As the year slowly draws to a close, so to do our Sesquicentenary – or 150th birthday celebrations – of both Bowral and Moss Vale.
Moss Vale’s final birthday gift will come in the form of the refurbished Leighton Gardens to be officially re-opened by the Mayor and local members Pru Goward and Stephen Jones on Saturday 23 November 2013 from 1pm to 3pm.
The opening marks the finale to the year-long Sesquicentenary celebrations which kicked off in February and included amongst many things, a Bush Week Street Parade in March, our first in almost 40 years!
Providing entertainment at the re-opening of Leighton Gardens will be the Southern Highlands Concert band whilst the Moss Vale Lions Club will be cooking up a storm with their barbeque.
Included in the park’s upgrade is the inclusion of a pioneer pathway. The path consists of pavers highlighting the names of families who were foundation members of the community as well as our more recent arrivals.
The last time the gardens had a makeover of this scale was the centenary of the rail line in 1967.
Leighton Gardens were originally established in 1905 when a small paddock adjacent to the railway was leased from the Railway Commissioner for use as a park on the instigation of then Mayor and Dentist Dr Henry Leighton Jones, after whom the park is named. The pavilion was installed in 1910.
The park is one of the main floral parks in the Shire and attracts many visitors particularly during autumn with the row of English Plane trees and again in spring for the tulip displays. The refurbished gardens have now also been extensively planted with Rhododendrons which flower in late spring and will be one of the largest public collections in the Southern Highlands.
Some of the improvements to the park include new furniture and sandstone walls, and the inclusion of accessible paths.
A time capsule containing mementos of the year’s celebrations will also be buried onsite to be opened in 2063. Just in time for the town’s Bicentenary.
As part of the Moss Vale Sesquicentenary finale celebrations, the former NSW Governor’s summer residence, Hillview, will be open to the public from 10am – 5pm on Saturday 23 November 2013. This significant property is located on the Illawarra Highway south of Moss Vale and entry is free for the day.
Bowral’s final Sesquicentenary event will be held on Sunday 8 December when the Botanic Gardens are officially opened by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir.
For details on remaining Sesquicentenary events, visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/sesquicentenary-2013.