Call for bush to be named after Mt Barker’s late Don Collins

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Anne Collins, with her daughter Jo, at the park she wants to be named after her late husband Don Collins.
Camera IconAnne Collins, with her daughter Jo, at the park she wants to be named after her late husband Don Collins. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

The children of late Mt Barker identity Don Collins are pushing for his name to be assigned to a bush reserve he fought to save.

At Tuesday night’s Shire of Plantagenet council meeting, councillors voted to seek public comment on a proposal to name the bush lot on Oatlands Road “Don Collins Park”.

The council vote came after Mr Collins’ children Brad and Joanne requested the Shire honour their father’s memory with the renaming.

Mr Collins, who died in 2003 aged 76, fought to preserve the lot of land from being cleared for residential use more than 50 years ago.

He appealed against a council decision and formed a group called Ratepayers Against the Shire to allow residents to express their objections.

After the appeal, the decision was reversed and the reserve left untouched. His son Brad said his family had been trying to get his father recognised in his hometown town since 2018. “When my father was alive I was talking to him about the Collins family, and all the ways they were linked to the town, and we said it was a shame there was nothing named after the Collins family,” he said.

“The patch of land was something he and a few others saved.

“We gathered up all the history of my father in town and presented it to council and Landgate, and when they wanted the information we found reams and reams of stuff through sport and other groups.”

Outside of his efforts to save the reserve, their father had an extensive history in the Mt Barker community.

Mr Collins was a premiership player with North Mt Barker Football Club, later serving as president of the football club and the Central Cricket Association. He was a Justice of the Peace in 1979 and served on the executive of the St John Ambulance Association's Mt Barker branch.

He was also an inaugural member of Mt Barker’s Apex Club and a president of the Lions club.

A report on the proposal will be prepared for the council in June.

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