Bibra Lake’s Currie Park renamed Mary Ann Tapper Park in honour of lady who purchased the land in late 1800s

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More than a century after Mary Anny Tapper first set foot in the Bibra Lake area, her descendents have revealed their delight over a park being re-named in her honour.

The former Currie Park, located on Progress Drive next to Adventure World, has been re-named Mary Ann Tapper Park after the lady who purchased the land back in the late 1800s.

Cockburn council made the re-naming decision after a push by Tapper family descendents, including Mary Ann’s 95-year-old granddaughter Elsie Gildersleeve.

For Ms Gildersleeve, whose father Daniel was Mary Ann’s youngest son, it made a recent visit to the park with family a very emotional day.

“It was a case of trying to get her there, because she’s so frail. It was her dying wish, she’ll go happily now she’s seen it at last,” her daughter Jillian Fitzgerald said.

Elsie Gildersleeve, the granddaughter of Mary Ann Tapper, at the park named in her honour.
Camera IconElsie Gildersleeve, the granddaughter of Mary Ann Tapper, at the park named in her honour. Credit: Supplied

“She’s number 12, she’s slowly seen all her brothers and sisters pass away, so it means a lot to her.”

Ms Fitzgerald said they had fought long and hard to see the park re-named.

“For a number of years, my family worked together to put that memorial there, so you can imagine how it hit us when the park said Currie,” she said.

“This was my family’s property for many years, they raised 12 children there and the government took it over as a green belt and gradually started selling everything off.”

The Tapper family descendents at Mary Ann Tapper Park in Bibra Lake.
Camera IconThe Tapper family descendents at Mary Ann Tapper Park in Bibra Lake. Credit: Supplied

The Tappers were one of Cockburn’s founding families and Mary-Ann settled in Bibra Lake in the mid-1800s, with Ms Gildersleeve’s father eventually building a homestead at the site of the current park.

Ms Gildersleeve and her siblings lived at the homestead and helped work the land, dairy and postal and telegraph service which became the centre of the local community.

A sign was recently erected at the park, along with another sign with pictures and the history of the Tapper family and there is a white picket fence surrounding the park, as there was during Ms Gildersleeve’s day.

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