Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Ancestral Park Brought to Life

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Ancestral Park Brought to Life

Article excerpt

It is really hard to believe that we will be celebrating Christmas in just over three weeks time. As this also means the end of 2009, this will be the second last article on the Sesquicentenary year which has been celebrated in Grafton and the Clarence Valley.

It brings me great pleasure to write about one of the major projects for the year which has been organised and driven by the Sesquicentenary committee. It is the creation of a sensory garden. It has been made possible with the redevelopment of Pioneer Park and of course enormous support from businesses, professional people and citizens. The committee has been has been extremely grateful to the Clarence Valley Council for including the garden as one of the projects through the special funding by the Federal Government for Regional and Local Community Infrastructure projects. Without this grant, it would not be possible to work on Stage 2.

Stage 1 should be completed before Christmas. Pioneer Park is where the first communal burial in the Clarence Valley took place. The year was 1844. One tombstone has been moved to a position where it will be a historical feature of the significance of this area. It is made of sandstone which is very soft to work with.

It must be remembered that this area was never a designated cemetery. After Grafton became a Municipality in 1859, the Council determined that cemeteries should be established. The old cemetery in Villiers Street is one of the first cemeteries established in the Clarence Valley.

Many people have asked me where Pioneer Park is. It is in Fry Street, between Turf Street and Alice Street. If you drive past, you will notice how much work has been done. The path has been laid to provide wheelchair access. Planter boxes have been built and these will be filled with rosemary and lavender. The builder is John Van Vyfeken. …

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