Somerset Deputy Mayor Helen Brieschke, Linville Progress president Caroline Barker, Cr Jason Wendt, Cr Cheryl Gaedtke and Cr Kylee Isidro chatted with Member for Blair Shayne Neumann and Mayor Graeme Lehmann at the entrance to the new Community Garden

November 27, 2020

The small village of Linville marked two milestones last Saturday … the 110th anniversary of the first train to arrive in town, and the official opening of a new community garden.

To celebrate, the village threw a three-day Heritage Festival that ran from Friday night through to late Sunday afternoon.

The highlight was the unveiling of Linville’s new Community Garden and a steel archway that marks its entrance.

The official opening ceremony was held at Linville Hall on Saturday afternoon and was attended by Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann, Deputy Mayor Helen Brieschke, and councillors Cheryl Gaedtke, Kylee Isidro and Jason Wendt.

Other guests included Member for Blair Shayne Neumann and several of the Festival’s sponsors as well as Linville residents and visitors.

The ceremony was organised by Linville Progress, the community group which operates the hall.

Linville Progress president Caroline Barker AM said both the Community Garden and the Heritage Festival had come about because of grassroots action.

The organisation’s new executive had held a community meeting in March to call for ideas to help grow the town.

The get-together came up with half a dozen projects community members wanted to implement over the next three years.

The Heritage Festival was the first milestone in the group’s ambitious plans.

Caroline said while the Community Garden was largely a bare plot of earth at the moment, volunteers have already spent hundreds of hours working on it.

This included laying a deco walking trail; building a footbridge across a drainage culvert; signposting the different sections; and crafting an impressive steel entrance sculpture that was unveiled on the day.

She said that in a year or two, the Community Garden would provide a fresh food resource for the village as well as a place where locals could retreat and relax.

Linville Progress now has plans for a Farmers Market based around the gardens which they hope to start early next year.

Caroline thanked Somerset Regional Council for an RADF grant which had allowed the entrance sculpture to be built and their approval for the use of the hall’s grounds for the garden; designer Merton Chambers and blacksmith Kim Duff who built the entrance sculpture; and 10 Somerset businesses which each contributed $500 to help buy garden materials and stage the festival.

Mayor Lehmann congratulated Linville Progress and its Club 500 sponsors.

“This project is visionary and quite an achievement by all involved,” he said.

“I (can) imagine standing in this very spot in 20 years’ time and I see birds and bees and plenty of community activity.”

“It is projects like these that make you so proud to be part of the Somerset community.”

Other attractions over the weekend included a photographic exhibition at Moore’s Old Church Gallery, a concert by the Camerata chamber orchestra, Farmers Plate lunches, a pancake breakfast and live music.

There were also old-fashioned pies, pasties, spuds and milkshakes from the Linville Store and two free outdoor evening slideshows covering the history of Linville and its surrounding area.

Blackbutt’s Morgan Gersekowski and Madeline Beutel travelled down the mountain on Saturday to enjoy some relaxing country hospitality at the Linville Hotel during the inaugural Linville Heritage Festival
Old Church Gallery owner Deborah Johnston-Booker was busy all weekend hosting a photographic exhibition about the former Linville Picnic Races and offering Farmers Plate Lunches to Heritage Festival visitors
The Linville Picnic Races ran until the early 1990s and – at their peak – used to draw up to 1000 people to the small village of Linville, which is usually home to just 160 people
Hundreds of day-trippers visited Linville during the course of the weekend, and about a dozen caravanners stayed over
Somerset Deputy Mayor Helen Brieschke, Mayor Graeme Lehmann and Club 500 sponsor Leanne Tinney, from L.J. Hooker Esk-Toogoolawah, admired the new Linville Community Garden entrance sculpture before the official opening ceremony … while the gardens are largely empty at the moment, Linville Progress hopes to make them lush and productive over the coming year
Linville Progress president Caroline Barker AM opened the official proceedings and explained the background of the Community Garden and Heritage Festival …
… and was followed by Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann, who congratulated everyone involved and declared the gardens officially open
Afterwards, guests enjoyed an afternoon tea prepared by Linville Progress volunteers John Torralba and Belinda Bowie
Darcy Isidro, from Vortex Refrigeration, was one of the Club 500 sponsors who helped make the Community Garden and Heritage Festival possible
Blacksmith Kim Duff and designer Merton Chambers were thanked for the hard work they had put into creating the steel entrance sculpture … the support poles have been cleverly designed to look as though they are made of wood

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Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

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