I am deeply honoured and humbled by the decision by the City of South Perth to name their new community facilities on Ernest Johnson Reserve the John McGrath Pavilion and John McGrath Hall.
The Reserve, developed in the 1940s by the then-South Perth Road Board, has a rich history in South Perth and has brought many people and groups together over six decades so far. The 1940s and 1950s eras have been described as glory years for the South Perth district and its residents. In addition to the development of the Reserve as a sporting and recreation facility, a number of other substantial development activities happened then. This has contributed to the lifestyle many residents of South Perth and surrounding areas enjoy today. Formerly known as the South Perth Oval or Civic Centre Reserve, the reserve was named in 1965 after Ernest Johnson, who served as the South Perth Road Board’s Secretary (or town clerk) for 30 years. The new and enhanced facilities at the Reserve, officially opened on 1 March 2018, will ensure the local communities are well served for many years to come.
I am grateful for and appreciative of the support from the City of South Perth, the local sporting and community clubs, family and friends, and my Parliamentary colleagues from both sides of politics who were part of the opening night: Hon Mick Murray MLA, Hon Ben Wyatt MLA, Dean Nalder MLA, Hon Nick Goiran MLC, and Hon Simon O’Brien MLC. Thank you to those who were part of the evening’s formal proceedings and offered a few kind words: City of South Perth Chief Executive Officer Mr Geoff Glass, Mayor Sue Doherty, Councillor and President of the South Perth Junior Football Club Travis Burrows, Gavin Taylor of the Western Australian Football Commission, Alan “Chubby” Stiles. My gratitude also goes to staff members at the City of South Perth who worked very hard in order to make the opening night a successful and memorable occasion.