Monthly Archives: November 2017

Eighty years of swimming

In the early 1920s Concord Council provided a netted area along the Parramatta River at the northern end of Cabarita Park for swimmers. It’s popularity prompted Council to embark on an ambitious project to build a swimming pool for the community during the Depression years of the 1930s.

Plans were drawn up by Alderman John Dalzell Wallace, a key supporter of the project, and Council’s engineer. Alderman Wallace turned the sod to begin the construction of the pool in March 1937 (shown below). With a grant of £1000 for the purchase of tools and materials from the State Government, work on the pool progressed quickly to make it ready by the following summer.

On 27 November 1937 the Concord-Cabarita Coronation Baths were officially opened by The Hon. H. P. Fitzsimons MLA (Minister for Health). Some 3000 people turned up on the day the pool was opened. To mark the opening there was a 200 yard race between several top swimmers. The race was won by Olympian Moss Christie.

On the following day, a Sunday, 2000 people paid to swim in the new baths. Adults were charged three pence while children could enter for one penny. Within a month over 30,000 people had tried out Concord’s latest attraction.

Now known as the Cabarita Swimming Centre, eighty years on the pool still plays an important part in the lives of local people.

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Kokoda remembered

This year marks the 75th anniversaries of the Kokoda campaign during the Second World War.

The Kokoda Campaign, from July 1942 to early 1943, involved Australian troops in a desperate and vicious fight in the Owen Stanley Range and on the beaches of northern Papua to stop the advance of Japanese forces.

The anniversary has a special resonance for the City of Canada Bay through the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway. This beautiful memorial takes the form of an 800 metre rainforest walk which links Concord Repatriation General Hospital, where many Second World War veterans were nursed back to health, and Rhodes Railway Station. A series of 22 stations along the walkway highlight places of significance in the New Guinea campaign and pays tribute to the tremendous sacrifice made by Australian soldiers.

The Australian War Memorial will mark the Kokoda Campaign with a special Last Post ceremony on 2 November 2017.