Children’s centre reopens

after devastating fire

It was a beautiful autumn day for the celebrations of the re-opening of the Mountain Community Children’s Centre in Mangrove Mountain last week, after being devastated by an electrical fire in 2017.

Liesl Tesch with children at Mangrove Mountain Children's Community Centre

25 March 2022


THE at the Mangrove Mountain Children's Community Centre fire left the centre in-operable, with hundreds of thousands of dollars damage and the community without a local pre-school to send their children to.


Liesl Tesch MP, Member for Gosford, said “love hearts and butterflies, curiosity and colour were all part of my visit to the Mangrove Mountain Community Centre yesterday.”


“Not only is the building spectacular, you can tell the staff support the children and the families with absolute love, the minute you enter the facility,” she said.


“I was lucky enough to join everyone to officially open the centre. I was able to play with the kids on the gorgeous bike path, look at art works, hear stories, chat with committee members, staff and parents and celebrate the happiness with the community.”


All of these amazing features were able to be included in the state of the art, bush-fire resilient, rebuild due to the champion fundraising effort of the Mangrove Community. Locals and small businesses alike all contributed to the effort, raising almost $60,000 through activities such as the Mountain Community Annual Country Fair, Bunnings BBQs, an end-of-year concert, raffles and even lamington drives.


Ms Tesch says “I am overjoyed to see this integral part of the community up and running again, especially after the Liberal Government nearly forcing the closure of their temporary centre in Somersby due to a bureaucracy blunder in 2019.”


The new building was dedicated to the Luci family, who have contributed to the centre since it was opened 39 years ago.


Mrs. Mary Luci, Founding Committee Member for 39 years, alongside her husband Paul, of the Mountain Community Children’s Centre said “the Centre is a big asset to the family and community as it is dangerous to keep children on a farm.”


”Without the centre, children are often left sitting in a truck or to play by themselves while their family are working on the farm, but here at the Centre children are nurtured, taught and get to play with other children,” she said.


The Luci families’ grandchildren are now going through the Centre and her eldest grandchild is undertaking a traineeship at the Centre. “There was something about our little centre that made families want to bring their children here and now we have a centre that looks like a million dollars, we’re just blown away,” Mrs. Luci said.


Ms. Tesch says “Congratulations to everyone involved in rebuilding the absolutely beautiful Mangrove Mountain Children’s Centre on the Central Coast.”


“The children of the Mountain districts are incredibly lucky to have such a great facility and such a fantastic talented staff to wrap lovingly around their youngsters as they grow with resilience to thrive and take the next step in education.”


The Centre and Mangrove Mountain community will be celebrating their 40th year next year.

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