A CITY IS BORN


The present Geraldton Civic Centre in Cathedral Avenue was opened in 1963 during a visit by H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth 2nd and H.R.H. Prince Phillip. The Regional Library was added a few years later to adjoin the civic centre, and Queens Park Theatre was a further addition to the precinct in 1982.

Local Government first came to Geraldton on February 20 1871 in the form of a Town Trust, comprising a chairman and six trustees, but the town had really been gazetted in 1850 by Augustus Gregory. The Mayor of the day was Charles Phillip Reilly, and each of the three wards of the municipality was represented by two councillors.

It became the Geraldton Municipal Council in 1886, in which year the first mayor, Mr R. Carson, was elected. The number of councillors was increased to nine in 1892 and to twelve in 1963, when the authority became the Geraldton Town Council.

By 1894 the rateable value of the town was 17,334 pounds. Municipal property was 8,000 pounds, loans at 4,000 pounds, and the sinking fund stood at 1,068 pounds, five shillings and seven pence. In 1894 Geraldton’s population was around 2,000 and there were 265 electors on the roll.

Dwellings shops and offices totalled 380, and the town boasted sixteen street lamps, operated on kerosene. There was one and three quarter miles of permanent paths, and ten and a half miles of formed roads.

The municipality consisted of 3,700 acres, of which 500 acres comprised Chapman Park (now Spalding Park), twenty acres of public gardens, ten acres for recreation, 40 acres for night soil disposal, fifty acres for a quarantine station, and eighty acres for an esplanade in the Point Moore area.

The ward system of representation applied until its abolition in 1973.

City status was conferred on Geraldton on 24th April 1988 by H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth 2nd, during a visit by her and H.R.H. Prince Phillip. A formal ceremony for the purpose was held on the lawned areas behind the civic centre when Mayor P. G. Cooper received the city status decree in the presence of several thousand people.

Amalgamation of the City of Geraldton and the Shire of Greenough to form the City of Geraldton Greenough occurred in 2007 and was formalised at a public ceremony on 1st July 2007.

In 200 the City of Geraldton Greenough amalgamated with the Shire of Mullewa and became as it is today, the City of Greater Geraldton.

References:

Miniatures of Mid West History - Mr Lyle J. Harris

Geraldton Historical Society archives.

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