A Little Slice of Heaven by the Sea
ROTARY CHAPEL HISTORY
The Rotary Broadwater Chapel By the Sea commenced it’s life in Southport in 1991 as the Prayer Chapel of the former Gold Coast Hospital, in Nerang Street. With the completion of the new Gold Coast University Hospital adjacent to Griffith University, and demolition of the original hospital about to commence, the Rotary Club of Broadwater Southport Inc., were invited by Gold Coast Councillor, Dawn Crichlow O.A.M., to save the Chapel and give it a new life for the community. The Chapel’s new home was to be within the northern end of the Broadwater Parklands.
Moving it was quite an undertaking as the peaked roof of the building meant the structure in full was too high for it to pass under the overhead cabling of the light rail system which traverses Nerang Street. The Rotary Club’s Project Manager, Michael Byrne, devised a way around this, transporting the main building and the peaked roof separately.
The Chapel was reassembled on new foundations in the Broadwater Parklands in May 2014. Proposed renovations and the building of a large timber deck were eventually approved, and the Rotary Club turned to Ian Hall of the Gold Coast Skills Centre, Arundel for assistance in completing the project . Ian sourced Queensland Government funding from the “Skilling Queenslanders For Work Initiative” and a team of twelve young men, under the guidance of onsite Supervisor and Registered Builder, Kim Jones, worked on the project, gaining valuable work skills for future careers in the building industry in the process. Members of the Rotary Club of Broadwater Southport, armed with paint brushes on weekend working bees, pitched in to ensure the Chapel was completed and ready for opening to the community in April 2016.
In addition to the labour force mustered through the “Skilling Queenslanders for Work Initiative” , the Project has benefited greatly from generous donation of materials and products from over 20 local businesses. A listing of these supporters can be referenced on the “Benefactors” page of this website.
The local communities of Southport and Labrador watched the renovations closely as the Chapel started to take shape, with many visits from residents cheering the work team on and checking on their progress on a regular basis.
The Chapel was well loved as a place of prayer in it’s former Hospital home, and the Rotary Club of Broadwater Southport are proud to have saved it from demolition and given it a new lease of life. The Club has made the Chapel available for hire from April 2016, providing a unique venue to celebrate family and life ceremonies, conduct meetings and even host business launches. The proceeds of the Chapel will be allocated to Rotary supported projects serving our community first and humanity as a whole.