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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Denning Park, beautiful spot, shame about the extra ‘n’

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Pretty but wrongly spelled: Dening Park in the heart of Byron Bay. File photo

It is one of the most iconic spots in the Byron Shire, a rolling stretch of green that runs from the Surf Club down to Clarkes Beach.

But there’s a problem with ‘Denning’ Park – we’ve been misspelling it for years.

The agenda for Byron Council’s upcoming meeting reveals that the signs in the park and map references have for decades referred to it as ‘DeNNing Park’.

It is not quite clear how the error occurred (autocorrect probably can’t be blamed for this one).

But council’s research has revealed that the park is named after after one of the Shire’s most respected figures – the historian S J Dening (note the single ‘n’).

‘S J Dening wrote the History of Byron Bay 1850 – 1966… and he was President of the School of Arts and on [Lismore] Council,’ Byron Councillor Jan Hackett wrote in the agenda document.

‘His son, Glen Dening, was [also] a member of the first junior surf life saving club in Byron Bay.

‘I have barely scratched the surface of the places where S J Dening’s name appears in our historic files, but a prompt correction of this misspelling would be greatly appreciated by remaining family in the area as well as long term residents and history buffs.’

Thankfully the memorial plaque at the Byron Swimming pool features the correct spelling of Mr Dening’s name – chiselling an ‘n’ out of the 67-year-old block would not be an aesthetically pleasing option.

And council staff have now agreed to remove all ‘onsite signage and any future maps, notices and correspondence’.

This particular local quirk will soon, it seems, be consigned to the annals of history.

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  1. So glad that it has finally been rectified after I asked the Byron Bay Historical Society to send a letter to Byron Shire Council and also asking Jan Hackett to help get it moved forward. A phone call to his grandson Glen Aspinall of Lismore verified the mistake . I then followed up with Google Maps to change the incorrect spelling and that occurred about 1 week after I lodged it. It may seem to some a trivial matter but spelling a persons surname incorrect at such an important location is disrespectful to the family.

  2. I have been involved in researching the contributions that Mr Sportsman John Dening made to not only the Byron Bay Community, he was the instigator of the Suffolk Park Progress Association, with the inaugural meeting on the 11th January 1959, in a mammoth task in getting a small group of land owners together to establish a township. At that time it was nothing but overgrown lantana & little else. The SPPA are in throws of recognising this man for his contribution to the area. So take note
    “DENING” is the correct spelling


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