LIONS PARK – North End of Old Traffic Bridge
In 1969, after completing the landscaping of the grounds of the Pioneer Memorial Hospital, Lions members were looking for a similar community project. Bundaberg City Council had purchased badly degraded, flood damaged land on the north bank of the Burnett River from private landholders with a view to eventually beautify the river bank. Bundaberg Lions Club members, in particular Charter President Guy Day-Lewis, saw this as an excellent Club project.
With the blessing of the Council, work started in 1970. First, a huge hole had to be filled and the land levelled and cleared of lots of rubbish and flood debris. Next, Club members constructed two BBQ pits, covered tables and seats and playground equipment for children. Club members molded concrete posts and sunk them into the ground to define the perimeter of the park.
The Council has since planted many trees and added further amenities to make the park a very popular and attractive area. Our part in this section of the park was completed on 24/06/1972, with the construction of two brick piers and a Lions archway at the park entrance. The official hand-over to Mayor Cliff Nielsen and Councilor John Faircloth was carried out in front of the Lions archway by Lion Jim Anderson who was outgoing Club President. Completion of the park was one of his projects.
It was evident that a toilet block in the park was an urgently-needed facility; Council provided for this in the 1972-73 Budget. Lions however did the work as a further project with the help of some bikies who arrived one Saturday afternoon with lots of noise. Our apprehensions turned to grateful thanks when they pitched in and helped us with concrete laying and bricklaying.
Early worries about flooding proved groundless once we had grassed the area. Several floods have since come and gone with no damage. Council at that time had ideas of connecting Lions Park to nearby Harriet Island with a causeway or footbridge to provide for family outings, beautification, fishing etc. but this has never eventuated. Judging by the number of people who use Lions Park, it has proved to be a worthwhile project for our Club.
Researched and contributed by Charter Member Graham Plath