Wiley Park NSW

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Leaflet.png The foundation of this article derives from early library leaflets from the 1980s. Please see Local History Leaflets (City of Canterbury Library Service).

Early History

Wiley Park
SydneyNew South Wales
Population: 9,698 (2011 Census)
Postcode: 2195
LGA: City of Canterbury
State electorate: Lakemba
Federal Division: Watson
Early Wiley Park- Men building a childrens playground, ca 1920s.
The twenty acres now comprising Wiley Park was initially part of 60 acres of land granted to Robert Wilkinson in 1832. It passed to the Wiley family in 1862.

This park is named after John F. Wiley who bequeathed land for the park to Canterbury Council when he died in 1895. There was controversy about the cost of upkeeping a new park in an area where there were few residents, and a public meeting voted that Council reject the offer of land. Initially many Councillors also opposed accepting the land as a park but eventually voted in favour provided it could find people prepared to act as trustees of the park. Wiley Park formally became owned by Canterbury Council in 1907 and by 1909 Council itself became the trustee of the park. There remained a park committee who gave their labour voluntarily to improve the park.

The suburb was named after this park, partly because the railway station was on Wiley's Avenue(near King Georges Road), which ran from Wiley's property on the corner of Canterbury Road to Punchbowl Road.

Later Developments

A pavillion was erected in 1921 and a childrens playing area in 1923. A proposal to erect a swimming pool at Wiley Park was first raised in 1928, and over the next few years the proposal gained support of Council who set aside money for the poll and even called tenders to build it. However the pool was never built.

Wiley Park Bicentennial Amphitheatre, aerial view, ca 1987.
During the 1930s Depression, much work was carried out at Wiley Park under unemployment relief schemes, including building a pavillion which was later named the Fine McPherson Pavillion after Alderman H.A. McPherson who was Mayor in 1948. A cinder track for cycling was also built in the 1930s. The cycle track or velodrome became a popular cycling venue and many state championships were held there. It became the home to the Lakemba Cycling Club and later the Bankstown Sports Club. However when Canterbury and King Georges Roads were widened across two frontages of the park in the 1970's, the grandstand, oval and cycle track had to be removed. The velodrome was moved to Waterworth Park at Tempe.

Wiley Park has since been redeveloped as a passive recreation area with a pond. It hosts the Wiley Park Bicentennial Amphitheatre, opened in 1988, which seats 2,500 people. This recreation area was constructed by Canterbury Council.


Sources

JERVIS, James : A History of the Municipality of Canterbury. Campsie, NSW: Canterbury City Council, 1951.

LARCOMBE, Frederick A. Change and Challenge.