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The Mackay Cricket and
Harrup Park Story: 1867 – Now

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Harrup Park’s links to Lord’s
“the home of cricket”

John Ewen (JE) Davidson played in Mackay’s first official cricket match, and was a member of Marylebone Cricket Club, that owns Lord’s. He was Foundation President of the MCA.

Henry Finch Hatton arrived in Mackay in 1872, his brother Harold arrived in 1875, and both were keen cricketers who joined the Mackay Cricket Club. Henry and Harold’s ancestor Edward Finch Hatton, the 8th Earl of Winchilsea, and two others had bought land that later became Lord’s.

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4 May 1867

Mackay gets a cricket clubs

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“it all started on Monday November 9, 1868, with a
cricket match played on a very simple pitch marked
out on the grass of a paddock in what is now the
western end of Shakespeare Street.”

9 November 1868

Town vs River Cricket Game

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1868 to 1873

Cricket as part of Mackay’s Social Scene

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1 May 1873

Mackay vs Broadsound, a “notable social occasion”

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The MCC of 1873 was “flourishing”, with enough
players to field two teams.

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Late 1881

A new committee and Mackay takes on Rockhampton

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“Cricketers at this time were visiting Mackay by boat.
There were many problems and long delays with the
tides and sandbanks. It wasn’t until the completion of
the North Coast railway in December 1923 that teams
could travel via train.”

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18 September 1882

School of Arts Concert

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The first cricket pitches pre-1900 were mostly rough soil and grass.

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1885

Queens Park East

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1888

Queens Park West

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2 September 1891

the Mackay Cricket Association is established

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January 1889

Mackay cricketer plays for Queensland

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5 November 1894

Australian test match cricketers visit Mackay

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1896

Mackay cricketers visit Charters Towers

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By 1900 the Mackay cricket pitches were concrete covered in matting, so higher scoring matches were common.

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Easter 1902

The first Townsville vs Mackay

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Early 1900’s

a new wicket was put down

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Easter 1908

Mackay cricket’s ever improving status…

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The outbreak of the First World War, a cyclone in January 1918 and the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1919 sent cricket in Mackay into recess for 6 years. After the war many British migrants and single men from Southern states were attracted to Mackay by the burgeoning sugar industry where they made a significant impact to the quality of cricket played at that time.

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1920’s – 1939

Easter carnivals

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1925

the Bardsley XI toured Mackay

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1926/1927 season

two junior cricket teams were formed

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Late 1920’s

a burgeoning Mackay cricket scene

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30 August 1928

the Mackay Junior Cricket

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3 November 1929

women join the cricketing ranks

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April 1931

Don Bradman came to Mackay

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Christmas 1937

The opening of the Queen’s Park turf wickets

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By the 1938/1939 season, Mackay junior cricket was “strong, active and progressive” and featured 30 affiliated teams.

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1939

Mrs. Graham’s cow paddock

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22 March 1940

Bill Ives XI played Mackay at Queen’s Park

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1941

Amalgamation of the Mackay Cricket Association and the Mackay Junior Cricket Association

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In those early days at Juliet Street there were 5 concrete and two turf wickets. In the dry months, the outfields were bare and dusty, during rain they were muddy, and during the wet season they were overgrown with grass. Eventually the Association came into a position to acquire a mower.

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1945/1946 season

cricket was back in full swing

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1948

Mackay Cricket gets its first coach

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23 August 1948

Harrup Park gets its name

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By the 1948/1949 season, there were 47 teams registered as part of the Mackay Cricket Association.

