What a difference a pandemic can make.
Nine years ago, The Cube was officially opened in Wodonga at a glitzy, no expense spared, extravaganza with Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu present for the occasion just as his Liberal predecessor in the state's top job, Sir Henry Bolte, was for the building's predecessor opening in 1971.
On Friday, after one false start due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Hyphen, the city's replacement library-gallery located next door to The Cube, was officially opened at a low-key mid-morning event.
There was no champagne, canapes or even sausage rolls on offer for those assembled for Hyphen's opening.
But there was some synergy to The Cube opening with Garry Zauner in attendance as the builder of both CBD landmarks as was Mark Byatt, who was the city's mayor in 2012, but this time with his Regional Development Victoria cap on.
The line-up of current councillors was also incomplete with only mayor Kevin Poulton, Graeme Simpfendorfer, Libby Hall and Olga Quilty present.
Victoria's Attorney-General and North-East local Jaclyn Symes had the job of representing the Andrews Labor government which was a significant funding contributor towards the $12.8 million cost.
Before attention to more pressing issues of the day in the fight against coronavirus, Ms Symes said: "This is an old, tired library transformed into a centrepiece for Wodonga."
Cr Poulton paid tribute to staff and contractors involved with 800 people attending Hyphen on its first day open to the public.
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