Plating up history

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
The Telegraph in Bremer Bay.
Camera IconThe Telegraph in Bremer Bay. Credit: Faceboko

Bremer Bay’s newest eatery, The Telegraph, was able to pull off a surprise early opening despite having to negotiate a white ant infestation on the heritage-listed property.

Saffron Iffla, who managers the cafe inside the historic Bremer Bay Telegraph Station, said business had been booming since the December 14 soft opening. “It’s been really crazy the first month — it’s super busy and it’s been a great reaction from everyone who’s been through,” Ms Iffla said.

The reaction to the Iffla family’s new venture has been so strong they had to shut shop on January 7 to give their staff members a “much-needed break”.

“We haven’t slowed down, we’re punching out so much food, it’s good that people are still interested...our team is putting in such a great effort,” Ms Iffla said. “(We have) around 12 employees, seven of us have been through Bremer Bay Primary School, most of them under the age of 25.”

In late November, the Ifflas were forced to demolish the Old School House on the property.

After removing asbestos sheeting from the Old School House, it was discovered the building’s structural integrity had been compromised by a white ant infestation.

Shire of Jerramungup staff determined the structure was at risk of imminent collapse and authorised the demolition. “It was upsetting that we had to get rid of it — if we could have saved it we would have,” Ms Iffla said.

The former Bremer Bay Telegraph Station was built in 1896 after the original station, which was constructed 20 years earlier, burnt down.

The station played a role in the overland telegraph linking Albany to Adelaide.

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