Suttons Pavilion demolition leaves wedding plans in disarray

Published 10:23am 1 February 2022

Suttons Pavilion demolition leaves wedding plans in disarray
Words by Jodie Powell

A couple who was due to hold their wedding at Suttons Pavilion are determined they will still marry on April 2 despite news yesterday the venue would be demolished.

Anton Cavalli proposed to Rebecca Phelps in 2020 at the Suttons Beach Rotunda where they first spent time together, celebrating the occasion with family and friends at Suttons Pavilion.

So it seemed fitting that when they began planning for their wedding they would choose the same venue.

Anton says they were devastated to learn yesterday the building would be demolished and shocked the venue had known of the plan for almost a year.

“(Suttons Pavilion operator) Oli (Thomson) gave me a call yesterday morning before he posted the news online,” Anton explains.

“I was a bit shocked when I read the letter from Council because if (the venue operators) knew for so long, why book in a wedding?

“I don’t know all the details yet, so I am just going to assume the best – Oli’s my friend and my MC for our wedding.”

Independent assessment

Moreton Bay Regional Council says it has made the "difficult decision" for safety reasons after "extensive building defects" were discovered.

Council CEO Greg Chemello says the plan would be to "reinvigorate the area, returning to the community a space that can be used for a variety of purposes".

"The decision to proceed with demolition has not been taken lightly," he says.

"Council commissioned independent consultants to undertake inspections.

"These found extensive building defects, design and construction legacies, deteriorating buildings with concrete elements to the Suttons Beach Pavilion nearing the end of their life leading to major safety concerns of the buildings.”

Months preparing

Rebecca and Anton have spent months preparing for their big day, with invitations already sent, wedding attire sorted and an abundance of support from the community, and say they are determined it will go ahead.

“So many people have pitched in to make this day awesome and Bec and I feel so loved,” Anton says.

“Our celebrant read the article in Dolphins News when I proposed at the Pavilion and contacted us offering to marry us when we were ready – we’ve since become wonderful friends.”

Searching for a ceremony location

Suttons Pavilion demolition leaves wedding plans in disarray

Anton and Rebecca spent yesterday frantically searching for a new venue and have tentatively booked the reception for the Redcliffe Golf Club thanks to help from a friend who’s the head chef there.

But Anton says they’re still looking for a place to hold the wedding ceremony and trying to return tablecloths and other décor they had purchased to use at the pavilion.

“It kind of makes me sad because I know how much time and effort and money has gone into the planning.

“We’d bought all the tablecloths and decorations to use and we will have to see if we can take them back.

“We’re still looking for a ceremony location and I’m worried about if it rains on the day.”

Adding to the couple’s worries is recent news that the stage four bone cancer he battled in 2020 has flared again in his hip.

“We’re balancing a delicate situation with medical issues and trying to avoid COIVD and knowing our venue’s being demolished.

“But I am still insisting this is going to be the wedding of the year, even with a complete venue change.”

Find more local news here.

Read more on this story

Your questions answered: Suttons Beach Pavilion demolition

The response to news Suttons Beach Pavilion is to be demolished has been one of surprise, shock, anger - and many residents have plenty of questions. Moreton Daily has sourced the answers, including a timeline of events and explanations from Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Iconic beach pavilion to close - and be demolished

The iconic Suttons Beach Pavilion, which has stood on Redcliffe’s foreshore for more than 80 years is to close and be demolished on safety grounds.

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