South Para Reservoir committee reveal new signage

Impressive signage depicting a bygone era will greet the many visitors expected to attend South Para’s 60th anniversary celebrations in October this year.

According to anniversary committee chairman Martin Johnson, corflute signs and canvas banner, along with posters and stickers, are the result of generous donations made by the community.

The signage, to promote the reservoir at Williamstown, was unveiled at the anniversary committee’s meeting on Wednesday afternoon at Cafe Nova, Gawler – almost one year to the day the members first joined.

Included in the new signage is a photo of Peter Dulmanis as a lad of about six, with his pet dog Sue, when he lived on the site.

Mr Dulmanis, who now resides in Melbourne and attends meetings, shared how he had wanted a dog.

It was a fellow student of Williamstown Primary School, Doug Speck, whose dog had a litter of puppies and brought the female dog to school.

“I said I will take it and hid it under my jumper,” Mr Dulmanis said.

He shared how his mother wasn’t too happy to learn he had a dog, especially a female.

The photo was taken by his good friend Geoffrey Brooks, the same age, who also lived on the site.

“I lived up a bit further and have fond memories of living there,” Mr Dulmanis said.

The meeting was also attended by dignitaries Light MP Tony Piccolo and MLC John Dawkins who have both given their support of the anniversary celebrations.

For Mr Piccolo, a self-described history buff, he said the site’s connection with migrant workers is dear to him because of his own family’s humble beginnings.

“I thank the community for their hard work in bringing an era back to life which is highly important,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Dawkins is keen to re-visit the reservoir.

“I would love to see it again and love to take the grandkids.”

Anyone who would like to attend the October celebrations can contact Martin Johnson on 0467 449 292. Email:

Martin Johnson’s welcome speech

‘Welcome everybody to the launch of the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the South Para Reservoir.

How good are these posters, corflute signs, car stickers and our anniversary banner? Great job by local Art and Signs.

And it has been a great effort by our South Para Anniversary Committee members, Williamstown Hotel, Williamstown’s Post Office and local trucking company Smith Brothers in raising the money to pay for them. Fantastic effort.

Celebrating here with us today are Labor MP Tony Piccolo, MLC John Dawkins and Steve Elliott, CFS Captain at Williamstown. Steve will be looking after us with his BBQ skills on the Saturday afternoon of the celebrations, from 12 noon Saturday October 13. All proceeds go to the brigade.

How did this all start? I wrote a letter to the newspapers late in 2016 which prompted Tony (Piccolo) to contact me by letter dated January 3, 2017. This was shortly followed by a photo shoot out at the entrance to the reservoir.

Not long after this appeared I was contacted by Liberal MLC John Dawkins regarding the 60th Anniversary. John went on to raise the matter in Parliament with Water Minister Ian Hunter. This was February 16, 2017.

On March 20, 2017 I contacted SA Water for the first time and soon SA Water’s Matt Green contacted me and then attended our June SPAC meeting. Matt’s attendance at this meeting led to SA Water’s full support of this celebratory event. Very big thanks for this.

Actually tomorrow, March 2, will be one year since our very first meeting was held here at Café Nova. Today’s display of promotional material is a splendid way to show off the committee’s achievements in really just a short time.

To continue. On March 22, 2017 I contacted Communications and Marketing Officer for Barossa Council, Heidi Helbig. Heidi assured me that “Council would be happy to promote any scheduled activities to the wider community via our social media, website and/or print media publications.” Brilliant!

Having said that I’d also like to recognise the local newspapers who have energetically supported this event, in particular, the Barossa and Light Herald.

So here we are, a year since we started out with our plans for the 60th Anniversary of the South Para Reservoir finally in place.’