Taylor Park Centenary

On 24 February 2024 we celebrated the centenary of the naming of Taylor Park. Named in memory of John William Taylor who successfully fought the Lands Department to keep the land from sale.

Taylor Park, is a legacy from Torquay’s past, well before the popular land sales of 1886. It is one of a few parcels of land in Torquay that has never been subdivided into smaller allotments for public sale. It remains Crown Land, now managed by the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA).

1865Felix Rosser had a hut on Yellow Bluff. Other Zeally Bay fishermen would often camp and dry their nets at the ‘Reserve’ now known as Taylor Park.
1866Puebla / Spring Creek, later known as Torquay, was subdivided and allotments were advertised for sale. Nobody was interested in purchasing the land we call Taylor Park.
1867The land was leased to Andrew White then later to his son Charles. The leases prevented the sale of the land, much to the delight of the fishermen pushing for the land to be reserved for camping.
1905After the White family lease had expired, the Lands Department advertised an open tender for a licence to graze and to remove marl. There was no interest in the open tender.
1906Carl Voss was awarded a six-year lease of the land.
1908The TIA approached Carl Voss to take over his lease in order to create a 3-hole golf course. Carl, and the Lands Department approved the proposal, and the land was gazetted for ‘Golf and Recreational’ purposes. The course was completed that year. Games were played by going around the course three times.
1916The Lands Department decided to subdivide the land for sale. The TIA, through John William Taylor, urged them to put the allotments at Point Danger up for sale first because that area was already subdivided.
1917The Reserve (Taylor Park) was gazetted to be temporarily reserved from sale.
1920A new 9-hole course was developed in front of the Palace Hotel. 
1921After the death of John William Taylor, the reserve was named in his honour for saving the park from sale and to recognise his environmental activities.
1924Torquay Bowls Club was formed on the old golf links.
During WW2A unit of Engineers from the 10th Field Regiment (Artillery) were camped at Taylor Park. They constructed gun emplacements, barbed wire barriers and concrete objects on the beach to impede any invading force.
1950Taylor Park, under the Game Act, was proclaimed a sanctuary for native game.
1974Backed by the TIA, Jack O’Mara suggested to the Torquay Public Reserve Trustees that a man-made pond be built to lure more species of birds.
1976The pond was completed and has become home to many varieties of birds as well as a source of enjoyment and relaxation to many.

Over the years there have been proposals to use part of the park for a swimming pool, kindergarten and for car parking. It has also been suggested that revenue could be raised by selling the land. Taylor Park has prevailed through all these suggestions due to its value to the community .

Today the Crown Land status of Taylor Park is Temporarily Reserved for Park and Recreation (1974). The Bowling Green status is Temporarily Reserved for Public Purposes (2003).

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