THE RUPANYUP community is anticipating a big weekend in March next year, celebrating their 150th anniversary.
A team of about 20 people in the Rupanyup 150th Committee are behind organising this event which will run from March 7 to 9, 2020.
Chairperson Russell Dunlop said they are expecting large numbers for the weekend.
“We’ve had a lot of people through facebook show a lot of interest, we’re expecting quite a huge crowd to come in just to catch up and reminisce about old times,” Mr Dunlop said.
Mr Dunlop said the Teasdale family in Rupanyup have been heavily involved in getting this event off the ground.
“With the feedback we’re getting, I’m surprised with how many people are suggesting to come. We’ve got some really good people on the committee, the whole Teasdale family are really heavily involved. John’s (Teasdale) legacy will live on.”
Mr Dunlop said hosting events like the 150th are vital for community engagement in rural towns.
“It’s celebrating rural life and people that have left or had connections in rural towns have a real affinity for them. It’s just a time for people to really appreciate what rural life can be like and celebrate their connection with it,” he said.
“There’s a lot of things in rural communities that are a bit sad, a lot our towns are slowly dying but there’s a lot of respect and affiliation with having grown up with these connections and trying to reconnect with them.
“The power of people working together, these are the sorts of things people appreciate.”
He said without the committee and the support of the Yarriambiack Shire Council this event would not be possible.
“The shire have been wonderful in the support they’ve given us, I’ve been really impressed with the way people are coming together and bringing their ideas forward. We’re a strong group working together, it’s falling into place really well,” he said.
Rupanyup was first surveyed in 1873, located on Dunmunkle Creek, the town was originally known as Lallat but by 1876 had become known as Rupanyup, derived from the Aboriginal word meaning “branch hanging over water”.
The Rupanyup Railway Station and post office dates back to 1890, the Memorial Hall (a former cinema), the old CBA Bank and the Commercial Hotel all have their own special character.
The town was lucky enough to be one of the first recipients of the Silo Art Trail, where visitors can see on the Northeast side of town artwork featuring faces that are those of Rupanyup residents and local sporting team members, Ebony Baker and Jordan Weidemann.
Chainsaw artist John Brady also recently contributed sculptures which feature in the middle of the street, through Rupanyup.
The Rupanyup 150th Committee plans to unveil yet another contribution of the Chainsaw art in Cromie Street on the first day of celebrations.
Visitors and community members will also be able to enjoy the film night on Friday March 6, featuring ’The Farmer’s Cinematheque’, film captured by John Teasdale.
Saturday will see a farmers market, a show event at Rupanyup Recreation Reserve, Music and Gala at the memorial Hall.
Sunday will wind down with a school reunion, lunch at the Bowls club and a sunset banquet to finish the night.
Monday community members can expect a barbecue at the Jack Emmet Billabong and the opening of the Woods’ Museum.
The committee is looking for contributors from community groups for the reunion books being produced.
They are also starting to think about the streetscape for the weekend, including what they can include in the community space to liven up the main street and make the town shine for its 150th celebrations.
Ideas can be forwarded to [email protected] or via phone to Chairperson Russell Dunlop on 0428128902, Lynette Teasdale 0429 855 033 or Elle Adamson on 0422 403 909.
A preliminary program of diverse activities includes plenty of time for informal catch ups with something for everyone.