Ballina history goes under hammer
A PRIME piece of real estate and part of Ballina’s history will go under the hammer next month.
The Gunundi Youth and Conference Centre, with its breathtaking views perched on top of Shelly Beach Road at East Ballina, is up for sale for the first time since being established 50 years ago.
While the buildings arerelatively simple and dated, the 0.8 hectare property is surrounded by a nature reserve and its views overlooking Shelly and Angels beaches rival those of most beachfront properties in the region.
The property has hosted surf camps, Buddhist retreats, weddings, meditation events and school camps, to name just a few of its past uses.
Emmanuel Anglican College started off at Gunundi in the late 1990s while its current college, near the Pacific Highway at West Ballina, was constructed.
The Anglican Diocese of Grafton bought the land in the 1960s after a diocese member from Lismore, who used the property for shooting practice, thought it would be well-suited to church groups.
Diocese of Grafton compliance officer Rosie Catt said many of the centre’s past and present visitors were very sad to see the property up for auction.
“People are really disappointed we are selling it as they were hoping its use as a church camp site would continue,” she said.
“But they understand in these economic times, as hard a decision as it was, we can’t manage the property and give it the upgrades it deserves.
“It’s been a great place for the forming of friendships and the forming of marriages, and people have really cherished the spirit of the place.”
Mrs Catt said the diocese bought the land for an ‘outrageously low amount’.
The property consists of a caretaker’s cottage, dormitory accommodation, commercial kitchen, conference hall and bathroom amenities block.It will go to auction by PRD Natiionwide on November 6 at the Ballina Beach Resort.