Following a period of community consultation in September/October, the open space (currently named Quinn Reserve) in Whirrakee Rise, Maryborough will be renamed Cyril and Myra Martin Reserve – following ratification by Councillors at an Ordinary Meeting of Council on 28 November, 2023.
In accordance with section 10 of the Geographic Place Names Act 1998 and the Central Goldfields Council Place Naming Policy, the renaming will honour the achievements of Myra Martin (BEM, OAM) and Cyril Martin.
The highly respected couple made substantial contributions to Maryborough, instrumental in the construction of buildings and many other charities and community supports through their fundraising efforts, committee memberships and volunteer work.
Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Ward Councillor Geoff Lovett said it was pleasing to see the wide-ranging efforts of the couple recognised in such a significant way.
“This is due recognition for one of Maryborough’s most respected families.
“Both of Cyril’s businesses helped Maryborough’s post-war recovery and reconstruction. Mrs Martin was a tireless community worker – for 50 years she trained debutants and their partners and for 30 years taught ballroom dancing to 404 students – I know this because I was one of them!
“It is most fitting that the couple be bestowed with the honour of having the open space at Whirrakee Rise named in their honour.”
The renaming follows a request in 2021 by developer Mr Mark Dellavedova to name what is now known as Calista Drive to Martin Drive.
The renaming was subsequently refused by the State Government due to the proximity of a duplicate name. The State Government was impressed by the submission of Council and suggested that the name be used for a geographic feature, such as a park or reserve.
On that basis it was proposed to name the open space in Whirrakee Rise as Cyril and Myra Martin Reserve.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide feedback on the proposal.
Community support for the renaming included:
- After reading the information about Myra and Cyril, I think that the renaming of the reserve is an excellent idea. They made such a huge contribution to the local community.
- This is such wonderful news. My great-grandmother Myra Martin was such an amazing lady, who I still look up to till this day. I followed in her footsteps and danced at the Martin school of dance for almost 10years. I loved spending time with my nan and hearing about her childhood and sharing stories about her side of the family. I’m very proud to be Myra’s great-granddaughter and I will cherish our memories forever. The re-naming proposal is such a wonderful idea, and it would suit Whirrakee Rise in honour of what Cyril and Myra done for this town of Maryborough.
- What a wonderful way to honour such a community minded couple.
- Definitely a wonderful idea. Very worthy recipients.
- After reading their achievements in this article maybe their name should be added to something more substantial than a park. What a marvellous history from a couple that has given so much
- A fabulous idea! A lovely memorial for two people who contributed so much to our community.
- Well-deserved accolade for an exceptional couple
- An excellent choice.
- Absolutely brilliant an amazing couple that have contributed not only to the whole community but to the welfare of thousands of young people's lives. Through the value of music, dance & the arts. Their generosity lives on in their great granddaughter Kirby who continues with the Dance school. Music makes the world go round.
- Lovely idea. Maybe shorten the name of it to C&M Martin Reserve. To honour them both; they both would have loved a place that can actually be used by kids or all ages.
- This is an excellent proposal. It would also be great if something in the Town Hall building could be named after Mrs Martin to recognise the legacy of her dance teaching. Mrs Martin in particular had a profound impact upon my time in Maryborough as a child. Only later did I realise how many generations before me she had also inspired and supported. I danced under her tuition for years, taking part in many concerts as well as performances at the hospital that were solely for charity. Years after I had stopped dancing, she still remembered me and made an effort to ask questions about my life and how my education was going. She was a remarkable role model and taught me the value of kindness, empathy, respect for others, self-discipline and social justice. I hope that Mr and Mrs Martin are aptly recognised for the significant impact they have had on Maryborough.
- Having spent the first forty years of my life, living and working in Maryborough, I wholeheartedly agree with the naming of the space to commemorate the Martins. Their dedication to community was outstanding.
You can read more about the history of the couple and their legacy, and how the proposal came about below.
