Sunshine Coast Council is calling on the community to help gather information about the history of a little park in Cotton Tree.
Known to locals as “Black Swan” Park (based on the Aboriginal word for red-bill), the park is located beside the Cotton Tree Boatshed Restaurant and behind the Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre.
Division 8 Councillor Jason OPray said council was working together with the community to remember and celebrate the historical significance of this little park.
“Black Swan Park has such an interesting, diverse and significant history we want the community to help us to piece together all the wonderful facts, memories and experiences they have about it from years gone by,” he said.
“We are calling on residents for any information or photos regarding this precious little park area.
“All this collected material will be used for various commemorative purposes such as featured in a memorial placard and or included in a time capsule.”
Council is also working with the Bli Bli and Maroochy River Historical Association, Maroochy Surf Lifesaving Club and local Aboriginal representatives for guidance, advice and information about the area.
Maroochy Surf Lifesaving Club early history researcher, Peter Rigby said the park was once the gateway and landing site to the area by water.
“From 1910 to the late 1950s residents used to travel down the river via passenger boat all the way from Yandina, Coolum Creek (via Bli Bli), and Nambour (via Petrie Creek) collecting passengers on both sides of the river to access this area,” he said.
“This little park was also the birthplace of lifesaving on the Sunshine Coast where the surf club started.
“Add to this, the body of water right in front of Black Swan Park has a significant swimming history.
“One of the Queensland Swimming Championship Races was held here back in 1917, 1919 and 1921.” *
Cr OPray said it would not come as a surprise to the community that a park with such a wonderful and long history might be in need of a little nip and tuck here or there to refresh and revitalise.
“Black Swan will be undergoing a little facelift soon so current and future generations can continue to enjoy this terrific little spot,” he said.
“Works will include new outdoor tables and chairs, relocation of the shower and new seating overlooking the water.
“There is also a new revetment wall along the foreshore for erosion mitigation.”
For further details about the project or to provide information, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
*Queensland Swimming Championships were held in six different locales, with one race at each in those times. After the 1921 race at Cotton Tree wharves, across to Wharf St (near the Duporth Tavern) the Association decided that henceforth, all future championship events would be held in Brisbane, as the facilities at Cotton Tree (the finish line being a rope held by two chaps in the water), was not ‘modern enough’.