Australian Seabird Rescue members Bec Scott, Rob Poulton and Missy Hammerbeck at Fawcett Park in Ballina yesterday. They are ho
Australian Seabird Rescue members Bec Scott, Rob Poulton and Missy Hammerbeck at Fawcett Park in Ballina yesterday. They are ho

Pelican Mans memory may be immortalised in a park

By MARY MANN

FAMILY members of the late Lance Ferris are touched by a move to name a popular park after Ballina's 'Pelican Man'.

At a Ballina Shire Council meeting today, mayor Phillip Silver will move a mayoral minute to rename Ballina's Fawcett Park as Lance Ferris Park.

Lance, who founded Australian Seabird Rescue in Ballina about 15 years ago and dedicated his life to native animals, died on Sunday, October 14, after suffering a stroke. He was 60 years old.

"Both myself and Lance's two children, Jason and Rochelle, are absolutely touched," Lance's partner and closest friend Marny Bonner said. "It is really comforting to know the council thinks that deeply about Lance's contribution to the community."

Fawcett Park was made into a park in 2004. At that time, a naming competition was held, which attracted a large number of responses.

Coincidentally, Lance Ferris Park was one of the nominations, however, it was not chosen because the council said it was not customary practice to name places after people who are living.

The name Fawcett Park was chosen instead, after the first State Member for Richmond, Charles Fawcett, who was elected in 1880.

In his mayoral minute, Cr Silver said the park had become popular and that in many ways it represented the style of Ballina with its orientation to the Richmond River.

"Communities need role models and I believe enthusiasm, strength of character and care for native animals and the environment, practised by the recently deceased Lance Ferris, provides such a role model," he said. "The synergies between the new park and the life and work of Mr Ferris are very strong."

The mayoral minute will go to a meeting of the council today.



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