WHILE holidaying in Spain, local jeweller Rohan Milne and his family were so smitten with a Venetian carousel at La Concha beach boardwalk they decided Perth needed one.
It was too big for carry-on luggage and an overly lavish souvenir, so Mr Milne spent the next four years looking into the logistics of running a carousel as a business in Perth, when finally the opportunity popped up on Elizabeth Quay where he secured a lease from the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.
Having inspected carousels from around the world with a jeweller’s eye, Mr Milne settled on one built in the Veneto region of northern Italy by the same company which made the iconic carousel next to the Eiffel Tower.
Mr Milne hopes the bright lights and artisan craftsmanship will bring Perth some of the same recognition which activates tourist destinations around the world.
“It all started with us and our two daughters in San Sebastian,” Mr Milne said
“They went on it in the morning and then they went back on it at night – it’s just simple fun, not crazy spinning fairground stuff. The girls just loved it and it meant we could kick back while they were having fun.
“I just get these ideas and I start researching them. Generally my accountant says ‘Rohan, you’re a jeweller, stick to being a jeweller’, but this time after I did a lot of research… he said ‘look if we get a lot of people it will work.’
“The Elizabeth Quay carousel had to be authentic, no short cuts or cheap imitations, it simply wouldn’t have the magic and quality of the real thing.”
For $5 anyone can choose between 40 hand-painted horses and carriages which all turn to the tune of traditional carousel music.
Planning minister Donna Faragher said the carousel would be a wonderful addition to Elizabeth Quay and praised Mr Milne for commissioning the piece of moving art.
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM