Photo: John Shaw with the original flyer for Gunning’s centenary in 1921.

Plans for Gunning’s bicentenary celebrations are well underway after they were cancelled last October due to COVID-19 concerns.

Gunning’s 200th birthday celebrations are now earmarked for the weekend of the 5th and 6th of March.

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.

Former Gunning Shire Council Mayor and chairman of Gunning Bicentenary Committee John Shaw 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.

John said the committee has a plaque to unveil underneath the 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 around 1921, and representative of the means of transportation in 1821 – a horse and buggy.

The vehicles will be on display outside Bailey’s Garage on Yass Street on Sunday, March 6.

Local markets, hosted by the Gunning’s Lions Club, are also set to open on March 6 between 9am and 12pm with a mix of stalls from second-hand items to clothing and plants.

John said the group is also hoping the Gunning and District Historical Society will be able to open the Pye Cottage on Yass Street and the old gaol cells. However, this is dependent on the coronavirus situation as both buildings can only fit two or three people at a time.

The Gunning Pony Club is hoping to do a display and ride at the Gunning Showground.

Gunning P A & I Society are set to host their delayed Glitz and Glamour evening on Saturday, March 5 at the Old Coach Stables. The event will be ticketed with more details to come.

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 is 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 they’re still 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