Few people will be happier than Wollongong's Genelle Thomson when the revamped North Beach Bathers' Pavilion is officially opened on Sunday.
Mrs Thomson, with fellow pavilion campaigners Trevor Mott, Jaak Peedo, Mary Chapman, Margaret McDonald and Ben Meek, dedicated half a decade to ensuring the bathers' pavilion would not be lost to overdevelopment, poor planning decisions and bureaucratic bean-counting.
The result was a community-driven campaign to have the run-down pavilion tastefully restored to its former glory and officially recognised for its historic importance.
"It really did take over our lives," Mrs Thomson said this week, recalling five years of organising rallies, attending meetings and writing letters to gather support for their cause.
Group members initially thought they might miss the official opening after they had failed to receive an invitation less than a week out from the event.
However, Mrs Thomson confirmed group members had received a copy of the invitation via email late on Tuesday afternoon.
"I can't wait to see the building finally complete," she said.
"The facilities are going to be marvellous."
Mrs Thomson's involvement with the pavilion campaign began in 2004, when newly released refurbishment plans for the site sparked strong criticism from the public.
Many feared the two-storey design, put forward by now-disgraced Wollongong developer Frank Vellar, would "overdevelop" the site.
Mrs Thomson helped organise several public rallies opposing the redevelopment and at one stage pledged $20,000 towards a design competition for the site.
Mr Vellar's lease on the pavilion was cancelled in 2008 following the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into the council.
Less than 12 months later Wollongong City Council announced it intended to redevelop the pavilion site.
The simple, single-storey design was largely embraced by the community, including Mrs Thomson.