Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve (‘the reserve’) was both the location for and the focus of a Celebration Day today (Saturday 8 October 2011) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ‘gifting’ of the reserve into public ownership.
The celebration – hosted by Sunshine Coast Council – also provided an opportunity to mark the International Year of Forests.
In 1941 Elizabeth (Bessie), Mary and Mabel Thynne were visionary in recognising the value of the rainforest and scenic outlook on their land and gifted the reserve for everyone to enjoy. This act of generosity will forever honour their mother Mary Cairncross.
As part of her address at the celebration, Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay linked the generosity of the Thynne sisters, in gifting the reserve, with the ongoing generosity of the community.
“Today, many individuals and groups in the local community are well aware of the ‘priceless’ value of this reserve, and they continue the Thynne sisters’ spirit of generosity,” Cr McKay said.
“They ‘give’ to the reserve as volunteers and ‘Friends’, neighbours, local community groups and universities.
“I applaud the valuable partnership that continues to thrive between council and the reserve volunteers, working together to care for the reserve and share its values with other visitors.”
Cr McKay added that council would continue to act as custodians of the reserve, to work hard to facilitate the community’s aspirations and to honour the originals ‘terms’ of gifting outlined by Bessie, Mary and Mabel.
Guest speaker, Mr Jack Wilcox AM, author of Rotary in Maleny – 50 years of Service (2009), spoke about Rotary’s long association with the reserve and its critical role in providing easy access and enjoyment of the reserve for visitors.
Dr Scott Burnett of the Sunshine Coast University gave an enlightening presentation on the fauna of the rainforest remnant.
Balloons, banners, streamers and an anniversary cake adorned the reserve’s Education Centre, as those present wished the reserve a Happy 70th Anniversary and all the best for the next 70 years.
Relatives of the Thynne sisters took part in the Celebrations and Rotary of Maleny provided a barbecue lunch.