NSW Governor Marie Bashir will be among the guests this weekend at a festival organised by Hornsby Council to mark the 125th anniversary of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge opening.
“This was a major milestone that is well worth remembering, not just for Hornsby shire but for the entire nation,’’ Hornsby mayor Steve Russell said.
He was making reference to a speech Sir Henry Parkes gave at the opening of the bridge on May 2, 1889, in which he made the bridge a powerful symbol of Federation.
“The bridge created the final railway link that joined South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland together, becoming a major symbol of the move towards Federation,’’ Cr Russell said.
The bridge was at the time the fourth-largest bridge constructed in the world and the only steel-trussed bridge of its type in Australia.
Previous bridges were built with wrought iron.
The council’s festival is on Dangar Island on May 3 and 4.
It includes a free exhibition telling the story of the bridge, a cruise of the Brooklyn River with the river postman (bookings: 0400 600 111), a river tour aboard the historic Banksia Ferry from Dangar Island ($7.50, departs 11am and 2pm) and kids’ events in the park.