FREMANTLE council has officially kicked off the process to rename Kings Square.
At Wednesday’s monthly meeting the council endorsed a public consultation process to gather potential alternatives and test out those suggested by its reconciliation working group, including Midgegooroo Place.
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt revealed this week the reconciliation group wasn’t unanimously supportive of Midgegooroo, with some members preferring Manjaree or Walyalup.
But he said Fremantle Society president John Dowson’s categorisation of the Whadjuk leader as a “cold-blooded murderer” had been discussed and rejected by the group. Dr Pettitt said the group argued Midgegooroo’s involvement in the deaths would not have been categorised as a murder under the Whadjuk Noongar law, as they were payback for the deaths of his kin.
The council also officially adopted the name Walyalup for its new civic centre in Kings Square, with the only opposition coming from new councillor Marija Vujcic who also wanted it to go through a consultation process.
“There was no evidence that the majority of ratepayers and residents had given the councillors the mandate to make such an important and civic-minded decision,” Cr Vujcic said.
Dr Pettitt said St John’s Anglican Church would be one of the first to be consulted about any name change as it owned half of the square.
The church’s rector Patrick King wrote to his parish last week saying he and the church’s wardens had “shared misgivings” about the renaming, but on Thursday he said St John’s would be an appropriate venue for a “conversation”.
by STEVE GRANT