Something magical is appearing in Maryborough
With Mary Poppins Returns to hitting the cinema screens this months, something magical is stirring in Maryborough - the birthplace of author P.L. Travers whose imagination hatched the world-famous nanny.
An interactive interpretive centre, in the beautiful historic building where P.L. Travers was born, is nearing completion in the central business district of Maryborough, three hours' drive north of Brisbane.
Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor George Seymour said a lifelike sculpture of the spirited characters Jane and Michael Banks sliding down the stair rail was ready to be installed.
The new attraction would be called The Story Bank, honouring the heritage-listed building's original purpose as the Australian Joint Stock Bank and its new role in housing the community's stories.
"Visitors will be able to discover the art of storytelling and the magic of Mary Poppins through displays, activities and exhibitions," he said.
"The building will also be a bank for the community's stories - both old and new - where people will be able to withdraw a story to learn more about the area's history and culture or deposit new stories to share their thoughts and memories of Maryborough.
"A retail cottage and theatrette are also part of the new centre.
"Anyone who's interested in following the centre's story, as artworks and other elements are installed in the final stages, can find updates at storybankmaryborough.com.au and through #storybankmaryborough on Instagram."
The Heritage City already commemorates its link to the renowned storyteller through a bronze statue of Mary Poppins, unique pedestrian lights featuring red and green silhouettes of the nanny and a nine-day Mary Poppins Festival each year in June-July.
Event manager for Fraser Coast Tourism & Events Roby Peach said Mary Poppins Returns was a sequel set 20 years after the original movie and took storylines from P.L. Travers' collection of books focussing on the nanny's continued adventures with the Banks family.
"We expect the movie will rekindle interest in all things Mary Poppins and are hoping for a bumper crowd at the 2019 Mary Poppins Festival," she said.
"The Story Bank will be open ahead of the festival, which starts on June 28 and culminates with A Day in the Park celebration on July 6.
"It will add another wonderful element to our celebration of the art of storytelling."
The stately building being converted into The Story Bank was purchased by Fraser Coast Regional Council in 2015 and is undergoing a $1.5 million refurbishment with grant funds from the Australian Government's Community Development Grants Program, the Queensland Government's Building Our Regions Funding and council.