47. Sturt Park

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Sturt Park, originally known as the Central Reserve was, in 1892, famously the setting

for a mass meeting of more than 6000 unionists who agreed to strike in protest of the termination of the 1890 contract which prohibited the stoping of ore by contract.  In 1943 Broken Hill City Council, at the request of the Barrier Field Naturalists’ Club renamed Central Reserve to Sturt Park to honour the centenary of the explorations of British explorer and colonial administrator Captain Charles Sturt who famously passed through the Barrier Ranges and mapped large areas of previously uncharted land, including the Simpson Desert and the Darling River. 

Over the century and a half since the gathering in 1892, the park has been the site of sporting events, the town swimming pool, weddings, commemorative ceremonies and several historic public assemblies. Now it is a peaceful setting for a number of memorials, including the parks’ rotunda, erected in memory of the Titanic bandsmen who, legend has it, continued to play as the ship went down. 

Another plaque, beneath the overhanging branches of a big old fig tree acknowledges the Afghan cameleers who serviced the outback for over 50 years. There is a memorial to John Curtain, Labor party leader and wartime prime minister between 1941-1945. A lone pine tree, planted by the students of Broken Hill schools, remembers the 75th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli. There is also a plaque to commemorate the Salvation Army’s role in the history of Broken Hill.

Audio transcript available.