Wrapped in the history of Gulgong's rich architecture is a friendship that spanned over 40 years.
For David Warner, the old heritage-listed buildings of Gulgong will always remind him of his friend, Peru Perumal.
The two met in 1975 when their mutual passion for architecture and restoration brought them together.
Mr Warner was interested in joinery and old home restoration, and Mr Perumal had just arrived in Gulgong as part of the National Trust's Urban Conservation Committee to help save the town's architectural character.
"I'd hate to imagine what Gulgong would be like now, if Peru had not come along when he did.
"The town was at a crossroads, just prior to his arrival there were no regulations in place and a number of historic buildings were demolished," Mr Warner said.
"Without his timely intervention, a lot of what Gulgong now has could have very easily been lost."
Mr Perumal died in May 2020 and his memory will be firmly embedded in the architectural history of Gulgong, as Mid-Western Regional Council has voted to formally approve the name of a new road called Peru Road in honour of the Sydney architect.
Navesh Perumal was emotional when he talked about the formal recognition of his father.
"Gulgong was a significant part of his life, and he never let go of it. This is a legacy and I can't put a value to it," he said.
It was the deep, personal connections he made with Gulgong townspeople that made a lasting impact on Mr Perumal, his son said.
"He loved the people and we did too. We were welcomed into the town, and everybody was warm and open. We always felt accepted," he said.
Mr Perumal's mission was to ensure that Gulgong locals guided the conservation of their town, rather than an external authority, according to Mr Warner.
"He was certainly a big-time Sydney architect, but he just had that personality where none of that mattered. What was important to him was getting to know the local people, inspiring and motivating them. And he did that very, very successfully," he said.
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Navesh described his father as a man who always "pulled up his sleeves and picked up a shovel".
He has fond childhood memories of working alongside his father and working-bees to restore the Lawson House, originally built by Henry Lawson's father in the 1800s, the derelict building had a demolition order placed on it in the 1970s.
The highly-involved and accessible style is what Mr Warner said made him such a loved member of the community.
"He endeared himself to the local people, and that's why he was able to bring the majority of the community on board with what he was trying to achieve for the town," he said.
"He really was a remarkable man."
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