Official opening for Richardson and Sidings Park

Impressive was the word Peter Richardson used to describe the city’s new green space named in honour of his family, in particular his late grandfather Robert Richardson.

Wodonga Mayor Cr Anna Speedie will be joined by Senator Jane Hume and members of the Richardson family today (Thursday, March 28) to officially open Richardson Park as well as Sidings Park.

There will be a short tour with dignitaries of the parks at 10.50am before official proceedings begin at 11am.

Richardson Park opened to the public just before Christmas.

Robert Richardson was a past Wodonga Shire councillor who strongly supported the building of new municipal stockyards in Wodonga and had a long history of serving the community and operating a cattle business.

Robert was elected as a Wodonga Shire Councillor in 1925 and held office for 22 years.

He was president for five terms and during his time on council he strongly supported the building of new municipal stockyards in Wodonga. He undertook the drawing up of plans and supervised the construction of the market which was opened in 1935.

Robert was a foundation member of the Wodonga Show Society in 1947, and was president for thirteen years. He was also a member or the Albury Show Society. It should be noted that he was a very capable judge of cattle and horses and judged at many local shows as well as Sydney.

Robert was also a life member and former president of the Wodonga Turf Club, a Wodonga District Hospital Life Governor, a member of the Wodonga Rural Fire Brigade and captain during the 1952 fires. He was captain of the Wodonga football team that won a grand final in 1909 and captain of the Wodonga Cricket Club.

The Richardson family are excited to be at today's official opening.

Peter (pictured with son Andrew and grandsons Daniel and Jack) said the design of the replacement Richardson Park within Junction Square was well thought out, with the park sign and railway sleeper wall incorporating the heritage values of his family.

The park was a project which the council delivered on behalf of Station 73 (Central Place) and Development Victoria with funding from the National Stronger Regions Fund and Development Victoria.

The space includes a decorative water tank and stand, reminiscent of the tanks used to fill the steam trains at the former railway site and has been designed in conjunction with Development Victoria.

An interactive sculpture by Xavier Pinard, whose works feature across the region, consisting of a horse and climbing bars like a set of cow’s horns symbolising a herd of cattle.

A reference to the Wodonga saleyards which was situated in the area, the pieces of the work titled Droving offer various climbing, tunnelling and cubby spaces for imaginary play and complement the water play which moves through the site.

There is parking in and around the precinct including new parking off South and Smythe streets in Aurora Way.