RESTORED: Ace Welding and Fabrications workers repair the cross sitting atop St Patrick's Church in Gympie.
RESTORED: Ace Welding and Fabrications workers repair the cross sitting atop St Patrick's Church in Gympie. Troy Jegers

Iconic Gympie building gets a crucial repair

St Pats Church in Gympie.
St Pats Church in Gympie. Troy Jegers

RECENT storm damage has been felt all over the Gympie region, but one of the town's oldest buildings needed repairing long before the first hailstones struck.

The top section of the iconic St Patrick's Church cross had "become horizontal” and started leaning forwards "a little while” before repair work was completed yesterday afternoon.

Jamie Watkins and the team at Ace Welding and Fabrication needed two cranes to complete repairs on the cross.

Mr Watkins said a larger crane had been called in after the first one proved too small to carry out the operation.

St Pats Church in Gympie.
St Pats Church in Gympie. Troy Jegers

He said the repair workers were unable to detach the entire cross as it was cemented into the building, which has stood on Calton Hill since building operations began in 1883. New holes were drilled into the damaged and detached portion of the cross before it was re-bolted, re-painted and re-attached.

Speculation the cross had been affected by Tuesday afternoon's thunderstorms in town were denied by a church representative, who said it had been damaged "for a little while” before the repair work was carried out.