Cooroy Pest Control’s staff decide to help protect Cooroy’s “grand old lady”. The Cooroy Memorial Hall & School of Arts

Cooroy Pest Control technician, Geoff Arscott, will never forget the day he was underneath the Cooroy Memorial Hall doing a routine Termite Inspection.

“There was a tap dance class going on above my head,” he explains. “And all I could see was dust falling from the floorboards.”

There was a good reason for all the dust – termites! The floorboards were badly infested and a whole section under the stage had already been eaten out. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

Needless to say, shortly after Geoff’s discovery, the hall was closed down and, after a thorough inspection, it was decided that an extensive renovation was necessary before it could be declared “fit for business” again. This is perhaps not that surprising when one considers how long the building has been around. It was originally constructed in 1910 – although it only officially became the Cooroy Memorial Hall in 1926. That’s more than 90 years of dances, weddings, church services, school concerts, public meetings, club activities – the list goes on!

Something had to be done and a major fund-raising drive was launched which resulted in the building receiving an “extreme makeover” inside and out. After a lot of work and community input, it was reopened with much fanfare by Noosa mayor, Tony Wellington, in April 2018 and has now resumed its role as the town’s community hub.

But what was to stop the termites returning to this newly-renovated building?

This was the question on the minds of some of the Cooroy Pest Control (CPC) technicians and office staff as they enjoyed their weekly meeting at Circa coffee shop, situated across the road from the hall. It was the beginning of a discussion that would ultimately lead to a community project, initiated and implemented by the CPC technicians.

“What impressed me,” says Shane O’Donnell, co-owner of CPC, “is that the whole idea came from the staff. It’s something they decided they wanted to do and, without any discussion, they agreed to do the work out of office hours. Honestly, we were blown away by this. And, of course, we were more than happy to supply the equipment and materials for the job.”

One of the best defences against termites is the Exterra Termite Interception and Baiting System – a very effective barrier which is also environmentally-friendly as it doesn’t use any poison. On a Friday afternoon, after work, the CPC technicians (Geoff, Paul, Dave, Ethan and Dale) installed an Exterra system around the Memorial Hall building. They were joined by Ken from Ezy Concrete Cutting who drilled the holes for all the in-concrete stations and also didn’t charge for his services.

One of the main reasons the Exterra system is so effective is because all the stations around the building are monitored regularly for termite activity. As part of the deal, CPC will monitor the system and treat termites as they reveal themselves at no cost to the Memorial Hall.

“Working on (community) projects like this is a great team-building exercise,” says Geoff, who worked as a fireman in the UK for over 20 years. “The whole thing wasn’t planned as a team-builder but when we were there (doing the installation), you could definitely feel the camaraderie. There was a lot of humour flying about!”

So Cooroy’s “grand old lady” is back in business and a new chapter has begun in the long life of this important community meeting place. Even the tap dancers are back, tapping away with confidence – secure in the knowledge that their dance floor is now a termite-free zone.

Cooroy Pest Control is contracted to provide the following services annually and the staff provide their time at no cost.

  1. Exterra Termite Protection Program – Monitor, maintain system 9 weekly
  2. Termite inspection – Every 6 months
  3. Commercial internal pest control – treat kitchen and hall for pests every 3 months