All Castlecrag residents will have noted the refurbishment work being undertaken by Council on the Griffin Memorial Fountain at the intersection of Sortie Port and Edinburgh Road. The island has been landscaped, the bowl has been repaired, the pump and jets have been refurbished and new lights will shortly be fitted. Willoughby City Council undertook this work in close consultation with the NSW Heritage Office under its maintenance budget.
Bob McKillop and Cr Trevor Morgan reported this good news at the Progress Association General Meeting on 28 February. As the refurbishment does not entail a modern water treatment facility, the operation of the fountain will require regular checking and cleaning of the fountain by local residents. To this end, the Progress Association has formed a ‘Friends of the Fountain Group’, which will inspect and clean the fountain on a roster basis using a kit supplied by Council. A number of residents have already nominated for the Group, but additional support is welcome. Please contact the Progress Association Secretary at 6/77 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag or phone 9958 5384.
With the formation of the Friends Group, Council will have the fountain operating again in the next few weeks. Council will continue its efforts to obtain additional resources to upgrade the fountain over the longer term.
Progress Association President John Steel has congratulated Council for its achievement in refurbishing the fountain to operating condition and expressed his appreciation of the efforts by Councillors Morgan and Cox in gaining this positive outcome. He said:
“The Griffin Memorial Fountain was constructed in 1965 as a result of a community fund-raising effort to mark the Centenary of Willoughby Municipal Council. The magnificent water sculpture by Bim Hilder was created as a memorial to the creator of our suburb, Walter Burley Griffin. Local residents also helped with the construction. The Mayor, Alderman Laurie McGinty, unveiled the fountain on Centenary Day, 23 October 1965, to the great pleasure of the many residents who attended. It continued to be a feature of the suburb until recent years and has been listed as a heritage item of State and Regional significance by Willoughby Council. The Progress Association has made its restoration a priority project for the community and the funds raised through the Castlecrag Community Fairs have been set-aside for this purpose. The Progress Association will continue to liaise with Council for the long-term conservation of this local icon.”