A party 150 years in the making
COMMUNITY and sporting groups in Grafton are to be invited to come to the party, getting in early to plan commemorative events to mark the city's 150th birthday in 2009.
Clarence Valley Council's Grafton Sesquicentenary Celebrations Committee plans to write to city organisations asking them to consider their front-line involvement in the sesquicentenary program.
Committee chair and former mayor of Grafton, Cr Shirley Adams, said it was hoped the various groups would decide on ways in which they could become involved, with special events or activities during the year which marks the 150th anniversary of Grafton's proclamation as a city.
A public meeting would be called within the next few months at which representatives could outline their proposals, she said.
Cr Adams said once ideas and proposed dates were on the table an official program could be drawn up covering each month of the year and the various groups could continue working towards organising their nominated event.
Members at the Sesquicentenary Committee meeting discussed a number of activities that have already been flagged for 2009.
These include preparation of a booklet covering the city's history, current situation and future goals, striking of a commemorative medallion for distribution to primary school children, a sesquicentenary banquet in the city's Christ Church Cathedral and a project to record oral history from older residents.
Clarence River Historical Society chair Frank Mack tabled illustrations of the civic medallion distributed to schoolchildren in 1909, to mark the 50th anniversary of the city's proclamation.
The landmark clocktower at the intersection of Prince and Pound streets was built to commemorate that anniversary.
Ms Pat James addressed the meeting on a proposal to establish a Sensory Garden in part of Pioneer Park, off Turf Street. The area was the site of the city's first burial ground and many years later spoil was taken from another section to build the elevated rail viaducts through the city.