Wakefield Regional Council

Another milestone for Wakefield: Lochiel turns 150

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25 September 2019

The weekend of 12-13 October would be a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the community and Lochiel’s rich history

Lochiel's 150: write our history

Pictured: John Nicholls and Alan Jones busy making the finishing touches to their new book on the history of
Lochiel; a continuation of By the Waterhole, written by John’s late mother Beryl Nicholls nearly 50 years
ago.


 
Another one of Wakefield Regional Council’s towns is reaching a milestone; this time it’s Lochiel that’s turning 150 and the locals have big celebrations in store for October.
 
Long-time resident and Councillor John Nicholls said the weekend of 12-13 October would be a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the community and Lochiel’s rich history - as told in the newest edition of the town’s history book – written in partnership by historian Alan Jones and the Nicholls' family. The book is set to have an official launch during the
celebrations.
 
“There will be a number of free activities open to the public, including a history display, church service, local tennis match and reunion,” he said. "We'll have the main event, a reunion lunch, on Sunday, 11am at the Lochiel Community Centre."
 
Lochiel is the home of the much loved Lake Bumbunga. The naturally forming pink salt lake was once a significant location for salt production and a stopover town amidst the copper boom and busy shipping industry in Port Wakefield. The area is also a source of local folklore, as the lake is said to be the habitat of a mysterious, but friendly, sea serpent known as the
Loch-eel Monster.
 
Wakefield Mayor Rodney Reid congratulated Lochiel on the big anniversary before encouraging people to come along to the festivities.
 
“Council has been getting ready for the celebrations with some beautification works and tidying up efforts happening in the lead up, as well as a new entry statement sign, designed by community members, to be installed soon,” Mayor Reid said.
 
Looking to the future, Mayor Reid said Council had some exciting developments on the table for Lochiel.
 
“We have big plans for Lochiel that are drumming up as we speak”, Mayor Reid said. “Lake Bumbunga is receiving new, quality lakeside facilities and amenities, made possible through Federal funding, matched by Council and the local progress association. This will help furtherestablish the area and provide safer access to the lake.”
 
“Lochiel has rapidly evolved, almost overnight, into a unique tourist attraction with potential for economic growth that would benefit the whole region – and entice more tourist to our other towns. This makes us even more excited to work with the community and shape the future of this real gem of a town.”
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