August 13, 2021
South Burnett Regional Council will name a small park in Proston in honour of one of the town’s former doctors, who planted its trees 85 years ago.
At Wednesday’s Communities Standing Committee meeting, Councillors voted to officially name a small block of land at the corner of Okeden and Wondai-Proston roads as Rundle Park.
The name honours Dr Reeve Palmerston Rundle, a highly respected GP who worked in the Proston district in the 1930s.
Dr Rundle was the first superintendent of the now-defunct Boondooma Private Hospital, which was built in 1934 on land he owned in Proston.
In 1935 – in conjunction with the Proston Chamber Of Commerce – Dr Rundle asked the former Wondai Shire Council to reserve a triangular block of land at the corner of Okeden Road for a garden park.
He proposed that if the Council did this and prepared the surface, he would plant trees in the park at his own cost – the grove of silky oaks that still remain in the park today.
Dr Rundle was something of a mover and shaker during his time in Proston.
Apart from being active in the Chamber of Commerce and the RSL, he was a driving force behind the formation of the Proston Golf Club.
He also subdivided land on the northern side of Wondai Road into residential blocks, which allowed the town to expand.
In later years, Dr Rundle moved to north Queensland and was instrumental in establishing the Townsville and District University Society in 1958, acting as its first chairman.
The society established a university college in 1961 which later became James Cook University in 1970.
Recently, the South Burnett Regional Council began removing trees in Rundle Park due to concerns that some were diseased and could pose a risk to park users.
This led to a public meeting in early July where Council’s parks and gardens staff agreed to reassess the trees.
They also agreed to call a second meeting once the assessment was complete to plan the park’s future.
The motion to rename the park as Rundle Park was moved by Cr Kathy Duff, seconded by Cr Danita Potter, and passed unanimously.
A sign carrying the new name is expected to be placed in the park in the next few months.