A beautiful mosaic celebrating the historic Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens was unveiled in Maryborough today.
Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said the park had been a focal point for the city for more than 100 years.
“The park was the site of Maryborough’s second official cemetery, opening in 1871 and closing in 1873 as the city grew up around it,” he said.
“The site was officially handed over to Council in 1921 after most of the remains and headstones were moved to the cemetery in Walker Street – although it is believed some graves remain.
“The park’s name has changed over the years from Coronation Park to Elizabeth Park before becoming the Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens in 1961 after 4000 rose bushes were donated to Council.
“The mosaic, designed and created by Bundaberg-based artist Paul Perry, is based on the layout of the rose garden and inspired by research conducted by local historian Ian Brown.
“It is bordered on the left and right by patterned sections containing stylised trees while the central circle of the artwork contains a pastiche of multicoloured roses.
“The circles surrounding the central feature contain visual references to six of the significant aspects in the history of the garden.”
Cr Seymour said the mosaic was partially created during a two-day workshop hosted at Gatakers Artspace in Maryborough, which was partially funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund (a state government and Council program).
“The installation has been a collaboration by Maryborough Rotarians, members of the Maryborough Horticultural Society, Zonta Club of Maryborough and staff from Council’s Parks and Gardens and Cultural Services teams,” Cr Seymour said.
“At the workshop, members of Zonta, Rotary, Horticultural Society and the community created the smaller mosaic circles that are part of the overall design.
“Paul then combined the pieces, and the finished mosaic has been installed on a block wall of a pergola at the front entrance of the park on the corner of Kent and Tooley Streets.
“All those involved in creating this mosaic should be immensely proud. I encourage residents to take some time out to view the mosiac and soak in the history of this wonderful park.”
Additional background on the history of the park
In 1937, the Maryborough City Council, with the encouragement of Maryborough Rotarians, officially adopted the name ‘Coronation Park’ to commemorate the coronation of King George VI.
In 1939 Rotarians gifted the city with a playground and shelter shed in the park.
To coincide with the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Australia, Rotarians requested that the name be changed and on June 5, 1954 the park was renamed Elizabeth Park.
In 1961 the name was again changed, this time to Elizabeth Park Rose Garden when Ron and Anne Everett, from the Paulen Park Nursery on Iindah Road, donated 4,000 rose bushes to the council.
Last year Fraser Coast Mayor, George Seymour, was joined by Maryborough Rotarians, members of the Maryborough Horticultural Society and Zonta Club of Maryborough, to plant a white Jacaranda in the garden to celebrate its 100th birthday.
Article and photos submitted by Fraser Coast Regional Council
Cover photo – Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour with mosaic artist Paul Perry at the unveiling.