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History of the Alexandra Park rotunda

Alexandra Park rotunda
Rotunda in Alexandra Park. Picture Bundaberg, Rattray, Doug, date unknown, bun01231

The Alexandra Park rotunda – or bandstand – has been a permanent fixture within the popular recreational space since 1911.

Located in an open grassed area and boasting a grand architectural design, the structure has hosted many community celebrations in its 112 years.

Listed among Bundaberg Regional Council's Local Heritage Places the rotunda was built after plans were approved at a Council meeting on 15 December 1910.

Prominent local architect FH Faircloth produced drawings for a “…handsome and roomy bandstand”.

Mayor Alderson Nielson donated £50 (his Mayoral allowance) towards the cost of the bandstand while other funds came from government parks and gardens grants.

Tenders for the building were called for soon after the Council meeting, on 16 December, to be ready for the next meeting on 11 January 1911.

Mr John Heaps won the tender with a quote of £160 for a rotunda with iron railings or £158 for wooden railings.

The quote for a rotunda featuring iron railings was accepted.

The bandstand was officially opened to the public on the evening of Wednesday 8 November 1911 with a crowd of 400 to 500 present to hear the Naval Band play.

Mayor Alderman Nielson had died suddenly on 11 October 1911 and the new rotunda was “…regarded as a memorial to Alderman Nielson – fitting that he should be remembered in the gardens and his name should be on the bandstand”.

He had been a great supporter of the Naval Band and of the construction of a bandstand.

Alexandra Park rotunda a great community asset

Today, the locally heritage-listed rotunda is still used for many community events and occasions in the centre of Alexandra Park.

Bundaberg Municipal Band
The Bundaberg Municipal Band practicing in the rotunda at Alexandra Park.

The free-standing, elevated, timber-framed pavilion is set on a concrete and brick base, with turned timber columns and an octagonal steel roof.

A marble memorial plaque is attached to the brickwork on the north-eastern side of the bandstand which reads: ‘erected to the memory of the late Alderman Peter Nielson by the citizens of Bundaberg in recognition of his services as chairman of the Parks Committee 1912”.

A flagpole sits on a steel base adjacent to the steps.

On the western side of the bandstand, concrete steps lead down to a storage area.

In 2001, funds were set aside for works to be undertaken to the bandstand, which included painting the entire structure, replacing timber, repairs to the wrought iron balustrade and more.

Alexandra Park rotunda
People pose next to the Alexandra Park rotunda. Picture Bundaberg, donor, 1960, bun06008

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