The Kennedy Bridge in Bundaberg is 120 years old today, having been opened on 25 November 1899 amid “pomp and circumstance”.
The Bundaberg Mail and Burnett Advertiser reported the significant civic event as an “imposing function” with important speeches.
“The structure was lavishly decorated with bunting and presented a particularly gay appearance,” the newspaper reported.
The Minister for Works, John Murray, travelled from Brisbane by special train to officially open the bridge.
“Punctually at 11am the president of the Kennedy Bridge Board (Mr Fred Colman) advanced to near the ribbons and in a few well-chosen words called upon Mr Murray to perform the opening ceremony.”
Kennedy Bridge joins Bourbong Street and Bourbong Street East over Saltwater Creek and is nearly 49 metres long.
At the opening, Mr Murray commented about the delay in construction, which he said was caused by the shipwreck of the Loch Fergus near Dublin on its voyage from Glasgow.
A formal banquet was held after the ceremony to celebrate the completion.
Mr Colman proposed a toast to Her Majesty the Queen, while Mayor Robert Totten proposed a toast to the Minister.
The bridge was named after the Governor of Queensland, Arthur Kennedy.
Along with the Burnett Bridge and the Victoria Bridge in Brisbane, it was designed by engineer and Government Architect, Alfred Barton Brady.
Kennedy Bridge was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said the bridge is a tribute to 19th century engineering.
“The bridge was important in its day to open up trade and commerce across to East Bundaberg and the Woongarra district, and it remains vital today,” he said.
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