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Happy birthday, as Maribyrnong hits ton

GRAND plans are under way for a celebration on the banks of the Maribyrnong River, and they have been 100 years in the making.

March 19 next year will mark 100 years since Colonel John Evans, a member of the Essendon River League, won in his quest to have the name Saltwater River changed back to Maribyrnong. The league was established to protect and enhance the health and status of the river.

Mr Evans wanted the name of the estuarine river that flows through Melbourne’s west to take the name Maribyrnong, given to it by the local Wurundjeri people.

One hundred years on, an organisation called Rivcel has formed with the purpose of having this momentous occasion celebrated.

Essendon Historical Society members Eve Park and Elaine Brogan have teamed up with river historian and river tour guide operator Peter Somerville to spearhead Rivcel.

Mrs Brogan said local schools, community and service groups would all be involved in activities planned for Sunday, March 17, to celebrate the occasion.

“History should be fun and we are trying to make this occasion really something that people can enjoy and learn a bit about the river.

“We will have all the clubs that are based along the river taking part, a tree planting ceremony, a historical walk, and the special guest of honour will be Frank Evans, who is the grandson of John. We really hope we have lots of people down at the river that day.”

A photographic competition will soon be launched for Rivcel, with junior and senior photographers asked to submit their favourite original photograph related to the Maribyrnong.

Anyone interested in getting involved with planning and organising events in March can phone 9338 7713.

Source: Moonee Valley Weekly

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