ECU to unveil new treasures on open day

A section of ECU's Spiegeltent.
Professor Geoffrey Lancaster (left) and Stewart Symonds with the First Fleet piano he donated to ECU.
A section of ECU's Spiegeltent. Professor Geoffrey Lancaster (left) and Stewart Symonds with the First Fleet piano he donated to ECU.

ECU will unveil its latest acquisition – a Spiegeltent – at an open day for its Mt Lawley campus and WAAPA on Sunday.

To be known as The Edith, it is one of only a handful of the ornate tents linked back to the Klessens family in Belgium, who have been constructing Spiegeltents since the 1920s.

ECU Vice-Chancellor Steve Chapman said the purchase would give the university “a different type of performance space”.

“Our jazz musicians, cabaret people can use it; it will be a fantastic asset,” he said. “We can do receptions and all kinds of stuff.”

More: ECU the first uni to acquire a Spiegeltent

The Spiegeltent can expand to 42m in length and take up to 300 guests. ECU’s other recent acquisition, the First Fleet piano (pictured), will be on display at the open day.

Professor Chapman said it was one of more than 100 pianos from the 18th and 19th century the university would be getting as a gift from collector Stewart Symonds. The collection would be an attraction for researchers from around the world.

“Imagine if you give that First Fleet piano the ability to speak for an hour, and you could say ‘tell us what happened’, wouldn’t that be amazing,” Prof Chapman said.

The open day is at the Mt Lawley Campus, on August 14, from 10am.