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A park fit for a queen

Queen Elizabeth Park was given its name 60 years ago this week.

During the 1954 Royal Visit of Australia, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were greeted by 30,000 school children at Concord Park before going on to visit Concord Repatriation General Hospital. Concord Park had been reserved for public use in 1887. In 1957 it was decided that Concord Park be renamed as Queen Elizabeth Park in honour of the royal visit to Concord.

Queen Elizabeth Park was officially renamed by Lieutenant-General Sir John Northcott, Governor of NSW on 24 May 1957 to coincide with Empire Day as it was then known. In an echo of the Queen’s visit some 1,500 children from local schools were given a half-day holiday to welcome the Governor.

A royal visit

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The Royal Visit of 1954 attracted enormous crowds eager to catch a glimpse of the recently crowned Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

When the royal couple visited Concord on 5 Februaury 1954 an estimated one million people lined Parramatta Road between Broadway and Concord.

At Concord Park, in honour of the occasion, Concord Council had constructed a walled garden which was specially decorated on the day with 600 red and yellow gladioli. On arrival at the park, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip changed from the stately Daimler landaulette to a Land Rover which then moved between cheering crowds of school children. Over 30, 000 students had been bussed in to the park from 37 western suburbs schools. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were then whisked away to Concord Repatriation General Hospital.

Concord Park was renamed Queen Elizabeth Park in 1957 in honour of the special occasion in 1954 when Concord had royal visitors.