Sections of Goulburn's new Japanese garden will be named in honour of past and present mayors involved in a sister-city relationship.
Construction of the Shibestsu Garden's first stage is underway at Victoria Park, marking the 20-year relationship with Goulburn. The stage includes a formal entry, pathway, one of two gazebos, bamboo fencing and the placement of boulders donated by Shibetsu Council. The boulders, lantern and fencing are due to arrive from Shibetsu on October 24.
At a recent meeting, councillors decided to name the gazebo the Takariko - O'Neill Gazebo after Mayors Susumo Takariko and Margaret O'Neill who were signatories to the original sister-city agreement. The formal entry will be named the Makino-Kirk Entrance in recognition of current Mayors, Yuji Makino and Bob Kirk. Signs will be installed at both points, giving an overview of the agreement.
Crs Kirk and O'Neill declared interests in the garden's naming and left the room during discussion.
Cr Sam Rowland said he meant no disrespect but suggested the names linked to Goulburn be placed first, given it was the host city. Deputy Mayor Peter Walker asked whether there was protocol.
Corporate services director Brendan Hollands explained there was none but the council was trying to be "a good host."
He said unless the shipment of features went according to plan, the first stage might not be ready for when a Shibetsu delegation arrives in Goulburn on November 11 to mark the anniversary.
Nevertheless, a ceremony will be held in Victoria Park to open the garden. It is part of wider celebrations, which also includes a civic reception, during the delegation's three-day visit. The group will include Shibetsu's Mayor and some councillors, council staff and community representatives.
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