EUROBODALLA Shire Council on Saturday hosted a big celebration to say thank you to the volunteers for their amazing work helping to build the Narooma-Kianga-Dalmeny shared pathway.
The day started with a fun bike ride from the Dalmeny shops to Kianga Beach where a tribute stone dedicated to volunteers now stands.
The children were invited to decorate their bikes and about 50 riders were flagged off by Member for Bega Andrew Constance.
More than 100 people gathered for the unveiling of the tribute stone at Kianga Beach.
The idea of the shared pathway goes all the way back to 1988 with the initial idea for just widening the shoulders on the existing road.
But then in 2005, the then mayor Neil Mumme held a public meeting to discuss a purpose-built shared pathway that would run by itself on the foreshore separate to the road.
Construction started the following year with concreting and form working volunteers working with the assistance of council starting to build the pathway at Kianga and then at the Dalmeny shops.
Seven years later after all the hard work and money raising the final section of pathway was finally completed at Kianga.
Several State and Federal grants were applied for and the community also raised thousands of dollars, while council also regularly contributed.
Council infrastructure director Warren Sharpe said community donations exceeded $150,000 toward the total cost of $1.25million, while State Government grants totalled $350,000, Federal grants totalled $259,000, with the remainder coming from council.
Typical of the volunteers and their helpers were elderly couple Alex and Diedre Smith, who were always at the morning teas and enjoyed talking to the volunteers and supplied scones every week.
Unfortunately Deidre Smith passed away just three weeks ago, but she did make the last working day of the path.
Alex has gone to Melbourne to live with one of their sons, and will come back for a visit when well enough to travel.
Pathway supporter Gail Knight said the pathway meant a lot to them and was a big part of their life, and they were looking forward to the celebration.
Their son Steve from Canberra was able to attend Saturday’s ceremony.
“A lot of the community miss not seeing them walking everyday as they did somewhere on the path, not many people knew their names but always said hello,” Gail said.
Pathway fundraising committee president John Gibson meanwhile wrote a nice letter that features in today’s letters section.
“This professionally constructed pathway was built by local volunteers, ably supported by the morning tea ladies on site over a period of several years,” John wrote.
“This asset will benefit not only members of our community, young and old for years to come but will be a drawcard for visitors to our region, with resulting commercial benefits.
“Such a project appeared daunting when first proposed several years ago. “It owes its successful completion not only to sustained local financial support and willing work volunteers; much credit must go to the fundraising committee who worked tirelessly over such a long period to achieve this desired result.”