Park’s history back in vogue
MORE than a century after Mary Ann Tapper first stepped foot in the Bibra Lake area, her descendants have revealed their delight over a park being re-named in her honour.
The former Currie Park on Progress Drive next to Adventure World has been re-named Mary Ann Tapper Park after the lady who bought the land in the late 1800s.
The City of Cockburn renamed the park after a push by Tapper family descendants, including Mary Ann’s 95-year-old granddaughter Elsie Gildersleeve.
For Ms Gildersleeve, whose father Daniel was Mary Ann’s youngest son, it made a recent visit to the park with family a very emotional day.
“It was a case of trying to get her there, because she’s so frail. It was her dying wish; she’ll go happily now she’s seen it at last,” her daughter Jillian Fitzgerald said.
“She’s number 12; she’s slowly seen all her brothers and sisters pass away, so it means a lot to her.”
Ms Fitzgerald said they had fought long and hard to see the park re-named.
“For a number of years, my family worked together
to put that memorial there, so you can imagine how it hit us when the park said Currie,” she said.
“This was my family’s property for many years. They raised 12 children there and the government took it over as a green belt and gradually started selling everything off.”
The Tappers were one of
Cockburn’s founding families and Mary Ann settled in Bibra Lake in the mid-1800s, with Ms Gildersleeve’s father eventually building a homestead at the now park site.
A sign was recently erected at the park, along with another sign with pictures and the history of the Tapper family.
Elsie Gildersleeve, the granddaughter of Mary Ann Tapper, at the park named in her grandmother’s honour.
Tapper family descendants at Mary Ann Tapper Park in Bibra Lake.