Cabra-Vale Memorial Park turned 100 on Friday and a book, Cabra-Vale Park The First 100 Years 1914-2014, containing residents’ stories about the park, has been published to mark the occasion.
The park also serves as a war memorial. A heritage-listed band stand opened in 1922, honours the soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the First World War.
The war memorial was built in the 1980’s, funded by the local Vietnamese community in recognition of the sacrifices made by Australian and Vietnamese soldiers.
Over the last 100 years Cabra-Vale Memorial Park has transformed into a beautiful landscape of mosaic designed pathways, seating and recreational space.
The artwork in the park promotes a culture that is rich in diversity abd captures the social history of Cabramatta and Canley Vale.
Editor Florence Callicott, 76, said her favourite story is about a bagpiper who used to practice in the park.
“Every Saturday morning for a long, long time he used to march up and down the cricket pitch in his kilt, practising his pipes,” Ms Callicott said.
“People remembered him but no one knew who he was.”
Ms Callicott, from Fairfield West, gathered about 40 stories for the book by contacting school friends, interviewing joggers and collecting recollections people emailed to her.
To celebrate the parks’ birthday, Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone buried a time capsule containing a copy of the book, letters from MPs, a newspapers and other items for the future generations to find.
“The park is in constant use from early morning until night by families, school children, adults and elderly, from all backgrounds and walks of life,” said Mayor Carbone.
Mayor Carbone said the Cabra-Vale Park plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of a community.
It also provides a place for recreation, relaxation, sport, music and socialising.
“I am sure Cabra-Vale Park will continue to serve its community well over the next 100 years.”
The book can be borrowed from Fairfield City libraries.
Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone’s speech: