The Unofficial Official Opening and 1st birthday celebrations

Happy faces of Patron Greg Aplin and ideas man Owen Fitzgerald

We are happy to report our long awaited Family Fun Day and 1st birthday celebrations of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail actually went ahead as planned on Saturday 10 April 2021.

As you know it was our third attempt at running an opening celebration, each previous one thwarted by Covid restrictions. Last year on 3 April 2020 we ‘virtually’ opened the first rail trail on government owned land with pre-recorded videos and footage on Facebook.

This year though it was able to go ahead with a crowd and we had a very full schedule of fun events along the rail trail 🙂

Letter to the Editor of the local paper from the organisers:

To the Editor

On behalf of the hard-working Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail volunteer committee we would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone for their involvement and support, for making the Family Fun Day and first birthday celebrations on 10 April 2021, such a successful day.  This event was organised and run by volunteers, with the assistance of Karly Fynn from Turnstyle Events, partly funded by the Dunn’s Road Fire Recovery Grant and our sponsors.

It’s been a long time coming and our third attempt at an opening, but we did it!

Thanks to our dedicated team of volunteer helpers – Cathy and Owen Fitzgerald, Debbie and Grant Harris, Tony and Susie a’Beckett, Ros and Bob Gay, Ron and Cath Frew, Noelene Haslett,  Jackie Lauder, Karen Doyle, Judy Szymoniczek, MaryAnne Marshall, Bernadette and Bruce Alleyn, Emma Ernst, Serena Matto, Jenny Murfett, Julie Giddings, Julia Ham – with the amazing sponsorship from many local businesses, we are thrilled to have celebrated the first birthday and a belated opening event in such a fun way. We would also like to acknowledge the Tumbarumba SVC staff for their support of the event.

All the events along the rail trail were well received and enjoyed by all ages. It worked out just as we had planned it, maybe apart from the coolish weather!

Thanks to Serena at the Rosewood General Store for her efforts in arranging the band in the park, the jumping castle, face painting, the Rosewood School P&C stall raising funds for the local school and for having food available all day!

Jenny at Gone Barny had a great market setup with music, Vin Bar and food and drinks available all day – so many cars and people there all day, Rosewood was really jumping all afternoon!

The free displays of old bikes and train memorabilia at Rosewood were also very popular. Thanks to Karen Doyle and Judy Szymoniczek for organising these displays and liaising with Serena and Jenny.

At Glenroy Hills Road, Kearsley’s was popular with the petting zoo and animal demonstrations, with hot drinks and food available to ward of the chilly temperatures. Thanks to Lauren for her setup, it was a much-appreciated break along the trail.

We had deliberately planned for Glenroy station to have activities for the young ones and those young at heart, with puppet shows, face painting, a photo booth, ice creams, warm waffles and coffee van, plus the stunt bike rider on the smallest bike imaginable. It was a great place to stop with the kids.

One of the highlights of the day were the two Cycling Without Age trikes which took 31 senior citizens for rides along parts of the trail all day, thanks to Woden Rotary and Pedal Power Canberra for loaning us these two trikes.  It really put the ‘family’ into the Family Fun Day when all ages were catered for in this way.  The stories and smiles from the seniors were pure joy to see. The pilots, Jeff Ibbotson from Canberra and locals Grant Harris and Rob Golgini, enjoyed their ride almost as much as their passengers did and they had smiles from ear to ear at the end of a big day of riding! Thanks to Christine Cameron, Amanda Lewis, Garry McClelland and the community transport bus drivers for helping on the day to make it happen.

The ‘Unofficial Official Opening’ at Figures St was a great sight for the committee, the crowds, the families, the visitors, the locals, the politicians, everyone enjoying the fact that our rail trail is the newest rail trail in NSW and is doing so well, with positive feedback from all areas.

We had great speeches from our Patron Greg Aplin, MP Justin Clancy, Mayor James Hayes, Owen Fitzgerald, Alistair Ferguson CEO of Bicycle NSW, Damian McCrohan President of Rail Trails Australia and all were ably led by Councillor Julia Ham as MC. Owen and Greg proudly cut the ribbon stretched across the railway gates and declared the rail trail open – finally!

Our very own Pipes and Drums Band made the ceremony even more special, as when the train station opened all those years ago in Tumbarumba, the Pipe Band played then too!

The winners of the colouring in and decorated bike competitions were announced with some great entries and prize money won. Luke Sweeney took out the first prize in the high school category in the decorated bikes with a red train, numbered 2653, attached to his bike, with Charlie Southwell winning with his decorated balance bike, and siblings Patricia Marriott winning the pre-school section and Max Marriott winning the Primary school section. Congratulations to all those who participated. 

Several displays were set up from Rail Trails Australia, Bicycle NSW, SVC and Ride Tumba. Lots of giveaways and information were given out on the day. Several penny farthings were a welcome mobile exhibit along the trail, plus tandems, baby trailers, tag-alongs, motorised wheelchairs, scooters, recumbents and walkers. Thanks to members of the Historical Society for helping out at the Wagga road crossing and to Rotary for their help as parking attendants.

Our birthday cupcakes went down a treat, together with Rotary and Lions cooking egg and bacon rolls for an early breakfast.  Our free slap bands were well received, and the Scavenger Hunt will be fun for those undertaking the trail in the future.  These are available at the Visitor Info centre, Ride Tumba, Bikes and Blooms, Gone Barny and Rosewood General Store.

The addition of two free shuttles buses from Goodes Coaches, with bike trailers, were welcomed by many as they battled the cool temperatures and allowed everyone to enjoy the day without wearing themselves out, particularly those with kids riding. Our official photographer was Peter McDade.

All in all, we are happy with the celebrations and thank everyone again, for their unwavering support.

Regards.

Debbie and Cathy

You may also be interested in this video from the local news!

We are thrilled to have finally had an ‘opening celebration’ and will now continue to promote our rail trail far and wide!

Rail Trail Committee

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