Byron Creek flows, like an artery of life, through the heart of Bangalow town and hinterland. In this week in March 1925, a slower, simpler time, people of the Bangalow community designed and created a special area fronting this creek. They called it Bangalow’s Waterfront.
In recent years, this much loved and well utilised community recreation area and swimming hole fell into disrepair. The public is now prevented from using the creek pool, which is surrounded by high cyclone mesh.
On Sunday March 23, from 3pm, an event is being held at Bangalow’s Heritage House to launch a community funding program to help pay for the revitalisation of Bangalow Parklands.
‘Our team came up with the idea that anyone could contribute and help buy a bit of Bangalow,’ said Terry Bleakley from the Bangalow Parklands team (formerly known as the Bangalow Weir Group).
‘The creek swimming area was built and paid for by the community in the 1920s. It now needs repair.
‘We have approached many likely sources of funding, some of which are now coming good.’
The Parklands team has now broadened its vision and devised a masterplan for the entire area, including a bandstand, more trees and nature walks – perhaps a botanic gardens – and improved facilities, like benches and playground equipment.
‘We started getting feedback that people within the Bangalow community would like to be able to participate,’ said Terry. ‘So now you can. We don’t mind if you donate heaps, or just five dollars. Every dollar counts.’
To launch the appeal to fund the masterplan, well-known Bangalow journalist Mick O’Regan will be facilitating a panel discussion to highlight the history and merits of the area becoming known once more as the Waterfront at Bangalow.
Among the panellists will be Lynn Smith, whose father, Bruce Beckinsale, taught many hundreds of children to swim in the creek swimming pool over decades. Chris Taylor, the Bangalow engineer who came up with a cheaper concept plan to repair the cracked weir, will discuss his design.
Brookfarm’s Martin Brook will offer the businessman’s perspective on the wider value of community endeavours such as this. BigScrub president, Dr Tony Parkes, will speak on the merits of community restoration of our indigenous rainforest and Rivercare’s 12 years’ work around the creek. Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson, will be asked about the extent of Council’s input.
‘We welcome anyone with a soft spot for the creekside park to come along and join us for a very interesting afternoon,’ added Christobel Munson, from the Parklands team.
Afternoon tea will be available at the museum tearooms, or bring a picnic to the park. For more information, phone Terry Bleakley 6687-2525 or Christobel Munson 6687-2244.