The Old Treasury Building in Perth will have 60,000 pieces of Blaenau Ffestiniog slate laid under the watchful eye of an Anglesey craftsman.
Slate from Gwynedd is being used to roof one of the most iconic buildings in an Australian city.
Perth’s Old Treasury Building is set to become the heart of the $584 million Treasury-Cathedral precinct, which will house a hospitality centre with restaurants, bars, shops and an exclusive hotel.
And topping it all will be 60,000 pieces of Blaenau Ffestiniog slate laid under the expert gaze of a craftsmen from Anglesey.
Dennis Owen, formerly of Llandegfan, was head-hunted to take his expertise to Perth to help return the a 135-year-old landmark to its former glory.
He has been teaching his traditional methods to Australian apprentices and helping to roof the site.
Before moving down under, the 40-year-old worked for Anglesey roofing firm Greenough & Sons for nine years and ran his own business for a decade.
His new job came after he was highly recommended by Bethesda’s Penrhyn quarry.
The father-of-five went to Australia in April and spent two months preparing for the arrival of his family, who joined him in July.
He said wife Jeanette and children Joshua, Bradley, Jacob, Amy and Joseph had to adjust to life in Australia.
“It has been a struggle, especially for the older children, but we are settling down.
“The work is great. We are restoring the building to how it would have originally looked, when I believe it had Welsh slate on it too.
“There aren’t many traditional roofers left and there’s been a lot of interest in my work. It’s opened their eyes to the quality of Welsh slate and the traditional methods.”
Source: North Wales Daily Post / 27 Sep 2013