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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Fraser Coast to celebrate park’s 150th anniversary

Fraser Coast residents are being encouraged to celebrate Queen’s Park’s 150th anniversary.

Mayor, George Seymour said the Queen’s Park sesquicentenary celebrations this month would include horticultural walking tours, an exhibition at Gatakers Creative Space, and the ‘Sunday in the Park’ community event.

“Queen’s Park is one of Australia’s earliest botanic gardens and is an important part of Maryborough’s unique character,” he said.

“In Maryborough’s early days, the area was used for a boiling down works, but its potential as a large landscaped public park was quickly realised as the town grew.

“The then Maryborough Town Council decided to make an application to the State Government in 1865 for the area to be used as a public garden and for recreation purposes, with a reserve gazetted over the site in October 1873 for botanical gardens.

“There are so many interesting features in the park including the Banyan Fig tree which is believed to be one of the oldest and largest in Australia, and the band rotunda and fairy fountain which were imported from Scotland in 1890 as part of a bequest from Janet Melville.”

The park also has cannons that were presented as a gift to Maryborough from the Royal Australian Navy in 1914, the Maryborough Cenotaph which was first unveiled in 1922, while in more recent times, the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial and the Butchulla Warriors Memorial have been installed.

“Heritage-listed Queen’s Park isn’t just a historic site though and it is more than a collection of botanical specimens; it is a living community space,” said Mayor Seymour.

“Queen’s Park has been at the heart of the community for generations as the scene of many functions and celebrations that live on in the memories of residents and visitors.

“The park has developed to meet the changing needs of the community and no doubt into the future it will hold events and activities we haven’t even considered. This connection between the past, present and the future is what makes it such a special space.”

Councillor Daniel Sanderson said the Queen’s Park sesquicentenary celebrations would culminate on Sunday 29 October, with two free, 45-minute horticultural walking tours being offered at 9am and 11am departing from the Banyan Fig and the monthly ‘Sunday in the Park’ community event.

“The horticultural walking tours provide an amazing opportunity for up to 25 people per tour to learn more about the plants and trees in Queen’s Park,” he said.

“The tours are free but bookings are essential and can be done online on the Our Fraser Coast website at https://www.ourfrasercoast.com.au/queens-park or by contacting Council’s Customer Service Centre on 1300 79 49 29.

“There will also be the fantastic Sunday in the Park event from 9am that day, including a free concert from the Maryborough Excelsior City Band, train rides and food stalls.  

“It promises to be a great day of celebrations in one of the most beautiful places in our great city.”

Cr Sanderson said an exhibition showcasing Queen’s Park relics would be on display in Gatakers Creative Space in Kent Street from 20 October to 12 November to celebrate the park’s 150th anniversary as a botanic garden.

“This promises to be a fascinating exhibition featuring a selection of historical photographs and artefacts from Queen’s Park throughout the years,” he said.

“A key focus for Council is creating connected communities through our places, spaces and people, and that’s what the Queen’s Park sesquicentenary celebrations are all about.”

New wayfinding signage is also being installed throughout Queen’s Park to assist residents and visitors in discovering the many unique features and prominent locations throughout the five-hectare site.

More details about the Queen’s Park sesquicentenary celebrations are available on Council’s ‘Our Fraser Coast’ website at https://www.ourfrasercoast.com.au/queens-park.

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