Cutting the ribbon at the opening of the North Head Sanctuary Visitor Centre, 21 May 2015
L-R: The Hon Bob Baldwin, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Mrs Nan Whitelaw (widow of Major General John Whitelaw), Councillor Jean Hay, AM, Mayor of Manly and Acting Chair of the Harbour Trust
Credit: Ian Evans
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Bob Baldwin, today opened the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust’s new Visitor Centre at Manly and said the new centre was a culmination of the Harbour Trust’s dedicated work over the last few years to revitalise the unique and spectacularly beautiful site.
“Since taking over the management of North Head Sanctuary in 2001, the Harbour Trust has worked closely with the community to preserve its heritage, interpret its history and make it a great place for everyone to visit,” Mr Baldwin said.
“New and upgraded walking tracks recently constructed by the Harbour Trust complete the final link in the recreational path network at North Head by providing new connections between Shelly Beach, Fairfax Lookout and the Quarantine Station. New cycling paths have also been built and new wayfinding signage has been installed which makes it easier for people to explore the site and discover its many attractions.
Opening of the North Head Sanctuary Visitor Centre, 21 May 2015
L-R: The Hon Bob Baldwin, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Councillor Jean Hay, AM, Mayor of Manly and Acting Chair of the Harbour Trust, Major-General Tim Ford (Rtd) Chairman of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company, Geoff Bailey, Executive Director, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Credit: Ian Evans
“This new Visitor Centre will now become the focal point for visitors to North Head Sanctuary. Its maps and interpretation panels offer an overview of the site’s history and free information brochures are available for the public. It will also become the meeting point for the Harbour Trust’s popular weekly North Fort tours.”
Mr Baldwin also opened the new Defence of Sydney historic artillery display and the new library and archives of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company (RAAHC).
Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Executive Director Geoff Bailey said the Harbour Trust’s partnership with RAAHC had been essential in preserving and understanding North Head Sanctuary’s military legacy as one of Australia’s most heavily fortified sites 2 during World War II and then as the home of the Army School of Artillery from 1946-1998.
“The new Defence of Sydney artillery display charts the evolution of the guns used in Sydney Harbour’s defences between 1788 and 1945. All of the guns in the display were restored by Harbour Trust and RAAHC volunteers. It will be open to the public as part of the Harbour Trust’s weekly North Fort tours,” Mr Bailey said.
“The RAAHC’s new library and archives will be housed in a new purpose-built facility constructed by the Harbour Trust. This priceless historical resource will be staying at this site to serve as a useful resource for everyone interested in the important role of artillery in Australia’s military history.”