Today’s guest blog post by Paul Atroshenko.

I discovered the joys of Centennial Park way back in the 1950s, not long after I had arrived in Sydney from my birthplace, Hong Kong. I was a student then at the National Arts School in the old Gaol in Darlinghurst.

The first time I saw the park it was not in pristine condition. Most of the park was covered in grass which seemed to be 6 foot tall. There were rumours that a wild man was dwelling in one of the islands, and living off the ducks he had caught and cooked!

At that time, most of our Anglo-Celtic Aussie friends enjoyed their barbecues in their own backyards, and Centennial Park had relatively few visitors. I think it was the migrants who first began coming to the park regularly, perhaps because they didn’t have backyards of their own yet. Or perhaps it was the Italian and Greek habit of meeting and strolling in public places.

Bit by bit, Centennial Park was cleaned up and it gradually took on the glorious condition which we enjoy so much today.

My Aussie father-in-law once told me that he had taken part in a campaign to preserve the park from official destruction. Apparently, after the War, there had been a serious proposal to get rid of Centennial Park entirely and to build homes on the site for war veterans.

Thankfully, the veterans did get their new homes, built elsewhere, and WE still have our magnificent park today.

 


 

Paul recently put together a great self-produced video guide to walking in Centennial Park.

 

 

And here is a few more of Paul’s photos in Centennial Park:

 

Pond island - by Paul Atroshenko

Pond island – by Paul Atroshenko

 

Swamp Trees - by Paul Atroshenko

Swamp Trees – by Paul Atroshenko

 

Bird In Tree - by Paul Atroshenko

Bird In Tree – by Paul Atroshenko

 

______

Paul Atroshenko is an artist who lives and works in Sydney. His website www.atroshenko.com provides all of his latest and best works, while his biography and family history can be found in detail here.

 

Similar Articles

  • Moore Park’s ANZAC Obelisk included in national Centenary Project

    In 2017, the 100 year old ANZAC Obelisk was refurbished and reinstated to its permanent home in Moore Park East. The Obelisk is an important reminder of the Great War and honours the departure of soldiers from the nearby barracks in Kensington. Now, the historic monument will be included in the national Centenary Projects.

  • A history of bicycle riding in Australia

    In celebration of the Share the Park campaign that launched last week, we decided to do some digging into our historical records and learn more about the history of cycling in Australia. As an efficient, healthy and environmentally-friendly alternative to travel, more and more people are turning to cycling as a primary method of transport.

  • Celebrating Charles Dickens at Centennial Park for his 206th Birthday

    Did you know that on 7 February every year a small celebration is held in Centennial Park to celebrate Charles Dickens? This year, there is more to celebrate with the announcement that Sydney will play host to over hundred Dickensians and bibliophiles. After winning the coveted bid to hold the International Dickens Fellowship Conference, now […]