Celebrations on Dangar Island (3rd & 4th May 2014)

The Dangar Island Historical Society was honoured to welcome Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales, together with our Federal Member, Philip Ruddock, State and Senate Members, Hornsby Council Mayor Steve Russell and other Council representatives to help celebrate Dangar Island’s role in the 1889 construction of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge.  May weather was kind to us and we shared our celebrations with more than 450 people over two days of activities.

The American Union Flag flown from the Bridge during construction

The American Union Flag flown from the Bridge during construction

Central to the weekend was an Anniversary Exhibition of over 75 photographs and artefacts that chronicled the progress of bridge building, revealed something of the life & times of the builders and documented the wondrous celebration of its completion.  We were loaned special items from the Powerhouse Museum’s collection and Hornsby Library (Neil Chippendale) thanks to the negotiating skills of Dave Reynolds and Rosemary Curtis.

IMG_0255The event was supported with a most welcome community grant from Hornsby Shire Council.   Bendigo Bank Berowra made available assistance with printed materials, marquees and signage for our heritage walk for which we are most grateful.  Feedback from visitors to the Exhibition was most encouraging and we were surprised by the number of visitors who told us of relatives involved in the construction of the bridge.

Mr Matt Keane, Member for Hornsby reported to NSW Parliament on the 8 May 2014 of our celebrations and on the significance of the bridge construction.  You can read the Hansard report via this link. (Ref 28525)