Ceremonial Ribbon, Dennis Bridge Opening; 1961; 100


Port Macquarie Museum


Ceremonial Ribbon, Dennis Bridge Opening

About this object

This piece of white satin ribbon has been signed by members of the official party at the opening of the Dennis Bridge over the Hasting River in December 1961. The ribbon was cut by Mr P D Hills, M.L.A. Minister for Local Government and Minister for Roads immediately after naming the newly built bridge in honour of the late Spencer Dennis the engineer responsible for the bridge design and location.

The Dennis Bridge was a major civil engineering and public undertaking and it took many years of concerted efforts by local politicians to gain the political and financial support of the State Government to have the bridge built at a cost of £473,000. The associated Pacific Highway deviation cost an additional £333,000.

The opening of the Dennis Bridge marked a major change in the Pacific Highway route impacting the people of Port Macquarie in particular. Travellers no longer had to use the Blackmans Point ferry to cross the Hasting River nor travel through Port Macquarie. The ferry crossing was closed and Port Macquarie was officially by-passed.

Whilst the bridge was officially opened with much positive publicity, the people of Port Macquarie were concerned over the impact on the town, particularly on tourism with the new bridge ensuring that visitors no longer just happened across the town by accident.

There had been earlier conjecture over the site of the bridge with both Wauchope and Port Macquarie keen to have the road river crossing in their towns with Wauchope already having a long established rail crossing over the river. The final site chosen was mid point between the two, 6 miles from Port Macquarie and 9 miles from Wauchope.

This ribbon is a unique reminder of the opening of the bridge and the ceremony that surrounded such an occasion. It evidences the dignitaries who officiated at the event and their pride in doing so.

Debbie Sommers
13 June 2014

Date Made


Medium and Materials

Satin, ink

Inscription and Marks

Features signatures of the officiating dignitaries:
P D Hills, M.L.A. Minister for Local Government and Minister for Roads
Mr Sherrard, Commissioner for Main Roads
Mr Shaw, Deputy Commissioner for Main Roads
Mr. Kenny, M.L.C.
Mr. Jordan M.L.A.
Mr. Brown M.L.A.
M. Warlters, Shire President
Ald. A, L. Crisp, Mayor Port Macquarie
D S Kennedy
P Hatsatouris
M Clifford Sergeant 2nd Class


960mmL, 60mmW

Subject and Association Keywords

Manners & customs

Credit Line

Donor: Mr J Casey

Object Type

Ceremonial textiles (ribbon)

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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