Congratulation to the members  the Rotary Club of Kurrajong North Richmond who worked  about two weeks ago to demolish and remove the old Rotary sign on Rotary Lookout Bellbird Hill Reserve Kurrajong Heights and to assist Brad and Melinda from Outback Signs to install the new sign. Plans were underway for a while to replace the old sign with a new sign to commemorate the Centenary of Rotary in Australia. Past President Mary Kinnon was able to eventually secure approval from Hawkesbury City Council on 30 July to allow for the works to proceed. The new sign was designed by inhouse Graphic Artist, Daniel Berrell and a quote for the sign was approved by the board which enabled the works to proceed without delay.
History of the Rotary Lookout at Bellbird Hill Reserve
Until White settlement, this area of the Hawkesbury was inhabited by the Dharug Aboriginal people. The site here, including the Lookout and Reserve, as it is now known, was part of the land granted on 18 October 1839 to Mr Joseph Douglass [ 1792-1865], the earliest settler in the Kurrajong Heights area. Until the 1960s the site was mainly forested, dominated by Red Gum [ Angophora Costata] and attracted colonies of the Bellbirds [ Manoria melanophrys] and its enchanting ambience encouraged many visitors from the city to picnic, enjoy the day out in the beautiful location, and appreciate the sweeping views.
In the 1960’s the forest was tree-felled with the intention of creating a sub- division. Tom Uren, the Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Federal Government in 1974 moved to provide funding for the Council of the Shire of Colo to purchase
the land to be regenerated and maintained as a park and reserve and to be kept as such in perpetuity. On 16 march 1976 the Colo Shire President, Councillor Bruce Brown began moves to purchase the property and on 29 May 1976 the Shire of Colo resolved to purchase this land.
On 25 November 1976 the Registrar General of NSW signed approval for the “Memorandum of Transfer” under the Real Estate Act, 1900 to the sum of $98,000. The Rotary Club of Kurrajong played a significant part in developing facilities at the Lookout, and the reserve was officially opened on 7 June 1980 by the local Federal Member, Mr Alan Cadman.
It is significant that, at a time when the environment was not valued as much as it is today, an initiative by the federal Government to provide funding for this preservation could take place as it did here.
Record signed by Barry Lester