The festive season is always a great time to rejoice and reflect on the year that was. Being the end of 2019, we’ll also bid farewell to the decade as we usher in the 2020s.
2019 marked the Centre’s 40th anniversary. It was 1979 when the doors to the landmark building designed by architects Joseland and Gilling were opened and Sydney’s first purpose-built conference centre was incepted. SMC’s first function was an International Masonic Festival attended by thousands of Freemasons from around the world.
For trivia buffs, in 1979 Margaret Thatcher was elected as Prime Minister in the UK; the Sony Walkman revolutionised portable music; Pink Floyd released the multi-award-winning concept album The Wall; and Voyager 1 returned images of Jupiter’s rings. In Australia, then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser proclaimed the first section of The Great Barrier Reef as a National Park; the American space station Skylab crashed in Esperance WA; cinema-goers were thrilled by Mad Max; and Prisoner debuted on television’s 0-10 Network.
Fast forward four decades and SMC now hosts more than 700 events a year and welcomes approximately 200,000 guests and delegates annually at events ranging from breakfast meetings to board meetings, international conferences, award ceremonies and galas, exhibitions and expos, formal dinners and cocktail parties.
SMC’s 40th anniversary is an auspicious time for the multi-million-dollar renovation that has transformed the Centre. In less than a year, SMC and global business solutions group Incorp refurbished all interior spaces with a luxurious palette that respects and revitalises the original architecture. State-of-the-art audio visual systems and technologies including architectural lighting solutions were integrated throughout to deliver a future-facing function centre. Now event organisers have control at the touch of a button as well as uncompromising one-to-one support from their event manager and the AV/tech team.
After re-opening in May to industry acclaim, SMC has hosted over 400 events including;
Earlier this month, the new Level 4 ‘Conference Centre within the Centre’ was officially launched. SMC Management were joined by 65 VIPs including clients, industry associates and media as well as the Grand Lodge Trustees and the Grand Master of NSW and ACT.
After welcoming everyone and thanking all for their support, General Manager Paul Davison handed over to the Grand Master for his speech and the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. Once formalities concluded in the Remington Room, guests could move through the Northcott Room and other spaces on Level 4 that were set up in different configurations showcasing the diversity and versatility of each.
Food and beverage excellence is an essential part of every event at SMC and the Level 4 Launch was no exception. In true festive spirit, Mistletoe Margaritas were the specialty elixir of the evening. SMC’s mixologists paired Tequila and Cointreau with white cranberry juice garnished with redcurrants and rosemary for a Christmas cocktail to remember. Guests also enjoyed canapes and concocting their own poké bowls.
The whole team at SMC would like to thank their client base for their continued support and would like to wish them a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year. We are looking forward to welcoming out clients back in 2020 to the new and refurbished spaces and, to enjoy the outstanding products and services. It just has to be SMC!