One of the most significant community walkway projects in the coast’s history started today with the laying of a plaque in the Oceanway at Coolangatta.
This year is the jubilee celebration year for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who visited Coolangatta in 1963 as part of her Australian tour. She is now the longest serving British monarch.
The plaque, laid by Mayor Tom Tate and Cr Gail O’Neill, is one of 70 bronze markers to be installed from Queen Elizabeth II Park at Coolangatta, north to Philip Park at The Spit. That park was named in honour of her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1983.
“We love our history on the coast and today we are creating a little more,” said Mayor Tom Tate.
“The total distance is 30km so a bronze marker will be visible, on average, around every 500m. We will also install interactive signage at 20 locations along the route to give walkers more detail of the features that are visible at these interpretive signs.”
Mayor Tate said the installation would take around six weeks.
“The UK celebrations for Her Majesty are in early June so we will be finished in time for that commemoration,” said Mayor Tate.
Each marker weighs 4.7kg and will act as a storyboard for historic events.
The marker installed today reflected on the time Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the Gold Coast as part of their 1963 royal tour. Before their arrival, the then Coolangatta Chamber of Commerce suggested the foreshore between McLean and McDonald streets be named after Her Majesty. The proposal was adopted by Council and it was named Queen Elizabeth Park II.
Cr O’Neill said Coolangatta has a rich history.
“We share so much of our history with our northern NSW neighbours,” she said.
“It’s great to see this oceanway project start here and extend north.”
Other markers will feature interactive signage with facts about Her Majesty’s Coronation as well as other local ‘stories’.
Mayor Tate said a memorial sculpture will be installed at Philip Park to honour Prince Philip.
“We are still finalising designs for this feature and the final installation will occur over the next 12 months.”
The walkway project is expected to cost $50,000