Grafton’s new library now open
WHILE SIR Earle Page himself could not be at the opening of Grafton's new library, his namesake wouldn't have missed it.
Hundreds of people poured through the doors and up the stairs of the state-of-the-art facility yesterday as the speakers crackled to life with the announcement that the Sir Earle Page Library and Education Centre was officially open.
Earle Iven Page, grandson of the late former prime minister, was among the honoured guests.
"It's with a lot of pride that we are here today," Mr Page said.
"It's been more than 50 years since (Sir Earle Page) died and the fact council has chosen to remember him this way is very special.
"It's wonderful feeling that a family member is that important to the town."
Mr Page was a young boy when his grandfather was around, but carries fond memories of his presence.
"I remember when he arrived at our home, he lit the place up," he said.
"He was an inspirational person, and as a young boy I really noticed the impact he had on the household."
Among his other achievements, Sir Earle Page was the first chancellor of the University of New England after campaigning for its establishment.
A former chemistry teacher himself, Mr Page said the values of education ran deep - in fact, ancestor James Page was one of the first principals in Grafton.
"It'll be great to see if this improves education opportunities for children in the valley," he said.
Fellow grandchild Prue Page said the library's name was a fitting tribute for someone who was so passionate about educational opportunities for regional Australia, and the opening itself had proved to be a great family reunion.
About fifteen members of the Page family attended the event.
"It's a happy opportunity for us to get together and celebrate someone very dear to us," she said.
"The library is of a really high standard."
Mayor Richie Williamson summed up the library opening in one word: awesome.
"I can't wait for all of the community to come and look at this valuable asset," he said. "It's great to see a wide selection of the community here today."
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said it was a wonderful day for the whole valley.