PHOTOS: Bruce's heart is in Rosewood's new department store
ROSEWOOD'S iconic department store burned to the ground more than 40 years but a group of dedicated volunteers have re-created the town's very own boutique.
For head of menswear Bruce Hodgson, the new St Vincent de Paul shop in the Rosewood Farmers Hall has a special place in his heart - it was the venue of his wedding reception in 1984.
What used to be home to hundreds of immaculately dressed guests, Friday night dance socials and fond memories of many wedding receptions, the 100-year-old hall is now filled wall-to-wall with racks of pre-loved goodies.
Vinnies packed up shop Royal George Lane and moved into the bigger and better shop on John St last week.
"Years ago they had dances and balls in that hall and they used to come over to the Farmers Hall for the sit down supper," Mr Hodgson said.
"It's hosted lots of wedding receptions and all that type of thing.
"It was an icon, in the end it was just sitting there and nobody really knew what to do with it and St Vinnies got hold of it and turned it into this absolutely lovely shop, it's just marvellous.
"We did have a department store many years ago, it burnt down back in the 70s so that was a real blow to the town. It was a really unique store, we've replaced it.
"It's bigger and on the main street, it's just wonderful, Rosewood has got a new department store."
Mr Hodgson has been dedicating two days a week to Vinnies since he retired a few years ago, but in a happy coincidence, working at the hall reminds him of his wedding night in 1982 and his late wife Leanne who passed away seven years ago.
"It does bring back memories. We get married in Ipswich and then we had our wedding reception here," he said.
"The Show Society ladies did a fantastic meal for the catering. Unfortunately just about all of them have passed on now but they put on an excellent spread for a wedding.
"It was all of a bit of a community type thing. My neighbour made the wedding cake.
"It was a long time ago, we had about 100 people, a band playing, the whole bit. She'd be so proud to see how the hall now is.
"We were only one of many to have our reception there, it was very common to go down the street on a Saturday night and there'd be a reception going on in the Farmers Hall.
"It beings back nice memories, it's a nice feeling."
He said the new store had plenty on offer with more space to display their wares.
"We've got the best store, the best managers, the best co-staff working with me. They're just fantastic," he said.
"We've got something here now we haven't had before so we've really got something new for the town. It helps the people in the community which is what it's all about.
"There are so many people I know who come in so we have a bit of a natter, you get to know so many people. "It's one big family really.
"It's much bigger and we have a bigger range of items on offer, it's well pretested really like a proper boutique."