An exciting new art installation planned for Cabarita Park will bring together stories and images of what the park means to local people.
Artists Sean Bacon and Kym Vercoe are collecting stories and images which will be projected on to fig and palm trees in the park. They are having a filming day in Cabarita Park on Saturday, 5 November 2016 from 11am to 2pm so come along and share what the park means to you.
The aerial photograph, taken in 1968, shows Cabarita Park in the centre of the image. In the foreground can be seen the AGL (Australian Gas Light Company) works at Mortlake, now redeveloped as Breakfast Point.
Cabarita Park has continued to evolve over a period of some 135 years since it was dedicated as a ‘Reserve for Public Recreation and Access to Wharf’ in 1880.
In the early days it was an important vantage point for rowing races held on the Parramatta River which was promoted by the extension of the tram service to Cabarita in 1907. Over the years extensive plantings of trees and gardens together with facilities such as the Federation Pavilion and Concord-Cabarita Coronation Baths combined to make Cabarita Park an important recreational area.
The process of change and development continues with ‘The Conservatory’, an exceptional arts and cultural facility which will be completed next year.
The photograph, above, which shows Cabarita Park in 1923 was recently donated to Canada Bay Connections.
Music, dancing and picnics have always been enjoyed at Cabarita Park.
From the 1880s until World War 1, a focus of the park was Correy’s Pleasure Gardens operated on land adjacent to Cabarita Park. The pleasure ground was established by Thomas Obed Correy, who had previously owned gardens at Botany in the 1870s. Correy brought plants, flowers, shrubs and trees to Cabarita and provided swings, merry-go-rounds, a cricket field, a running track, summer houses, and from 1887, a dance pavilion, which was a great attraction for the many social and sporting clubs that held their annual picnics at the grounds.
The dance pavilion could accommodate up to 900 people who would be entertained by a ten piece string orchestra. Daytime dances were popular until gas replaced the kerosene lamps and evening dinners and dances became increasingly popular making the pleasure gardens one of Sydney’s leading recreational resorts.
During the World War I, Correy’s Pleasure Gardens declined in popularity and was eventually sold in 1918.
Correy’s Pleasure Gardens are one of many stories of Cabarita highlighted in a new Breakfast Point and Cabarita Park education kit now available on the City of Canada Bay web page. For more images of Correy’s Gardens see our flickr set.
The Federation Pavilion in Cabarita Park provides a special link with the beginning of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The pavilion was built as the focal point for the Inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia in Centennial Park, Sydney on 1 January 1901.
The original pavilion in Centennial Park stood 14 metres high on a slab of polished granite and was covered with ornate details rendered in fibrous plaster. After the ceremony, the plaster was removed and the wooden structure began to fall into disrepair. In 1903 the remains of the structure were purchased by Concord Council for £60 and moved to Cabarita Park. The granite platform was embedded into the ground at Centennial Park in 1904 to mark the exact location of the Inauguration ceremony.
Over the years the Federation Pavilion at Cabarita has been the focal point of many community and private functions. In December 1935, it was the venue for the formation of the Concord 12 Foot Flying Squadron, later renamed the Abbotsford 12 Foot Flying Squadron. More recently it has become popular as a venue for weddings.