Sitting under pink-bloomed crepe myrtle trees, watching the rippling blue waters and official opening ceremony of the newly-renovated Canowindra Pool, it wasn’t difficult last Sunday to imagine what wonderful leisure and recreational boon the facility is going to be in coming summers.
The opening attracted a large crowd of Canowindra community supporters and shire dignitaries who listened from the shade of the trees to speeches by Cabonne’s Mayor Ian Gosper, Beaucoup Aquatics development manager Michael Hoy and Charlie McCarron, the community doyen whose uncle opened the original pool 60 years ago.
It was thus perfectly fitting that Charlie should perform the ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday.
In his speech, Ian Gosper paid tribute to fellow-councillors Anthony Durkin and Kevin Walker, along with the former mayor Bob Dowling, who made the new pool possible by funding it from council reserves rather than relying on government grants.
Charlie McCarron told the gathering how his uncle Charles “started lobbying for a swimming pool in Canowindra in 1934” when he was chairman of the Shires Association.
It took another 20 years before the original 33-yard swimming pool and toddlers pool were built and opened in 1954.
“The wheels of council turned slowly but they needed to be oiled very often,” Charlie observed.
“The council’s lack of urgency annoyed Charlie so he took on the role of organising cement supplies and other necessary parts to build the pool.”
Charles McCarron not only got a pool dedicated to his name but also an OBE awarded by the Queen in 1961 for his services to local government.
And thanks to his legacy we’ve now got “a 25-metre lap pool, new program pool, children’s water playground as well as solar heating, new club room and plant rooms, new shade sails and state of the art pump and filtration technology.”
By Derek Maitland