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Easter 1949

Mackay vs Jack Chegwyn’s NSW XI

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1949/1950 season

district cricket zones

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1949/1950 season

rain plays havoc on the MCA finances

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5 January 1950

Mackay cricketer chosen the play Sheffield Shield

 

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1950

Hockey and cricket coincide

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1954

Australia Day Carnivals

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8 September 1962

The Pavilion

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April 1965

Cobb and Co XI

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1967/1968 season

umpire payments

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December 1968

the West Indies come to Mackay

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1970

AFL signs on

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August 1974

Mackay Junior Cricket Association is reinstated

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September 1975

the Warren Saunders XI came to Mackay

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October 1976

Sheffield Shield players converge on Harrup for a mixed teams competition

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1976/1977 season

completion of flexicrete and synthetic turf wickets

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1978

6 A Grade clubs

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6 December 1978

the World Series came to Mackay

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7&8 March 1981

Papua New Guinea vs Mackay

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1982

liquor licence application

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1982/1983 season

Mid-North zone formed for Queensland Country selection trials

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30 April 1984

a steering committee was appointed to investigate and report back on the feasibility of establishing a licenced cricketer’s club.

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30 July 1984

Mackay Cricket Association is incorporated

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1987/1988

synthetic turf laid on some wickets and dressing rooms and extensions added to the pavilion.

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28 January 1988

the Ansett Challenge, Mackay vs Rockhampton, with Rockhampton winning by 22 runs in a rain shortened game.

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December 1988

Pakistan played Queensland in two one day matches

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11 October 1989

the XXXX Challenge Cup, Mackay vs Rockhampton, featuring Allan Border playing for the Mackay team.

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May 1990

the Moscow Circus came to Harrup and so did torrential rain

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30 July 1991

Mackay Cricket Association officially owns Harrup Park

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28 February 1992

Harrup hosted a World Cup match.. or tried to

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August 1992

Wanderers Cricket Club played 2 one day matches against Mackay

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6 July 1994

9 hole par 3 golf course opened

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Mid 1990’s

Harrup hosts the Junior State Championships and Cricket Academy games

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22-25 November 1995

Queensland vs Sri Lanka

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3 August 1999

the $2 million Harrup Park is opened

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“Cricketers now have a meeting place far grander than Ray [Mitchell}’s most optimistic dreams”

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the long grass, dust and mud of the Juliet Street of 1946 are now long forgotten.”

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Early 2000’s

over a $3million Field 1 rebuild

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Early 2000’s

Lease signed with Mackay Australian Rules

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2001/2002 season

MJCA and MCA affiliated again

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2003/2004

$1.3million club expansion,

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2003/2004

Cricket becomes a curriculum subject

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2006

Australian Vigoro

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4 January 2008

Mackay Invitational XI vs East Asia Pacific

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January 2008

Australian Country Championships

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2007/2008 season

a new electronic scoreboard was installed on the Mitchell Oval, commissioned from a Queensland Government Grant, along with new lighting.

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The 2007/2008, 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 seasons were the worst ever, with more wet days than days played of cricket. For the first time in 70 years, there was no winner of the Poole Cup in 2010/2011.

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2008/2009 season

the Association took out a joint lease in partnership

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August 2009

Harrup hosted the Powers Education Open Tournament,

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2010

Federal and State Govt joint grant of $2.8mill utilised

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2010

the Association took out a joint lease

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22 October 2011

Ryobi Cup, Queensland vs Tasmania, in front of a crowd of 2500.

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2011

further grandstand additions

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19 August 2011

Harrup hosted a coaching clinic for junior cricketers by Queensland and Australian pace bowler Geoff Dymock.

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1 November 2011

Arabia comes to Harrup

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March 2011

Club awards recognition

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2013

Club renovations

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2014

feature match – Brisbane Lions played Sydney Swans

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October 2015

Queensland Bulls Masters T20 Country Challenge

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6-9 December 2015

Queensland Bulls played the NSW Blues in a Sheffield Shield game

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2015

the new function rooms extension is opened

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24 August – 4 September 2016

International A series games between Australia A, a National Performance Squad, India and South Africa

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6 March 2016

Brisbane Lions played St Kilda in the first of many NAB Challenge/JLT Series AFL preseason fixtures

