Bennett Park

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John Harris was the first white settler here and he was granted 34 acres in 1810. His land was bordered by the current Bonds Rd. Karne St, Shorter Ave and the freeway.

Older residents remember this area in the 1930's when it was only sparsely settled and the park area was thickly wooded.

Moves to establish the park can be tracked at least back to 1944, during World War II, when the Karne and Daisy Streets Progress Association asked when Council was going to resume land in Karne Street for a park. In 1945 the Association wrote to Council asking them to name the new park in Karne St Bennett Park. Council replied that the land had not yet been transferred to Council as parkland, as although the land was resumed for public recreation in 1946, it was 1950 before it was officially gazetted. The area required drainage, as a creek ran through the Karne Street/Shorter Avenue corner, and Council decided that was too big a job to be done in the emergency (wartime) period. The area was then known as South Punchbowl.

Council did approach the local member, Mr F Stanley MLA, who had made representations to Mr JM Tully, Minister for Lands on behalf of Council, asking for a State government grant to purchase this land. A grant of 800 pounds was made by the government, -this being half the cost of Lots 1 and 2 Karne Street, which were Squired in 1945, both of about 6 1/4 acres. The owner of Lot 2 was allowed to continue to live in the cottage on the land.

This park was named after Alderman Frederick T Bennett who represented West Ward on Canterbury Council for two periods, 1934-37 and 1941-45. He was a well known local figure, who lived in Shorter Avenue. A park committee was set up in 1961, initiated by Aldermen Bland and Scott in Council "to exercise supervision over Bennett Park and it be left in the hands of the West Ward Aldermen to nominate the names of persons to be appointed". This was carried by Council.

This land was used as a tip and over the years many feet of fill has been added. The land was originally high on the Karne Street side and sloped away towards Bonds Road. The fill has raised the level of the oval to its current level, almost as high as the nearby factory roofs.