A party like no other will take place on Sunday to celebrate the official reopening of the North Beach Bathers’ Pavilion.
And in the midst of the day-long celebrations will be Wollongong councillor Chris Connor, whose late grandfather, Reginald Francis Xavier (Rex) Connor, was one of the councillors who opened the historic building in 1938.
‘‘It’s wonderful to be part of the history of the reopening of the pavilion in 2012 and have that family connection,’’ Cr Connor said.
‘‘It’s also a very special thing to be on the council that has overseen the revamp of this beautiful building, and to be involved in the reopening of this significant site to the community.
‘‘It is an exciting time for everybody.’’
The bathers’ pavilion was built in 1938 and closed in March 2011 for an extensive refurbishment.
The $13.9million project has involved the building’s brickwork cleaned, repaired and repointed, and new public amenities and a cafe installed.
Extensive work to the building’s surrounds includes a new pedestrian promenade, replacing the seawall and building new retaining walls.
Cr Connor said the vision of past civic leaders had been realised by this renovation.
He added that during Sunday’s celebrations he would take a moment to remember his grandfather.
‘‘He would be so proud to see his legacy still standing and still a significant part of our community’s beach lifestyle,’’ the councillor said.
‘‘My grandfather was a great believer in serving the Wollongong community and I think it would mean a lot to see the pavilion revamped, and with the new pedestrian and bike track that is part of the Blue Mile project.’’
Cr Connor said it was important to remember the bathers’ pavilion was a significant Depression-era project that provided essential employment for people across the community.
‘‘I’ve so much respect for those councillors who had the initiative and determination to see a project of this magnitude,’’ he said.
The community celebration on Sunday starts at 7.30am with the Layback Longboarders competition and display.
Morning activities also include a North Beach heritage tour, surf modelling competition, Wollongong City Brass Band performance and the Illawarra Surf Life Saving march past.
Official proceedings to open the renovated pavilion start at 11am.