Sumsion Gardens – A popular park

The Lagoon, Lake Huon, Belvoir Lagoon, Belvoir Park and Sumsion Gardens, all names over time of one of Wodonga’s favourite recreation and picnic spot.

In 1888 Wodonga residents were concerned that, since water had been laid on, the refuse of the Wodonga railway station and a great portion of the sewage of the town had been running into Lake Huon, endangering the health of the inhabitants of the town.

In the 1800’s river boats could enter Lake Huon from Wodonga Creek. There was a jetty south of where the water fountain is today. In later years, this jetty was used by the Clay Bird Shooting Club.

From the early 1900’s football and cricket were played there, and some mining leases were also allowed.

At one time there were open gravel pits between House Creek and the main lagoon, and these were subsequently filled with town garbage collected by the Council. The gravel pits would have been similar to the ones that were operating until recent years on the west side of the Lincoln Causeway.

In the late 1940s, the Wodonga Golf Club took over part of Belvoir Park for a 9-hole golf course with sand greens. The Golf Club house was built in 1946. The Club extended the course to 12-holes when the football ground moved to Martin Park and later bought the “donkey” paddock and extended to 18-holes. The last official round of golf was played on 31st July 1982 but players stayed until the highway went through when the Golf Course was relocated to Parkers Road in September 1982.

Mr Eric Sumsion was the gardening curator for Wodonga Shire in the mid 1950’s.  He saw potential and asked permission to work on an area of Belvoir Park in his own time.  He eventually purchased a house adjoining the area giving him more time to work on it. Mr Sumsion’s work creating the gardens area was acknowledged by the then Shire Engineer, Mr Bill Page, and the Council of the day, by formally naming it Sumsion Gardens with which the people of Wodonga whole-heartedly agreed.

At the time of the re-dedication of Belvoir Park in December 1982, Uncle Bens offered to donate a sound-shell facing the natural amphitheatre. However, local residents objected and Uncle Bens agreed to the money being used to provide an ‘island’ and bridge access within the lagoon area of Belvoir Park.