OVER the past 175 years, Queanbeyan has grown from a small community, to the vibrant and multicultural community we have today. Despite this growth, Queanbeyan has still managed to keep its country feel, all while having the advantages of being located next to Australia's capital city.
Speaking of the nation's capital, many people, especially those across the border, would not realise that Queanbeyan was here a long time before Canberra, and it was the residents of Queanbeyan who helped build and contribute services to the city such as retail and medical services.
One of the key players in the early development of Queanbeyan was the city's first Mayor, John James Wright. JJ Wright worked tirelessly for the community and was at the forefront of important issues affecting Queanbeyan's development. Some of those issues included: lobbying for the building of a permanent bridge over the Queanbeyan River (1858), lobbying for railway to reach the town (1887), leading the movement to have the Queanbeyan telegraph service commence (1864) and helping build the Methodist Church on Rutledge St (1859).
Since JJ Wright, Queanbeyan has benefitted from many significant contributions from individuals and groups which have helped make the city what it is today.
Over the next 20 years, the next major chapter in the development of Queanbeyan will occur with significant residential developments at Googong and Tralee. The two developments will add around 20,000 residents to our city and provide infrastructure to ensure the new, and existing residents, are adequately serviced.
Queanbeyan will come together as one to celebrate its past, and to look forward to the future, on Saturday September 28 when a day of community celebrations is held in and around Ray Morton Park. Some of the highlights of the day include:
-175 years of transport parade (Macquoid St)
-Official opening of Sensory Garden
-Cutting of birthday cake
-Melbourne Cup display
-Multicultural food and dance festival
-Static car display
-Free concert, featuring Ruby Ice, Stik n Move and Omar Musa
-Combined Service Clubs' 175th Anniversary Ball (Bicentennial Hall)
Saturday, September 28 promises to be a fantastic day for the whole Queanbeyan community and I strongly encourage you to come along and join in the festivities. The full program of events, including a map, can be found in this paper (page 2) and also on Council's website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au.