Wiley Park (Park)

From Canterbury Commons
Jump to: navigation, search

The twenty acres of land now comprising Wiley Park was initially part of 60 acres of land granted to Robert Wilkinson in 1832. It passed to the Wiley family in 1862.

This park is named after John F. Wiley who bequeathed land for the park to Canterbury Council when he died in 1895. There was controversy about the cost of up keeping a new park in the area where there were then few residents, and a public meeting voted that Council reject the offer of land. Initially many Councillors also opposed accepting the land as a park but eventually voted in favour provided it could find people prepared to act as trustees of the park. Wiley Park formally became owned by Canterbury Council in 1907 and by 1909 Council itself became the Trustee of the park. There remained a park committee who gave their labour voluntarily to improve the park.

A pavilion was erected in 1921 and a children's playing area in 1923. A proposal to erect a swimming pool at Wiley Park was first raised in 1928, and over the next few years the proposal gained the support of Council who set aside money for the pool and even called tenders to build it. However the pool was never built.

During the 1930's Depression much work was carried out at Wiley Park under unemployed relief schemes, including building a pavilion which was later named the Fine McPherson Pavilion after Alderman TEA. McPherson who was Mayor in 1948. A cinder track for cycling was also built in the 1930's. The cycle track or velodrome became a popular cycling venue and many state championships were held there. It became the home to the Lakemba Cycling Club and later the Bankstown Sports Club. However the widening of Canterbury and King Georges Roads were widened across two frontages of the park in the 1970's, and the grandstand, oval and cycle track had to be removed. The velodrome was moved to Waterworth Park at Tempe.

Wiley Park has since been redeveloped as a passive recreation area with a pond. It hosts the Wiley Park Bicentennial Amphitheatre, opened in 1988, which seats 2,500 people.