THE ROTARY Club of Warragul celebrated its 75th anniversary on Saturday with the opening of the first stage of its Rotary Park redevelopment.
Past club president and 40-year member Graeme Snape told The Warragul Citizen the developments, which included the installation of a new information shelter, memorial gardens and a large sculpture, were part of an ongoing involvement with the land.
“This park we believe is in the order of 30 or 35 years since it’s been designated (sic) by council as Rotary Park,” Mr Snape said.
“We built the rotunda over here on our 50th project, and this park upgrade and new front to the town is for our 75th project.
“This is stage one today, we’ll be moving on to stage two in the latter half of this year, moving on to the drain and the playground upgrade.”
Pictured above: Mr Snape at the park’s new Queen Street entrance.
The six-month redevelopment was a joint venture between Rotary and the Baw Baw Shire Council.
“We’ve worked with town planners and we’ve worked with council urban planners and they’re pretty pleased with the results,” Mr Snape said.
Mr Snape said the sculpture by Modella artist Don Barrett was a Rotary acquisition.
Scroll down for image gallery.
“We put up first prize over in the Jindivick Sculpture Show earlier this year, so Rotary put up the money for first prize and then acquired it.
“We installed it here to make a bright, super feature to the park.
“It is something a little bit stunning, a little different, it’s fairly bright, it’s controversy in some ways but it also had to comply with council by-laws and OH&S.”
Pictured above: Mr Barrett (left) and Mr Snape unveil the plaque on Mr Barrett’s sculpture.
Mr Barrett told The Warragul Citizen his large concrete sculpture, entitled Termite Mounds, had been inspired by central Australia.
“The title sort of came after I did the work,” Mr Barrett said.
“I wanted the Australian theme, I was inspired by the MacDonnell Ranges… and I just felt I had to try to do something like that.”
Mr Barrett said he felt the name would connect viewers to the outback.
“Hopefully they don’t just come along and look at it and say it’s a blob of concrete, there’s a bit more behind it than just a blob of concrete,” Mr Barrett said.
Pictured above: Rotary District Governor Tim Moore (left) and Warragul Rotary president Chris Major speaking at the event.
Rotary Warragul president Chris Major said the club was about community, both locally and internationally.
“The club serves the community, and that’s what it’s all about,” Mr Major said.
“What we look at is creating or enhancing infrastructure within the local community such as the rotunda and the park.
“Rotary doesn’t just focus on local projects, we also focus on international projects.
“This year we’re supporting an orphanage over in Uganda [and] we’re reigniting our project over in Tanzania, where we assisted a school there with refurbishing the classroom, put in a water tank and a few sanitary things.
“Someone in the community that wanted to contribute or help with the project [is] more than welcome.”
A new plaque was also unveiled at the Rotunda as part of the celebrations.
Click here to visit the Rotary Club of Warragul’s website.
Pictured above: the unveiling of the plaque in the new memorial gardens.
Pictured above: the Warragul Municipal Band plays for visitors.
Pictured above: Termite Mounds artwork.
Pictured above: Rotary Park’s new Queen Street face.
Pictured above: the new information shelter.
Pictured above: the list of Warragul Rotary presidents in the information shelter.
Get free email updates from the Baw Baw Citizen
Read more Baw Baw News