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Neville Watson Oval now open for business

River Heads Reserve opening - Neville Watson takes first bat after the new cricket oval was officially opened in his name. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
River Heads Reserve opening - Neville Watson takes first bat after the new cricket oval was officially opened in his name. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

AFTER a decade-long labour of love by Neville Watson, the River Heads man has been honoured with the opening of an oval bearing his name.

Billie Rustin, President River Heads Progress Association said Neville has been a driving force for the oval, working closely with council and the community in the process despite battling cancer for the past 12 months.

"Since the beginning he's been a very strong influence in the oval to the point where he has gone there when it was just overgrown land and used his personal ride on to mow tracks around the outside of it," she said.

"He's worked tirelessly to get the Reserve and more recently the oval."

The River Head Progress Association invited members of the community to attend the opening of the Neville Watson Oval on Sunday.

Mayor Gerard O'Connell officially opened the oval by bowling the first ball to the man himself, Mr Watson who has worked tirelessly since 2004 to push for the development of the oval and the River Heads Reserve.

Neville, whose two children flew from as far as Sydney and Brisbane to attend the opening as a surprise, said he is humbled by the gesture and praised the oval as a community effort.

"It is a great honour but we still have a long way to go," he said.

"Our next focus will be a walking and riding track and we hope the community makes use of the facilities so we can develop it further."

The day was marked with a cricket match between the Fraser Coast council and the River Head Progress Association.

Councillors Darren Everard, George Seymour, Trevor McDonald and Robert Garland proved they were best suited to office life as River Heads won the match 88 to 66.

Ms Rustin said while it was a tough game for all, some of the councillors came out a little worse for wear.

"Darren was catching and he copped one on the shin and that was a bit sore and while Robert Garland was batting he misjudged a yorker and copped it on the foot."

Topics:  fraser coast, hervey bay, river heads




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