Hundreds celebrate Nambucca Heads Railway Station centenary

A plaque to commemorate the centenary of the Nambucca Heads Railway Station is unveiled by Nambucca Valley Mayor Rhonda Hoban OAM and Mrs Jan Richards.

THE Nambucca Heads Railway Station celebrated turning 100 years old on Sunday 3 December, a milestone celebrated in grand style due to the efforts of the Nambucca District Historical Society.

Locals arrived by the hundreds and the Historical Society spared no effort in ensuring that the centenary celebration was a memorable affair, paying homage to the railway station’s role in shaping the town’s identity.

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The Nambucca District Band and the Frank Partridge Primary School Choir ensured celebrations commenced with the appropriate fanfare and kept visitors entertained until official proceedings got underway.

Adding a special air of history to the event, some of the official guests arrived in a horse drawn buggy courtesy of Mr Jim McKenna and his horse Clancy.

Mr Peter Leonard was the Master of Ceremonies and welcomed visitors to the historic occasion before handing over to Reanna Stacey to provide the Acknowledgement of Country.

The National Anthem was performed by Heather Rose, with the Nambucca District Band providing the accompaniment.

Those in attendance heard from Mr Brad Dixon, Director North for NSW Trainlink, Member for Oxley Mr Michael Kemp and the Member for Cowper, Mr Pat Conaghan.

A local lady with a close association with the Nambucca Heads Railway Station, Mrs Bev Irvine, was also a special guest speaker.

“The importance of rail transport for industry, the rural sector and people movement in NSW cannot be overstated and as cleaner energies are introduced the future of rail in the long term is a bright one,” Mr Kemp told News Of The Area.

A special plaque to serve as a permanent reminder of the station’s centenary was officially unveiled by Nambucca Valley Mayor Rhonda Hoban OAM and a lady who has a long association with the Nambucca Heads Railway Station, Mrs Jan Richards.

The Mayor emphasised the historical significance of the occasion and relayed some personal memories of rail travel over the years that really resonated with the crowd.

Perhaps the most significantly symbolic event of the day was the arrival of the XPT.

Passengers stepped off the train in historical dress to be warmly welcomed by hundreds of people on the station’s platform.

Mrs Margret Fox, a local lady whose family has strong ties to the station and who still lives in the family home near the station, was given the honour of cutting a special centenary cake.

With these formalities over, attendees were treated to a performance by Nambucca Valley’s nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter, Graham Howle.

A driving force behind the organisation of the Nambucca Heads Railway Station centenary celebrations, Mrs Rachel Burns then thanked attendees, official guests and those individuals and organisations that had supported the day’s celebrations before officially launching a book she has written about the history of the station.

All 100 copies of the book were sold during the event.

Visitors to the centenary celebrations were able to view historical photographs of the station, visit a petting zoo, see a historical machinery display and view a large display from the Coffs Coast Railway Modellers Inc.

Food and beverages were also in ample supply with the CWA’s Nambucca Valley Evening Branch turning out the tea and scones while the Lions Club of Nambucca Heads kept the sausage sandwiches and cold drinks flowing.

Hundreds of locals and visitors turned out to be a part of this once in a lifetime historical occasion and the Nambucca District Historical Society are to be commended on the delivery of an event worthy of this historical landmark.


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