With the park bathed in glorious sunshine, six Rotary clubs in Boroondara combined to deliver a wonderful ‘Family Fun Day’ at Yarra Bank Reserve on Sunday November 21st.. The new playground features, as its centrepiece, a unique interactive play sculpture, the ‘Sky Canoe ’ - a gift from Rotary to mark the Centenary of Rotary Down Under. It was great fun for all the family as the park sprang to life with music, magic and mayhem and the laughter of children and families at play.

What a transformation. From this......................................to this


The new playground was opened officially by the Mayor of Boroondara, Cr. Garry Thompson and District 9800 Governor Dale Hoy, accompanied by Dr. Mark Ellis AM, President RC Glenferrie, and PP Murray Anderson, RC Camberwell. Speakers highlighted the many very productive Rotary led projects in the City, including the successful Boroondara Farmers Market, Hawthorn Makers Market and Camberwell Sunday Market.

In the spirit of true collaboration, and supported with a generous District Grant from The Rotary Foundation, the design and construction of the ‘Sky Canoe’ was supervised and funded by four of Boroondara’s clubs, the Rotary clubs of Glenferrie, Camberwell, Hawthorn and Canterbury. The project was later joined by the Rotary clubs of North Balwyn and Balwyn who played key roles in helping to plan and deliver the gala opening.

The children were delighted by the incredible tricks of Tim Credible the Magician, the dancing ingenuity of Hayley Hoopla and the inspirational Bees Waggle Dance led by the remarkably talented wagglers from the Rotary Club of Canterbury. Face painter Andra Budaie's wonderful skills were in strong demand all afternoon, with every delighted young patron walking away with a unique, and truly exceptional, design.

Adults gravitated towards Pookie May's coffee van, enjoyed their coffee with a superb cake or two from The Kitchen Corner, or demolished one of the magnificent sausages in bread prepared u by the Sausage Sizzle Squad from the Rotary Club of North Balwyn. Some epicurean devotees indulged all three. Towards the end of the afternoon, the crowd was entertained with the sublime saxophone skills of King Casey, rounding off a wonderful day.

Benjamin Gilbert of ‘Agency of Sculpture’ in Yackandandah, who designed and built the ‘Sky Canoe’, explained the concept behind the sculpture. Referencing the nearby Scar Tree, testament to an ancient canoe made long ago by the Wurundjeri, and the modern-day popular sport of canoeing still enjoyed at this historic location, Benjamin explained that the more people who operate the ‘Sky Canoe’ simultaneously, the more active it becomes.

There can be no better way than that to embrace the spirit of collaboration inherent in the project.  In Benjamin’s words: "The play sculpture is meant to demonstrate that when people work together they can create something magnificent". And that just about sums up our fun day in the park. Well done Rotarians and friends. Happy 100th Birthday Rotary!