Cel­e­brat­ing a ma­jor mile­stone

Seymour Telegraph - - THE TELEGRAPH -

There’s a lot of con­fu­sion about the use of terquasqui­cen­ten­nial and/or sep­taquin­taquin­que­cen­ten­nial so we’ll keep it very sim­ple.

Sey­mour was, and is, the sec­ond town men­tioned in the orig­i­nal (Aus­tralian) ver­sion of the song I’ve Been Ev­ery­where.

Most im­por­tantly, this year Sey­mour – our town – is 175 years old.

And the whole com­mu­nity is in­vited to cel­e­brate one of the old­est towns in Vic­to­ria this week­end.

Sey­mour was sur­veyed in 1843 and duly named af­ter Lord Sey­mour of Som­er­set.

The first per­ma­nent set­tle­ment was in the Lions Park area and was a river cross­ing on the over­land route from Syd­ney to the Port Phillip Dis­trict of NSW, now Mel­bourne and the state of Vic­to­ria.

Com­mit­tee chair­man and Sey­mour His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety mem­ber Don Wil­son said, de­pend­ing who you talk to, Sey­mour is the old­est town in the Goul­burn Val­ley. And that is worth cel­e­brat­ing. “There was an inn and a punt here in 1838, and the first reg­is­tered birth was in 1840,” he said.

“With gold dis­cov­ered at Gray­town, Whroo, Rush­worth, and the North East­ern Gold­fields, the town grew and pros­pered.

“Be­fore Goul­burn Weir was built, Sey­mour also had river­boat trade and then the rail­ways ar­rived in town in 1872.”

Mr Wil­son said mil­i­tary his­tory be­gan in the area with the Vic­to­rian Mounted Ri­fles in the 1870s and its mil­i­tary po­ten­tial was recog­nised by Lord Kitch­ener and his visit to the Sey­mour area in 1910.

“Sey­mour was one of the largest train­ing camps in World War I,” he said.

“Later, some land was ac­quired and from there the Puck­a­pun­yal Mil­i­tary area was es­tab­lished in World War II.

“Ob­vi­ously the town has changed a lot in 175 years, and will con­tinue to adapt and change as it grows into the 21st cen­tury.”

Mr Wil­son said 175 years is a long time and it should be cel­e­brated.

“It is our town’s birth­day and it is bring­ing ev­ery­one to­gether,” he said.

“Both days there is plenty to see and do for the whole fam­ily and I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to come and cel­e­brate with us.

“We are some­times for­got­ten as we aren’t con­sid­ered a tourist town but we have plenty of his­tory dat­ing back at least 175 years.”

A street pro­ces­sion will take place on the Satur­day at 2 pm, mak­ing its way from Pi­o­neer Park down Sta­tion St, Tal­la­rook St and into Kings Park where an af­ter­noon and evening of fun and fes­tiv­i­ties will keep the whole fam­ily en­ter­tained.

There’ll be a host of static dis­plays from dif­fer­ent groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions, chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment in­clud­ing a jump­ing cas­tle and old-style games, while an open-air cin­ema is on the cards for the evening.

Sun­day is Re­mem­brance Day, and Sey­mour RSL will host a com­mem­o­ra­tion for 100 years of Ar­mistice, to be held out­side the Sey­mour Dis­trict Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal gates at 11 am.

That af­ter­noon, Aus­tralian Light Horse Memo­rial Park will be open for tours, while Sey­mour Rail­way Her­itage Cen­tre will be open all week­end.

Mr Wil­son said the cel­e­bra­tion has been a whole com­mu­nity ef­fort.

“We have rep­re­sen­ta­tives from most com­mu­nity groups ei­ther in the pa­rade or with a static dis­play,” he said.

“This in­cludes 15 past and present coun­cil­lors march­ing, with the mayor lead­ing the march.

“Our his­tory is some­thing of which we can all be proud and some­thing the com­mu­nity should be in­ter­ested in.

“There will be plenty of old uni­forms, pho­tos and dis­plays as well as food stalls.”

The fes­tiv­i­ties kick off at 2pm on Satur­day with 17 groups in­volved in the pa­rade.

WAR­TIME — The ar­rival of or­di­nance train at Kitch­ener’s Camp dur­ing World War I.

VIN­TAGE — A pas­sen­ger train pulls Sta­tion some time in the early 1900s. in at Sey­mour Rail­way

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