The Urangan Pier is one of Hervey Bay’s most iconic landmarks and on 3 March 2017 it celebrated its centenary. The occasion was marked by a ceremony at Pier Park, accompanied by a host of activities and entertainment that continued throughout the day.
The festivities began with a parade along The Esplanade at Urangan, led by the Hervey Bay Pipe Band. Following the pipes and drums was a troop of local militia and nurses in World War 1 uniforms, a contingent of naval cadets from TS Krait in tropical whites, a motorcade bearing the vice-regal party and a horse-drawn carriage with local members of state and federal parliament. A convoy of immaculate vintage cars completed the procession, lending the occasion an appropriately historic air.
In hot and steamy conditions, a crowd of many hundreds assembled before the newly-constructed Pier Stage to receive a welcome to country by local Butchulla elder Malcolm Burns and speeches by several dignitaries.
The main speech was delivered by the Queensland Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, who recalled nostalgic memories of the Pier from his childhood years in Maryborough. To him, as a young boy in the 1950s, the Pier was a remarkable feat of engineering; in later years he also came to appreciate it as a symbol of community stability and of progress reaching beyond established bounds.
The Fraser Coast Regional Council was represented by Deputy Mayor George Seymour, who noted that, throughout its history, the Pier had been the stage for much activity: as a construction site, an import/export facility, the campaign to save it from demolition and now as a place of recreation. It connected Urangan to the rest of the world and gave the region a stronger identity.
Accompanied by a large section of the crowd and several members of the local historical society in period costume, His Excellency and Councillor Seymour moved to a location under some nearby she-oaks where they unveiled a plaque commemorating the centenary of this “much loved” landmark that played “an essential role in the region’s growth and development”. The significance of the occasion was underscored by the firing of a ceremonial cannon by Keith Pitt MP, Federal Member for Hinkler and Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.