Lenswood 100

October 05th, 2017
Lenswood 100
This October marks 100 years since the establishment of Lenswood and to celebrate the milestone the town will host a community picnic for all to enjoy.

The centennial picnic will feature something for everyone.

“There will be music, extensive historical displays by the local history group, face painting for kids and food stalls or the opportunity to bring your own picnic,” Chairperson of the Lenswood and Forest Range Community Association Susie Green said.

“We’ll also have Lenny the centipede for the kids to have a try in – he’s like one of those Chinese new year dragons.”

Lenny measures 100 metres long and in keeping with the 100 theme, there will also be 100 beach balls strewn about for people to play with.

For Lenswood residents, past and present, the picnic will be a fun and interactive day encouraging community togetherness.

“It will give people the chance to catch up with old friends and build new connections in the community,” Susie said.

“We welcome anyone associated with the community to come along and celebrate the beautiful place that is Lenswood and what makes it so special.”

“It’s also a great opportunity to reflect on the history of the community.”

That history will be reflected in many forms on the day, perhaps most prominently in the form of the local history group’s displays.

“There will be a static display with lots of old photographs and the stories behind them, as well as things like old tractors and vehicles,” Susie said.

The picnic has been a collaborative effort, with a team of willing volunteers taking up planning and organising duties.

The Lenswood Primary School is also doing their part with a choir and band performing on the day.
“The school has been getting really involved in the centenary celebrations,” Susie said.

“Recently they also presented a play written around the town centenary, with a 100 year old man reflecting on his life in Lenswood.”

The 100 year milestone Lenswood is celebrating comes later than many other towns in the area.
“It’s an interesting milestone actually because Lenswood is relatively new in comparison to other areas in the district,” Susie said.

“The community is marking this anniversary with a great deal of pride.”

Susie said it was important that the community’s pride be appropriately celebrated with an event.

“There was a lot of discussion around what would be a suitable event and the common theme that kept coming up was something that would bring the community together,” she said.

“We wanted to create a sense of our community and an opportunity for people who had past associations with the town to come back.

“We decided a picnic lent itself to that and would provide a great atmosphere.”

Susie has lived in Lenswood for 23 years yet she isn’t the only long-time resident in the town.
“We have a number of families that have lived in Lenswood for a very long time,” she said.

One of those locals is Cam Stafford who has lived in Lenswood for all of his life. Cam’s family have been in the district since the 1800s and he fondly recalls his childhood in the town.

“Growing up in Lenswood, like most country places, children used to walk home from school and oh, the things we used to get up to,” Cam said. “We lived a very healthy existence and it’s still a good place to raise children.

“There’s a gentle ambiance to the place and peacefulness that appeals to a lot of people.”

Over the years Cam has been involved with the community through the CFS and Lenswood Cold Stores.

“It is a strong community focused place with lots of organisations and activities,” Cam said. “There are a lot of new people in the town making very significant contributions.”

Cam’s wife teaches at the Lenswood Primary School and is now teaching grandchildren of children she once taught.

He said that Lenswood is increasingly becoming a popular place to visit.

“I know that people like to take drives in our district to admire the blossoms,” Cam said.

“Some might say if you blink, you’ll miss it but that is not the case at all. There is more happening than meets the eye.

“I take people on tours around the place sometimes. The history group have been able to bring some of the old stories to light and tell where we’ve come from.”

Cam is looking forward to the community picnic and seeing many old and new faces.

“I think the celebration will be a great coming together of people. Quite a few people have moved on but they might come back for this.

Like Cam, the Coulter family have a long history of living in Lenswood with the current generation being the seventh to call the town home.

“To be honest I didn’t realise the family name had been around Lenswood so long - I’ve been told we first settled here in the 1860s,” Kris Coulter said.

“I’m only just starting to learn about my family tree, thanks to everyone’s work. I’ve never thought too much about our past but now some has been brought to light, I am proud of us.”

Kris and his wife Mel live in Lenswood with their four boys.

“I have always felt at home here, it’s just a beautiful place to live, work and play,” Kris said.

Of course the Coulter family will be attending the community picnic, with the kids having the top honour.

“Like all good birthdays there will be cake and the Coulter kids will be the ones to cut it,” Susie said.

The Lenswood community picnic will be held at the Lenswood Recreation Park, Swamp Road, Lenswood, on Sunday, October 15, 11am-5pm.

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