Harry Bennett Park is located off River Street, Taree on the Manning riverfront, visible to all who cross the Martin Bridge.
The park is named in honour of Harry Bennett, a surfing enthusiast who managed swimming pools in the Manning region for over twenty years. Many people learned to swim under Harry’s watchful eye. It was opened by Mayor Paul Hogan and Harry’s widow, Mrs Faye Bennett, on 17 June 2012.1
The naming of the park not only honours Harry Bennett, but also reflects its past use.
It was created from the land on which stood Taree’s Olympic Swimming Pool. This had been opened by the then Mayor Gertrude Richardson in 1948 and provided facilities for the community until maintenance issues led to its closure in 1996.2
Elements of the pool have been incorporated into the design of the park which is now used as an outdoor performance area and passive recreation space. A photographic mural depicts the pool in its heyday.
Author: Penny Teerman
1 Memorial plaque in Harry Bennett Park.
2 Manning River Times 25 May 2012