A Community Opening of the Grong Grong Highway deviation last Saturday was arranged by the RMS in conjunction with Bob Manning, Grong Grong General Store, Narrandera Auto Club and various other locals.
As well as the local community contingent the event was attended by Rick Koschell (RMS Project Manager) and his wife Alison, Brett Martin (RMS Director Project Development South West), Cheeseng Gan (Contractor’s Project Manger) and Thomas Cameron (Engineer) as well as various other workers on the project.
Narrandera Mayor Neville Kschenka also joined in the celebrations.
The cutting of the ribbon was conducted by Ken Limbrick (still a Grong Grong man at heart) and Barb Steward (both senior members of the community) and the youngest local in attendance Isabelle Gillespie, with Grace and Amelia Gillespie holding the ribbon.
In true Grong Grong tradition a local vehicle led out the celebratory parade – Ted Obudinski’s ’63 EJ Holden which was purchased by his parents and remains in original condition.
Great support was received from the Narrandera Auto Club and Narrandera Shire Councillor Jenny Clarke and passengers took second lead in the parade.
The entertainment prize went to Gary Powell who simply couldn’t help but entertain his passenger Ken Limbrick in the Mustang.
Keith Hayward on his restored BSA 650 Lightening was another star of the show.
The event gave everyone the chance to have a chat to all the very welcoming RMS personnel who attended.
Peter Dawson (Resident Engineer – and now almost a local) and Tina Langridge (RMS Community Liaison Officer) provided a ribbon for the ribbon cutting ceremony on the day.
Mr Dawson said that approximately 30,000 tonnes of gravel was used in the project along with cut to fill earthworks totalling 85,000 cubic metres.
Damien Hyde’s “Jekyll and Hyde’s Garage” hybrid vehicle also had widespread crowd appeal.
Everyone gathered at the Grong Grong Earth Park after the parade to check out the vehicles on display before heading across to the park for a barbecues and drinks.
Thanks to Brian Gawne (head cook) and Fran and Mal from the Grong Grong General Store for their involvement on the day.
Snapped having fun in the Earth Park were Mallakye Nicholson and Gene Close – overheard in their conversation about the Earth Park was the comment from one of them, “Why doesn’t Narrandera have a park like this?”