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Today, Luna Park Sydney exists and continues to be a vital part of the social and cultural fabric of the city of Sydney with prominent thanks to one very important group – the ‘Friends of Luna Park’. The Friends of Luna Park, who can be traced back to 1973, advocated for Luna Park Sydney to stay open amidst proposed redevelopment plans that risked erasing a long history of bringing joy and escapism to Sydneysiders.
On Thursday 4 March 2023 we held a reunion for the Friends of Luna Park, who were joined by other supporters, advocates and important figures who have been and continue to be advocates for our Park and its preservation.
At the commencement of this reunion, we were thrilled to reveal a new bronze plaque and mural under Luna Park’s iconic smiling face, honouring decades of activism and advocacy from the ‘Friends of Luna Park’. This treasured location now proudly boasts home on the right side pillar of the iconic Luna Park face, park-side.
Sam Marshall, Author of ‘Luna Park: Just for Fun’, had the honour of unveiling this commemorative piece, which is inscribed with the hand-drawn writing and sketch by two Friends of Luna Park pioneers, Martin Sharp and Peter Kingston, from a placard featured in their 1980 Friends of Luna Park meeting at Sydney Town Hall to protest the redevelopment of our site.
Following the unveiling, the gathered in Heritage-listed Coney Island to enjoy the ‘Joy Wheel’,’ Turkey Trot’ and ‘Barrels of Fun’ which were purchased, and therefore saved, by the group at the 1981 auction, when many historic artifacts were lost. The magic has been kept alive over the years thanks to the immense care taken in its restoration. For the attendees, this was a chance to meet and greet each other, reflect on memories, and even relive childhood moments by going down our classic Coney Island Slides and having a nostalgic spin on the Joy Wheel. There was no better venue for a reunion of Luna Park’s biggest supporters and protectors.
We are so honoured to have support from this group of passionate individuals who have demonstrated decades of unwavering loyalty to Luna Park Sydney. Our commitment is to uphold the legacy of Friends of Luna Park by protecting our wonderful Park and preserving the memories it holds for generations of Sydneysiders.
To the Friends of Luna Park, their supporters, and anybody else who continues to support our Park and its protection as a site key to the social and cultural fabric of Sydney, we thank you.