AAARTEC co-operative member Bill Marshall holds a model of the camphor-laurel big-top tent.
AAARTEC co-operative member Bill Marshall holds a model of the camphor-laurel big-top tent.

Camphor big top



A TEN-METRE mobile big-top tent made of camphor laurel and recycled tarpaulin is set to promote the many uses of the camphor timber regarded as a weed in the Tweed.

The timber tent frame was recently erected outside the old Norco butter factory on Tweed Valley Way in Murwillumbah by members of the Australian Allied Artisans Resource Talent and Enviromanagement Co-operative (AAARTEC).

Co-operative member Bill Marshall said the big top would act as an icon for AAARTEC and be used at major festivals and the show circuit to promote the talents of regional artists and craftspeople and their work.

The tent will be completed in time for AARTEC's Easter weekend artists' market launch which celebrates the co-operative's recent move into the old Norco building and the beginning of a major redevelopment of the site to be known as the Riverside Heritage Markets which will showcase local produce, art and crafts.

Mr Marshall, known locally as The Camphor King, said camphor was an abundant valuable resource from which houses, furniture and paper could be made, providing job opportunities in the Tweed.

"Norco in its day was renowned for its display days. We would like to carry on the tradition of a rural co-operative in the ashes of the old building with our artists' market and product displays," he said.

The ABC Landline program, he said, recently filmed the felling and milling of the camphor used for the tent and will return soon to complete its documentary featuring the co-operative.

Anyone wanting to join the co-operative can contact Mr Marshall on 0429 708 852.



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