Gaiarine Gardens was created to recognise the City of Botany Bay’s sister city relationship with Gaiarine, Italy.
The entry to the park is a gathering place that greets the visitor and sets the theme of the gardens. The walls at the threshold to the gardens feature metalwork, mosaics and a drinking fountain. All these elements are featured in most traditional Italian gardens.
The use of water is a common theme. The bubbler with foot pedal for easy usage is embellished with the image of the sun, Apollo. The sun is also important in the Australian culture as it is symbolic of Australia’s love of outdoor living.
The mosaic at the entrance to the gardens depicts both a Banksia and an Olive tree branch intertwined, symbolising the friendship between Botany and Gaiarine. The Banksia is a tree which grows naturally in this district. The olive is, of course, found in Italy.
All the plants and attractions in Gaiarine Gardens follow the theme of being common to both Australian and Italian gardens.
The Gardens were officially opened in January, 1992. The opening coincided with the 10th anniversary of the sister city relationship.
The Bersalglieri organisation is very similar to Australia’s Returned Servicemen’s League (RSL). They are the core of the Italian army and are highly regarded because they are soldiers who run instead of walk.
This plaque, donated by the President of the Bersaglieri in Gaiarine, Mr Benny Pessotto, represents the history of the corps which was founded in 1836.
Around the central figure on the plaque are various depictions of the Bersaglieri in action, (top) the conquest of Rome, (middle) riding bicycles and motorcycles and (bottom) the corps activities today.
Cnr of Ocean St and Banksia St, Pagewood 2035