The Committee Executives in 2016/2017

PRESIDENT: Steven Hardgrave
VICE PRESIDENTS: Martin Hardgrave
SECRETARY: Tony Ward | Phone: 0419 522 475 or Email: secretary @ rathdowneymemorialgrounds.org.au
TREASURER: Pam Hardgrave

Postal Address: PO Box 210, RATHDOWNEY QLD 4287

The Rathdowney Township

Rathdowney is a small country town sitting in the foot hills of the McPherson Range in the Scenic Rim. Rathdowney is 30 kilometres south of Beaudesert on the Mt Lindesay Highway and is the gateway to The Mount Barney National Park and the Border Ranges National Park. 

Caravan clubs come and visit the district and stay for a few days in the caravan park to enjoy the lovely relaxed country atmosphere. Many return year after year spending a weekend or longer at the Memorial Grounds.  

There are many activities to occupy visitors - enjoy one of the many scenic drives, fishing at the Maroon Dam, go walking in one of the National Parks, play a game of bowls at the Bowls Club, visit the Historical museum at the Information Centre and browse the small shop and collect travel brochures to plan your next trip, have a meal and a beer at the Rathy Pub, or fish and chips and coffee at the Convenience Store.

The store carries quite a wide selection of grocery items as well as meat, milk, bread, drinks etc.  The Tin Shed in the Olive Grove on Maroon Road is also a good place to eat during the week-end. They have a well stocked gift shop and process their own olives.  

The local garage is open 7 days a week - 8.00am til 12.00 on weekends and until 6.00pm on week days. They also stock bread, milk, butter, cold drinks, ice-creams, coffee to go, newspapers and fuel. The Post Office does not open on Saturday.

There are a number of B&B’s, farmstays, wineries and camping grounds in the Mt Barney area catering for holidaying families.

Rathdowney Memorial Grounds and Caravan Park

The site of the now Memorial Grounds was originally the railway station.   The railway line operated from 1910 until 1944 when the tracks were taken up and the iron and machinery sold.      In September that year a public meeting was held and it was resolved that the Rathdowney community endeavour to lease the vacant land for sporting, recreational and park facilities and a committee –the Rathdowney Memorial Recreational Ground committee was formed.   Messrs. J. Drynan, K. Drynan, W.J. Downes, S. Brook, C. Robinson, L. Welch, E. Enright , W. Reinke, P. McGovern, H. Bell, J. Dimmick, K. O’Brien, A. P.Ward, A.J.Drynan, F.A. Salisbury and W.K. Burnett attended the meeting with apologies from L.J. Teese, A. Drynan Jnr and W.J. Dimmick.  On the 1st of January 1947 a 30 year lease agreement was signed with the Beaudesert Shire Council with a rental of three pounds and three shillings per year. Andrew Patrick Ward, William James Dimmick and Andrew John Drynan were named as the Trustees of Rathdowney Memorial Grounds and their respective successors executors -administrators.  

Mr Bob Dunsford was the headmaster at the school at this time and he planned the dimensions of the oval based on the oval at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.    It is said to be a perfect oval shape.  By mid May 1945 the site had been levelled, the oval fenced, trees and couch grass planted and on June 08, 1946 (Victory Day) a sports Day was held and two palm trees were planted in memory of our district’s fallen.   The turf wicket (reputed to be the finest in the district) was laid in 1949.    Mr. O.H. McIntyre designed the Memorial Gate and Mr Frank Salisbury and Mr Bill Downes supervised the erection of the gate and the flag pole.  The Memorial Gate was dedicated at a sports day in 1949 and the flag pole was erected.   It is only in recent times during restoration work that the detail and craftsmanship that went into the grounds entrance gate have been discovered and appreciated.   There are no nails and each part fits together like a jig saw puzzle.    Almost rivals the Parthenon and the pyramids!  The first camp-draft was held on the main oval in 1952.   

Since then several buildings including ablution blocks, tennis courts, bowling green, canteen and a drafting oval and cattle yards have been erected.  The caravan park started operating in the early 1960’s. The Ground’s facilities have been used by a number of sporting bodies over the years – cricket, rugby league, tennis, boxing, wood chopping, lawn bowls, soccer, Pottery Club, netball, pony club and camp-drafting.

Today the Memorial Grounds and Caravan Park are managed by a small committee of local people who are interested in preserving the Memorial Grounds that were established after World War 11 in memory of those who gave their lives in times of conflict.    The main objects of the founding members of the committee were to foster sport and recreation in the Rathdowney area as well as honour the memories of our Diggers and this aim continues today.

Much of this work in recent days has been done with the aid of inmates of the Palen Creek Correctional Centre and the people of Rathdowney are greatly indebted them.

What's On in Rathdowney

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