Photo: Acacia Quartet

Gunning’s 200th birthday celebrations are this weekend (March 4, 5 & 6) with many opportunities to access your inner historian.

John Shaw, former Gunning Shire Council Mayor and Chairman of Gunning Bicentenary Committee, said it will be great to see it all come together.

“Obviously, it’s been hampered by COVID but we’re doing what we can and we’re happy.”

Plans for Gunning’s bicentenary celebrations were cancelled last October due to COVID-19 concerns.

“The planning has been on the go for about 18 months,” John said. But the Gunning Bicentenary Committee has been meeting for just over a year.

“It has been a long time coming,” he said. “We know it’s 201 years this year, but that’s by the by, we’re still going to do it.”

“I encourage anyone and everyone to come out and see us and enjoy the festivities.”

John said after being on the Coordinating Committee he’s looking forward to the whole event itself.

“It should be quite good for people to get out and have a have a visit of Gunning.”

On Friday evening at 7:30pm the Acacia Quartet will be playing at the Court House. Reserve a seat by contacting gunningfocusgroup@gmail.com or 0429 906 834 for an evening of classical music from the Acacia Quartet playing Mozart, Chance and Borod.

Gunning Focus Group Secretary Bob Spiller said he has absolutely no doubt that the evening will be enjoyable.

“Whatever Acacia plays will be excellent,” he said. “So just knowing it’s Acacia, people should be able to go with confidence.”

Tickets are $35 for general admission, $30 for concession and free for under 18s. Additionally, there’s an optional dinner for an extra $32 per person so reserve your seats now before it sells out.

The town has a rising population despite what many predicted in 1993 when traffic was diverted from the main street to the highway.

Traditional owners of the land around Gunning were Gundungurra and Ngunawal mobs and it’s been suggested that the Pajong ‘Fish River Tribe’ also lived in the area. However, Gunning and the surrounding area is now mapped as Ngunnawal land.

John said Gunning had a centenary in 1921 that the committee is basing the dates off.

Original settlers arrived in 1821, including Hamilton Hume (after whom the Hume Highway is named), who established a sheep property in the area.

By about 1848 the town had 95 residents, the general store, and a hotel.

The committee will unveil a plaque underneath the original centenary plaque outside Gunning Library, which will be revealed at 2pm on Saturday, March 5.

Like many towns in the area Gunning also sports a relatively new EV Charging Station leading to the showing of an electric vehicle, a vintage car from the mid 1920s, and representative of the typical transportation in the 1820s – a horse and carriage.

The vehicles will be on display outside Bailey’s Garage on Yass Street between 1pm and 1:45pm on Sunday, March 6.

Local markets, hosted by the Gunning’s Lions Club, will be run- ning on March 6 between 9am and 2pm at the Court House and along the main street featuring a mix of stalls from second-hand items to clothing and plants.

The Gunning and District Historical Society will open Pye Cottage on Yass Street on Saturday, March 5 from 10am to 2pm.

They will also open the old Gaol cells from 10am to 2pm on Sunday, March 6 for a viewing.

Gunning Show Society are holding their delayed Gunning Glitz and Glamour Gala in the Garden at the Old Coach Stables on Saturday, March 5 from 6:30pm. Tickets are selling fast and are available through the Gunning Show’s Facebook page.

Invites have been issued to Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor, NSW State Member Wendy Tuckerman and Upper Lachlan Shire Mayor John Stafford.

The Gunning Bicentenary Committee has been busy selling popular navy caps with the Gunning 200 logo on the back and a merino sheep on the front to help raise money for the official celebrations.

Currently, the group has sold about 500 caps and some may still be available to buy at $20 each from a few spots around town including The Old Hume Café, The Merino Café, the Mobil Service Station, and Gunning Ag and Water.

By Brianna O’Rourke