[Video] Friday, 30th August 2013, marked a special milestone in the history of Cotton Tree as the parcel of land at the rear of the swimming pool on the edge of the Maroochy River officially became known as Black Swan Park.
The official naming and opening event was also an opportunity for Sunshine Coast Council, key sporting club members, locals and Indigenous representatives to gather to commemorate the historical significance of this little park.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said it was an honour to officially recognise and celebrate the launch of a park that already had such an interesting, diverse and important history.
“Locals have been affectionately calling this small but historically significant park Black Swan Park for some time due to the sightings of black swans in the area,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This area also has a strong connection to local Aboriginal traditions and is referred to as Murukutchi, meaning red bill which is also the name of the black swan.
“With its new official name and recently revitalised improvements of outdoor tables, chairs and seating Black Swan Park is ready to welcome locals and visitors to enjoy this picturesque location.”
Joining Mayor Jamieson at the opening event were Division 8 Councillor Jason OPray and a number of locals and sporting club members that regularly use or have an affiliation with the river.
To mark the occasion, Lyndon Davis and the Gubbi Gubbi Dance Troup performed Welcome to Country and local students from the Moolooloola Primary School Choir sang the National Anthem.
Unveiled at the launch event were three interpretative signs sharing facts, photos, memories and experiences people have of the park from years gone by.
Cr OPray said the park had always held a special place for him as a youngster growing up in the local area but its historical significance for many other different groups dated back well over 100 years.
“The park was once the gateway and landing site to the area by water,” Cr OPray said.
“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.
“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.*
“And now with its fitting official name, Black Swan Park is all set to welcome a new generation of visitors and help shape many new special memories.”