Naming honour for icon

Aiden BoyhamSound Telegraph

An iconic figure in Golden Bay’s history was recognised in a touching ceremony held by the City of Rockingham last Friday.

Thundelarra Reserve opposite Golden Bay Primary School was officially renamed Sam Silla Reserve, with the ceremony honouring one of Golden Bay’s original residents who helped contribute to the development of the community over many years.

Mr Silla moved to the area in 1971 and was a stalwart in the community until he passed away in 2009.

He played a role in forming the Golden Bay Progress Association, hosting many meetings in the family’s garage during the early years.

He was also well-respected for his involvement with the Golden Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade, serving as captain for several years.

City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels hailed Mr Silla’s contribution to the community.

“Naming a public reserve to honour and respect a hardworking and valued community member is something the City of Rockingham has traditionally supported,” he said.

“So in this case, it’s most appropriate that Sam’s name will live on here forever at a reserve that will give generations of Golden Bay families much social and recreational fun.”

Mr Silla’s son Benton gave a heartwarming speech to close the renaming ceremony, describing his father as his biggest hero.

It’s an absolute honour to have this park named after Dad,

he said.

“Whenever there was a snake in somebody’s yard, a bore needed, drilling, you were bogged at the beach, or you had a cat up a tree, you could always call on Dad.”

The idea to rename Thundelarra Reserve was first raised in 2015 by Comet Bay Ward councillor Chris Elliott, with council later following protocols laid out by the Geographical Naming Committee and the City’s own Naming of Reserve guidelines.

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