The official opening of the new Fredericks IGA in Jamberoo took a dramatic turn on Saturday when a group of armed bushrangers on horseback interrupted the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
They made off with bags marked with dollar signs and took two employees hostage, fleeing down the main street.
The skit was part of the fun on the weekend as the community gathered to celebrate the re-opening of ‘‘Fredo’s’’, which was gutted by a fire in December 2012, as part of the Jamberoo Celebrates event.
While running a temporary shop across the street for the past fifteen months, owner Trevor Fredericks and and his wife Carmel Goldsmith have been hard at work getting the new store up and running.
Though the new supermarket, almost double the size of the previous one but carefully constructed to replicate it, has already been trading for two weeks, the event was a chance to roll out the red carpet for their customers and thank the community for their support.
‘‘It’s been an exhausting process, but we’ve had a lot of support to get to today. It’s been wonderful and we couldn’t be happier,’’ Mr Fredericks said.
‘‘There’s a great feeling of joy and happiness and for us I suppose relief in a sense. It’s been a long journey and I think we are all looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep.’’
Not even the stop-and-start rain kept the crowd away, with a huge turnout packing Allowrie Street throughout the morning.
There were a few tears, but mostly beaming smiles as people lined up to enter the new store.
As well as the opening ceremony, the event also included produce stalls, cake stalls, entertainment and a photographic and art exhibition.
Lesley East, one of the day’s many volunteers, said people were over the moon to have the town’s unofficial meeting spot back in business.
‘‘It’s the return of the social hub of Jamberoo,’’ she said.