WILLAGEE’S newest park is just a tick or two away from being named Carawatha.
Work is well underway in turning the former primary school site into a park and mixed use development, and in just under a fortnight Melville city council is expected to adopt the old school’s name for the green space.
It will then be advertised for at least 14 days before being sent to WA’s geographic names committee for final endorsement.
A quick council survey of locals has already found strong support for the old school’s name, which is Noongar for “place of pines”.
One local who’s been watching the transformation is happy to see the green space, but was mortified to see contractors felling two of the site’s biggest gum trees, even though they’ve been recycled into furniture and landscaping features.
Names also up for consideration are: Phillip Utting, the school’s first headmaster; Waitj, Noongar for a mob of emus which makes reference to an important Dreamtime story about the area; and Archibald, because it’s on Archibald Street.
Red Ochre Park was also in the mix to reflect the natural pigment’s abundance around the lakes. It was known as wilgee by Noongars and was considered so precious it was traded to places as far away as Queensland.
by STEVE GRANT