipment for the Pattersons house (TV, computers, printers, network and sound system). The equipment has been purchased and readied prior to the news of the 2020 program cancellation.
Steve Harding had also been busy working on improvements to the electricity supply for the Bakery and the FRG Workshop (know as Tom’s Shed). Steve secured a grant of $55,000 to cover the installation of a new solar system. Steve along with several other volunteers and the supplier endured the heat of November 2020 on site to undertake the installation at Tom’s Shed and new cables between Pattersons House and Tom’s Shed. The new system comprised 27kwH of Lithium battery storage, 17kw of Solar Panels, 20kw of Inverters and the smarts to control it all and to automatically start the generator if demand required it. The 22kva diesel generator was relocated next to Tom’s Shed so reduce the noise in the visitor area and shorten the cable run. The aim of the project was to not only reduce the environmental impact of the operations at Farina, but to reduce the running costs. In past programmes the diesel generator had been used in excess of 14 hours every day of the programme, and it was hoped to drastically reduce this using solar and storage. The added benefit was to provide reliable power 24x7x265. There will be an update in 2021 on the success of the system.