A new Moncrieff park named in honour of two famous Australian musicians, both with the surname Dawson, was officially opened last week.
The ceremony at Dawson Park, on Slim Dusty Crescent – all Moncrieff streets are named after musicians – recognised the contributions of Smoky Dawson and Peter Dawson to the Australian music industry.
Relatives of both musicians attended the ceremony. Iris, Alan and Raylene Mullins represented the family of Peter Dawson, and Terry and Norm Griffin were there as relatives of Smoky Dawson.
Ms Suzanne Orr, Member for Yerrabi, represented the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Yvette Berry, at the opening ceremony.
Ms Orr said that Herbert Henry Dawson, known as Smoky Dawson, strongly influenced Australian country music and had many other talents including yodelling and whip cracking. Peter Dawson was a bass-baritone singer-songwriter and recording artist. His recordings of Advance Australia Fair and Waltzing Matilda made both songs very popular.
“Although they were not related, after performing together they became good friends,” Ms Orr said. “Peter referred to Smoky as his ‘illustrious nephew’, and Smoky affectionately called Peter his ‘great Uncle Snakeskin Pete’.
“Their story will continue to be shared with generations and is captured on the plaques here in the park.”
Dawson Park is a neighbourhood play and recreation space on top of a hill with views over the area. It has playground equipment and a shaded play area, and is surrounded by trees.
Ms Orr commended Canberra Contractors and SpaceLab for their work in developing Dawson Park.
After the formalities, Moncrieff residents enjoyed an afternoon in the park with a barbecue to celebrate the official opening.