Ron Dyne honoured as Gympie ARC opens doors
AN excited crowd could be seen outside of the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre's gates this morning, snaking down to the carpark as eager swimmers jumping at the chance to use the new facilities.
Before the gates opened however, the team of politicians and employees gathered for the official opening ceremony.
Gympie council's CEO Bernard Smith hosted the event, which featured the former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, Gympie Mayor Mick Curran, State MP Tony Perrett and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien in attendance.
After the acknowledgement of the land's traditional owners by Aunty Lillian Burke, Councillor Curran's speech commemorated the work of Gympie's former mayor, the late Ron Dyne, who had been instrumental in getting the work off the ground.
"Certainly, all of this wouldn't be here without Ron's passion and dedication to the project,” he says.
"What you're looking at is the work of six or seven years of planning, but it's going to last a lifetime for the community.”
Ron is commemorated at the ARC itself, with an art installation just past the main entry gate bearing his likeness.
His wife, Lady Mayoress Dulcie Dyne was the one to cut the ribbon this morning and officially open the centre for business.
"I would also certainly like to thank Warren Truss as well, because without the support of the Federal Government and his influence this wouldn't be possible,” Councillor Curran says.
For Mr Truss, the work represents a new chapter for Gympie and culmination of years of work.
After all, he says, it's been years in the making.
"I was here when they first turned the earth over and I wont' lie to you, the land wasn't very pretty looking,” he says.
"It was dry and very hot, but to look at this now it's just fantastic.”
With these news facilities, he hopes the ARC will usher in far greater opportunities for the community and local sports.
"It's a new lease on life certainly,” he says, "Gympie has always been a strong town, and we're seeing it become a real intermediary between Brisbane and the Fraser Coast - it's very exciting.”
Not nearly as exciting as the new features at the ARC though, with the waterslide and splash park immediately becoming the new favourites, with the rush of children eager to ride again and again an all-too-common sight.
The ARC's Open Day is free to the public and will run until 6pm tonight.