More details about the proposal:
A road name Martin Drive was proposed and approved by Council on 27 July 2021
at the request of the developer Mr Mark Dellavedova.
The proposal was to honour the achievements of Myra Martin (BEM, OAM) and Cyril Martin and to reflect the historical context of the achievements of a highly regarded couple, who were both involved in a wide range of community support activities for many years.
The renaming was subsequently refused by the State Government due to the proximity of a duplicate name and Council was not able to proceed with the road name Martin Drive being adopted.
The road was subsequently named Calista Drive.
The State Government was impressed by the submission of Council however, and suggested that the name be used for a geographic feature, such as a park or reserve.
On that basis it is proposed to name the open space in Whirakee Rise as Cyril and Myra Martin Reserve.
Myra moved her family to Maryborough in 1942 for employment and on Cyril returning from New Guinea they decided to stay.
Cyril set up a removalist business and then the Mobil Oil Agency.
Myra continued her dancing schools throughout central Victoria.
They participated completely in post war Maryborough.
Myra and Cyril built the first motel in Maryborough in 1959, only the 5th in Country Victoria.
Throughout Myra’s life in Maryborough, she was the Principal of the Martin School of Dance, and from 1943 until her death in 2017, all money raised from their concerts was returned straight back to the Maryborough Community.
· Myra was awarded a British Empire Medal (in 1975) as well as an Order of Australia Medal (in 1998).
· Myra directed and produced a Queen Carnival to raise funds to build the RSL Memorial Hall in 1946.
· Resurrected the Cub and Scout pack and was Akela for 12 years.
· Was a foundation member and soon went about raising money to build TL Stone kindergarten.
· In 1950 directed and produced a Queen Carnival to raise funds for the Brass Band and the Maryborough Football Club.
· Member of the Carnival Committee which ran the adult and junior hospital balls, held annually to raise money for the hospital. She also ran pantomimes for 8 years for the same purpose.
· In 1952 was a foundation member of the Ladies Comfort Station and volunteered for five years to drive around the surrounding districts to collect one shilling a week from farmers wives, to go into the fund.
· Ran garden parties, balls, and dances to assist fund raising as well and finally in 1958 the foundation stone was laid.
· She was an active member of the Maryborough Centenary committee where she prepared children for the celebrations and entertainment in Princes Park in 1954.
· Established the tap-dancing competition at the New Year’s Day Sports which originally commenced as an exhibition. She continued judging this successful Victorian competition for several years.
· Suggested a Queen Carnival be held to raise funds to build a Geriatric Centre. She was director and producer, and Clarendon House was begun.
· Qualified as a Chiropodist and volunteered for 11 years to provide a service for Hospital’s public patients and residents of Clarendon House.
· Trained the Anglican Debutante Sets from 1957 to 2010 and the Catholic Debutants for many years.
· Taught Ballroom Dancing to all Maryborough 404 students for 30 years for their Annual Ball
· Ran Elderly Exercise and Healthy living groups for various community organisations in Maryborough and Carisbrook
· The list of committees Myra was on :
§ President of the Ladies Committee of the Church of England Football club(6 years)
§ President of the Maryborough League Football club Ladies committee(5 years)
§ Active member of the Maryborough Swimming club in the 40’s and 50’s, training local girls to perform water ballets to give exhibitions in Ballarat and Bendigo as fundraisers.
§ Member of the Pony Club supporting her husband
§ Member of Primary School 404 and the Maryborough High School parent clubs
§ Member of the Australia Day committee for several years.
All the above was done on a voluntary basis.
- Raised money for the RSL and was a hard-working member.
- Member of Rotary and Masonic Lodge
- Coached Church of England Football Team to 5 premierships
- Coached Primrose in the District League
- Started the Maryborough Pony Club and was President for 13 years and District Commissioner. The riders at the Midland Zone competition compete for the Cyril Martin Trophy
- Life member of Pony Club and Agricultural Society
Myra at her dancing school.
Myra's 100th birthday.
Cyril receives his lifetime membership at the Pony Club.