As Benjamin Singleton would have celebrated his 231st birthday on 7 August, Singleton Council is encouraging individuals, community groups, organisations and businesses to get involved in the bicentennial of the arrival of the European exploration party to Whittingham in 1820.
Overseen by the Singleton Bicentennial Commemorations Working Group, Back to Singleton 2020 is a whole-of-community commemoration focusing on the history of St Patricks Plains as well as what people love about living, working and playing in Singleton.
The official weekend of events will be held on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 March 2020, with a community street party in John Street on Friday night and a community festival at the Civic Precinct on Saturday afternoon.
A formal event will be held in the Civic Centre on Saturday night.
Mayor of Singleton and chair of the working group, Cr Sue Moore said the vision was for a program of events over the weekend and throughout the year to cover the entire local government area.
A Back to Singleton 2020 Event Prospectus is now available to assist individuals and groups to start planning their own events and get involved.
“We’re looking to sporting clubs to host a home game or preseason match that weekend, or your community organisation to hold a concert, a reunion or a historical display,” Cr Moore said.
“We’d also love businesses to get into the spirit and pubs and clubs to think about a historical theme for their entertainment, or to organise a special menu or event to reflect on the history of Singleton and the opportunities for our area into the future.
“You don’t have to concentrate your theme on early pioneers – you could focus on any historical era, century or decade related to the Aboriginal or European inhabitation of Singleton.”
The bicentenary marks the exploration party led by John Howe and including two Aboriginal guides, Myles and Mullaboy, as well as Benjamin Singleton, who came upon the Hunter River at Whittingham on 15 March 2020, bestowing the name St Patricks Plains and proclaiming “as fine a country as imagination can form”.
Cr Moore said the commemorations were designed to bring people from all cultures together to mark the significance of the Singleton local government area to Aboriginal and European settlements, and its continued historical and economic importance to NSW.
It’s also not too early for locals to plan to be tourists in their own town for the weekend, or for former residents or visitors to plan a trip back to Singleton for the occasion.
“With less than a year to 2020, we’re encouraging all community groups, venues and businesses to start planning their own events for Back to Singleton 2020,” she said.
“And let us know at Council so we can include it in our event program and promotion, so that people can start planning their weekend – and indeed their year – of commemorations to include a trip back to Singleton.”
The Back to Singleton 2020 Event Prospectus is available at www.singleton.nsw.gov.au or contact Council on 02 6578 7290 for a hard copy to be mailed to you.
Anyone is invited to submit an Expression of Interest by 31 October 2019 for their event to be included on the official Event Program and in promotional material for Back to Singleton 2020. You will also receive an Event Host Kit and an exclusive invitation to the Back to Singleton 2020 Event Launch later this year.
Image: Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore at Benjamin Singleton’s grave.
Media release and image: courtesy of the Singleton Counc