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2016

the first of many successful Eat Streets was hosted

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26 February 2017

JLT Community Series game Gold Coast Suns vs Essendon

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29 April 2018

The first of many annual CQ Emergency Services Days held at Harrup saw over 7000 people on the oval enjoying the displays and activities

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12-13 January 2018

WBBL attendance record broken

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17 February 2018

Pink Stumps Day raised over $23,000 for the McGrath Foundation, and it was the top fundraiser across Australia that year

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14 April 2018

NEAFLW game Gold Coast Suns vs GWS Giants

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25 August 2018

The first ever Beer and BBQ Festival was a great success, with over 4500 attendees enjoying the boutique beers, food stalls, eating competitions and bands

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12 November 2018

150th anniversary of cricket in Mackay

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November 2018 – $4 million renovation

New outdoor casual dining and bar area, a redesign of the entry, gaming and reception, and new Australian flora and fauna inspired decor

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2018

Mackay Cricket is named Queensland Cricket Association of the Year

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5-6 January 2019

WBBL double header weekend, featuring the Brisbane Heat vs Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Renegades

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3 March 2019

Preseason game Gold Coast Suns vs Western Bulldogs

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May 2019

the Harrup Park Charitable Contributions Fund commenced

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23 June 2019

AFLW Gold Coast Suns vs Brisbane Lions

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16-17 August 2019

Harrup’s busy social scene

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October 2019

North and Central Queensland schools descended on Harrup for the northern conference finals of the Street Smarts T20 State Challenge

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September-October 2019

Harrup hosted two weeks of games of the Australian Under 17 championships

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2019

naming the Terry Hayes Grandstand

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2-3 November 2019

WBBL Brisbane Heat vs Adelaide Strikers

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November 2019

13-15 years Queensland State Schoolgirls championships

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December 2019

8 teams from across Queensland competed in the Bulls Masters Under 16 Youth Cup

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2019/2020

the Komatsu Womens Challenge Series commenced

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2019/2020

National Under 17s cricket championships

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6 March 2020

AFLW Gold Coast Suns vs Geelong Cats

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March-June 2020

impacts of COVID on the club

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2020

more awards recognition

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May Long Weekend 2020

Harrup hosted its first GBRA T10 Bash for Cash

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While COVID cancelled or postponed a lot of the state and national carnivals across the 2022/2021 season, Harrup still hosted the NQ Alliance Open Male and Female, Under 21 and Under 18 Senior Carnivals as well as hosted 16 teams in December across the Under 12, 13 and 15 age groups of the Junior Northern Alliance Carnival.

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2021/2022 season

Harrup started and concluded the Cricket Australia “Summer of Cricket”

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13 February 2021

AFLW Gold Coast Suns vs Carlton Blues

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2-3 May 2021

Harrup hosted an inaugural T20 Bash for Cash, with $50,000 in sponsored prizemoney hotly contested by 10 teams in a COVID restricted competition.

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27 May 2021

The Reubens played a COVID-restricted numbers outdoor concert to 680 fans as part of their album tour.

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November 2021

Harrup hosted 9 WBBL matches between 6 teams over two weekends

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2021

Harrup won the Clubs Qld Support of Sport Award, for its continued support of female cricket in the Mackay region

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9 January 2022

AFLW Gold Coast Suns vs GWS Giants

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In 2021/2022, Harrup provided $6.5 million across all initiatives with direct community benefit for community groups, sport, local services and charities.

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27 August 2022

Legends on the Lawn came to Mackay, albeit postponed from May, featuring big names like Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, Jon Stevens and more

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17 September

AFLW Gold Coast Suns vs St Kilda

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13-18 October 2022

WBBL Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Sixers

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December 2022

Harrup now has more than 1,000 foundation members, over 22,000 members and 61 affiliated sporting, recreation and leisure clubs. Stage 1 of the highly anticipated Great Barrier Reef Arena is nearly complete.

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“it is a proud role cricketers have played in fashioning Mackay into one of the finest Queensland regional cities.”