Punchbowl Park

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Punchbowl Park has an area of 15 acres and was one of the first group of parks squired by Canterbury Municipal Council in the 1920's. Punchbowl was gazetted in 1921. The land was originally part of a grant of 120 acres to a free settler farmer, Frederick Meredith, in 1810. By 1820 he had sold his land, but remained renting it from the new owners.

Henry Cullen was a woodcutter who moved onto Merediths grant during the 1860s.

The area was known in the early days as Salt Pan Creek, and from the 1860s, as Belmore. With the opening of the-railway line to Bankstown in 1909 when the railway station was named Punchbowl and the surrounding district became known as Punchbowl.

The area around the edge of the park, along the nearby streets of Canterbury and Punchbowl Roads and Rose Street, was subdivided into housing blocks in 1923 in the first of two stages of-the "Punchbowl Park Estate". Viola Street was later extended from the eastern side of Rose Street across the boundary of the park' and McPherson Avenue and Wyleena Place were added as part of the second section of this subdivision.

In June 1945 the Head Gardener for the park went past Punchbowl Park and noticed about 600 sheep grazing on the oval! They were being looked after by three men. The owner of the sheep was previously from Broken Hill and had been also been warned by the Head Gardener for grazing the sheep at Parry Park. Unfortunately the Council file does not say what happened to the sheep, but the oval was reported to be in a very muddy state after the sheep and rain.

A park committee functioned to oversee Punchbowl Park for many years. Mr VR Gaynon was secretary for 18 years until his resignation in 1951, when the committee had been defunct except for him for several years. However it functioned again later in the 1950s, with a new committee being elected in 1957 for a new biennium. At that time 7 members were nominated by the Punchbowl Progress Association.

In 1954 a new turf wicket opened by the Mayor, Ald GH Mulder, after a luncheon attended by representatives of local sporting groups. A plaque was unveiled to mark the occasion.

In 1960 the Canterbury Municipal and Shire Cricket Club suggested to Council that Punchbowl Oval be renamed to honour Harry Culbert, who had spent many hours fostering cricket in the municipality They described Mr Culbert as being instrumental in getting the turf wicket laid at-Punchbowl Oval, then regarded as the best oval in the Shire Competition. Council did not agree to rename the oval, as it was well known as "Punchbowl Oval".

Council did agree to name the pavilion at the oval "The Culbert Pavilion" in recognition of Harry Culbert's outstanding contribution to cricket in Canterbury.

That pavilion was demolished and replaced by a grandstand which was subsequently named n The Fred Corben Stand" in 1995, after the late Fred Corben for his contribution to local soccer.