Regular commenter Adam linked me to the Facebook version of his letter to the editor on Mount Gambier City Council’s unimaginative decision to officially name the main corner development “Main Corner”.
Adam liked one councillor’s suggestion to call it the “Woo Cultural and Civic Complex” instead, apparently in recognition of Aboriginal heritage.
He went on to say:
At the very least I think we can all agree that something has gone awry in the naming process of the main corner redevelopment.
Given the creative dearth of our councillors, an alternate process must be devised for naming future community projects.
Pulling names out of a hat, or outsourcing the task to local primary schools, would seem to be promising alternatives.
I agree with Adam that an alternative naming process should be employed for major civic constructions.
I mentioned previously that Mount Gambier Council was also unimaginative in its approach to street names.
In the case of the main corner, a shortlist of a dozen possible names should have been compiled and advertised for public comment.
Personally, I’d like to see underrated historical figures given recognition via street names and civic buildings.
Mount Gambier isn’t renowned for acknowledging its famous sons and daughters.
Sir Robert Helpmann only belatedly received the acclaim he deserved. Max Harris’ connection to Mount Gambier is largely forgotten (he was raised there).
Those who moved to Victoria have slipped even further off the historical radar.
Former Victorian Chief Justice Sir Frederick Mann spent the first 18 years of his life in Mount Gambier before moving to Melbourne. He also served as Lieutenant Governor of Victoria.
Early Labor activist Jean Daley was also born in Mount Gambier.
In 1916 she was a delegate to the Trades Hall Council for the Hotel and Caterers’ Union and was one of the earliest members of the Militant Propaganda League. She was also an executive member of the Victorian Socialist Party in 1916-17 and of its women’s section, the Women’s Socialist League.
I’m not suggesting the main corner should necessarily be named after Sir Frederick or Ms Daley, but they should be recognised in some way.
I would call the main corner “Kanawinka”.
Kanawinka is the name of the geological fault that stretches from outside Portland to near Keith.
It is also the determining factor in the depth and flow patterns of the underground waters, which are the lifeblood of the whole area, and it was once the cliff that the inland sea beat against in ancient geological times when the region was underwater and its limestone bed was laid down.
In the Aboriginal language it means “tomorrow”.