Gracemere’s new pedestrian bridge one step closer to being named

Touch of paradise bridge

The newly built 43-metre pedestrian bridge at Gracemere’s revitalised Touch of Paradise Lagoon is close to getting a name after Rockhampton Regional Council’s Parks Committee yesterday recommended that the bridge be dedicated to Don and Dianne Close.

Chair of Parks Committee, Councillor Cherie Rutherford, said Council went out to the community for ideas at the end of last year and the Closes were a popular choice.

“We know how much the residents of Gracemere are enjoying the stunning transformation at the Touch of Paradise Lagoon in Cedric Archer Park, and we wanted to make sure the community got to have their say when it came to naming the new bridge,” said Cr Rutherford.

“It was clear from the responses that Don and Dianne’s contribution to Gracemere is both recognised and hugely appreciated by residents.

“In explanations supporting the suggestion Don and Dianne were described as ‘selfless volunteers’ who have given many hours to help others without expecting anything in return. One participant said they had ‘impacted the community immensely’ and that naming the bridge after them would be a great way for the people of Gracemere to show their appreciation for all the Closes have done.

“Based on the feedback and ideas we received from people in Gracemere, Parks Committee recommended that we honour the Closes in the naming of the bridge. This recommendation will go up to our next full Council meeting for a final decision, and a discussion on what the exact name could be, on February 4.

“The naming, along with the landscaping work and seating to come, will be the icing on the cake for this revitalised beauty spot in Gracemere.”

Divisional Councillor Ellen Smith said Don and Dianne were true community champions.

“It’s hard to cover all of the fantastic things the Closes have done, but highlights include Don being Mayor of the Fitzroy Shire and Diane coordinating Gracemere Neighbourhood Watch. She was also a long serving member of Gracemere Community Voice.

“Both Don and Diane were active members of the Gracemere Croquet Club and Don continues to play and help maintain the greens since Dianne’s passing in 2017.

“Don owned a construction business and regularly donated labour and machinery hire to local schools, clubs and churches – there are many community buildings in Gracemere that the Closes helped to build and renovate! Naming the bridge after them seems a fitting way to honour their hard work and legacy.”

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