Mark’s Last Luncheon

It was a privilege to be at the Lorne Community Connect lunch on Wednesday 2nd of October, along with 30 other Lorne residents, to participate in Mark Purdie’s first catered meal in his retirement!!  We were treated to braised beef cheeks with mash and a superb apple and rhubarb crumble, served with Mark’s famous ice cream. Mark was assisted in the kitchen by Jo Yates, Caroline Purdie and Lynda Stewart and I thank them for their contribution to the afternoon.

Mark’s Restaurant has been an iconic part of Lorne’s dining scene for the past twenty-five years and Mark has ensured that we have lifted the culinary standards and expectations of residents and visitors alike when eating out in Lorne. This has also had a positive impact on making Lorne a favoured tourist destination over these years. Mark told me when preparing the meal that he is particularly proud of the standard that the restaurant reached over the last four years. We agree and we are sorry to see him leave, but we obviously thank him and wish him well for his future directions.

The October meal was the first since the Centre has been refurbished. I thank the Surf Coast Shire for the work to complete the internal painting and to replace the heating/cooling system and I apologise for any inconvenience caused to those who regularly use the Centre. Work will also soon begin to paint and maintain the external wooden surfaces which will give the building a much-needed face-lift.

The committee of Lorne Community Connect has plans underway to brighten the furnishings, to update the historic prints and to provide hanging and display space for local artists to exhibit and sell their art. I encourage members of the community to give us ideas as to how we can develop the centre as a hub to promote the arts in Lorne. This includes all forms of the arts – performance, workshops, creating, display and recital.  PLEASE BE BOLD AND PROACTIVE.

The next lunch to be held at the Centre will be on Friday the 18th of October. This is not our usual day, but I am confident that those who regularly attend will understand when I say that the change is to allow the hospitality students at the Lorne P-12 College to cook and serve the meal. It is close to twenty-five years since Lee Cooper began to train hospitality students at the College. Many of our current operators and workers will thank Lee for her encouragement and support for their entry into the industry. Please help us to provide real-time experience for the students and join us for a lunch of pasta and pudding (penne and sticky date). The lunch begins at noon and you can book by writing your name on the sheet provided at the Centre or email us at

Gary Allen
Lorne Community Connect