Gate pillars remain firm

UNIMPRESSIVE they may be but the concrete gate pillars at Seaspray Recreation Reserve have created a rallying point for residents.

Plans to relocate the memorial gates and supporting pillars erected to commemorate the work of the “Father of Seaspray”, James McLachlan MLA, have a number of the town’s residents up in arms.

Redevelopment plans for the town’s recreation reserve to incorporate a new caravan park had included the relocation and refurbishment of the memorial gates, however members of the Seaspray Ratepayers Association claim the gates should be left where they are.

Yesterday morning 14 locals gathered at the gates to protest, successfully halting the relocation.

Association member Betty Jolley said the protest had prevented the planned work for a time at least.

“I think we have made them (the Recreation Reserve Committee of Management) aware they can’t proceed without discussions with the local community.

“The pillars don’t look much but it is in fact a memorial to a very important man, and we want them restored to their former glory, where they are,” she said.

The significance of the gates is undisputed by those charged with the redevelopment of the reserve.

Management committee chairman David Nolan said the project manager had been instructed not to touch the pillars until at least Monday week to allow time for more community consultation.

He said the original wrought iron gates were too badly corroded, after more than 70 years exposure to the salt air, to re-hang but would form the template for new gates to be hung from the pillars.

“The desirable outcome is the memory and community appreciation of James McLachlan is properly recognised and that the memorial is able to demonstrate that for another 100 years,” he said.