Golden Square Primary School students pen more than 100 letters in support of Golden Square Pool

“They’re not closing our pool.” 

Those were the words of Golden Square Primary School student Tarrant Gloury as he cradled a box filled with letters from his peers, out the front of the City of Greater Bendigo offices on Monday.

The fate of the 100-year-old pool will be the subject of a vote at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

Students call on council

INDIGNATION radiated from letters penned by Golden Square Primary School students concerned for the fate of their local pool.

City of Greater Bendigo staff received a box of more than 100 letters by the school’s senior students on Monday – two days before councillors cast their votes on whether or not to close the Golden Square Pool.

“The Golden Square Pool doesn’t cost much to keep open and you guys spent $30,000 on a BENCH in a MALL,” Max Lowery wrote.

“You expect schools to do swimming lessons and plenty of schools use Golden Square’s pool and now we have to travel and spend more money to do swimming lessons.”

Disappointment was a common theme in the sample of letters supplied to the Bendigo Advertiser.

“Why on Earth would you close down a friendly pool where families go to have fun and socialise?” Max wrote.

“Do you realise you will be closing down 100 years of history and 100 years of fun for families?”

Golden Square Primary School students Tarrant Gloury, Zahli Waugh, Mia Polsen and Liam Hanley present the box of letters to the council. Picture: NONI HYETT

Golden Square Primary School students Tarrant Gloury, Zahli Waugh, Mia Polsen and Liam Hanley present the box of letters to the council. Picture: NONI HYETT

Students raised environmental benefits, health benefits and social benefits to the pool’s survival.

Council staff have cited an over supply of pools and costs as reasons why the closure is being considered.

“There is nothing wrong with the pool so why close it down?” Max wrote.

“People will lose a vital resource that people LOVE.

“[Families] without cars can walk or ride without taking public transport and after footy or cricket games people [can] chill and relax at the family-friendly pool.” 

Max wrote that he was one of many students that had been to the Golden Square Pool this season, not counting their visits during school.

“Kids and adults have some amazing memories there – I have memories there too,” he said.

The letters were written as part of a persuasive writing exercise at school.

“That was unsolicited support,” Golden Square Pool president Bernadette Wright said.

“I think that speaks volumes about the impact an impending pool closure has on a community.”

She called on the councillors to listen to the concerns the children had articulated.

City of Greater Bendigo active and healthy communities manager Lincoln Fitzgerald accepted the letters from Golden Square Primary School students Zahli Waugh, Liam Hanley, Tarrant Gloury and Mia Polsen on the council’s behalf.

Golden Square Swimming pool committee president Bernadette Wright with Jenny Foote. Click on the picture for more about the campaign. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Golden Square Swimming pool committee president Bernadette Wright with Jenny Foote. Click on the picture for more about the campaign. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

'Don't shut our pool' | Students have their say

Save Our Pool

I think that it's an incredibly terrible choice that you are even thinking of shutting down our beautiful pool. It has been used many, many times by the community. 

Seeing as not very long ago, it turned 100 years old, why are you shutting it down? Just think of all the volunteers. They would be quite mad. It's really unintelligent for someone to shut it down.

It is such an easy location for the Golden Square residents being only half a block down from the highway. Lots of people don't even need to drive there. They just pack their bags and walk over for a quick dip, then head back home.

It's a lot less environmentally friendly having to drive out in your car to another pool, it's quite annoying. It wastes petrol and gases which hurts the environment, creating pollution.

At the Golden Square Pool, the costs are quite low. It's probably one of the most cheapest pools in Bendigo. The other pools however are quite expensive which means if our pool is shut, the others won't be as popular because of their costs. 

This would mean not as many citizens of Bendigo would be very active in the summer on the roasting days.

In conclusion it's a very impulsive idea from the council to shut down our wondrous pool.

From Zahli Waugh

Golden Square Pool. Click the image to read a letter to the editor by Golden Square Pool president Bernadette Wright.

Golden Square Pool. Click the image to read a letter to the editor by Golden Square Pool president Bernadette Wright.

Save Our Pool

Dear Rod Fyffe,

I think you are bonkers if you want to shut down the Golden Square Pool because...

Firstly, it is used regularly by the Golden Square community. It might be a safety hazard because people might go to the lake\river as an alternative. 

If people use the lake\river they might drown because there are no Lifeguards to save them if they drown or get taken away by the current.

Secondly, it will be less environmentally friendly if you close down the pool because people will have to drive to the pool in a car and they will need petrol to run their cars. The petrol will release toxins into the air which is bad for the environment.

And lastly, the Golden Square pool is an easy location to get to being only 20 metres off the main road of Bendigo. If the pool is closed down kids might get lazy because other pools will be to far away.

That is why it is a horrible idea to close down the Golden Square Pool.

From Grace Hancock Golden Square Primary School.

Harry Barne from Specimen Hill Primary School campaigns for the facility's survival. Click the image to read more on this issue. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Harry Barne from Specimen Hill Primary School campaigns for the facility's survival. Click the image to read more on this issue. Picture: DARREN HOWE

You Can't Close Our Pool Down

Dear Lockwood Ward Councillors,

YOU CAN'T CLOSE OUR POOL DOWN! 

We all have had so many memories there, it is right over the road, it costs so little to get in and is a safe and welcoming environment. 

Our school has our swimming sports, swimming lessons and end of year party at the Golden Square pool and if the pool is not there, we won't be able to to any of those.

Golden Square pool is such a safe place because there are lifeguards that don't take their eyes off you and are really friendly. I always walk into the pool gates knowing that I am going to be safe and I won't have to pay a fortune to get in.

The pool is also in such a great place for Golden Square because our school has our swimming sports, swimming lessons and end of year party there and we only have to walk over the road. 

Imagine the futures of these kids if they don't know how to swim, because of the cost of the bus and other pools if the Golden Square pool shuts down.

It will be really inconvenient for families because they will have to travel further away and possibly pay more to get in. 

Would you rather kids be at the pool socialising with friends and family or at home in their room on their electronics?

Please don't shut our pool. It means so much to us and so many people love it. Did you know in the last five years 66,000 people went to visit this amazing pool? That proves how much we need this pool!

Yours sincerely,

Jasmine Reilley, Golden Square primary school 5/6 student.

Community members gather to celebrate 100 years of the Golden Square Swimming Pool. For more on this story, click the picture. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Community members gather to celebrate 100 years of the Golden Square Swimming Pool. For more on this story, click the picture. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Why can't we have both pools? 

Dear Lockwood Ward Councillors,

Do you want kids to drown? Because getting rid of the Golden Square Pool isn't going to help them learn to swim! Did you know that over the past five years 66,000 people entered the Golden Square Pool?

The Golden Square community uses the pool almost every day. Our school uses the pool for swimming sports and the end of year party. 

If you shut the pool down, it will cost our school more money not only to get in but also to travel from our school to another pool. 

Kids in the Golden Square community won't have anywhere to swim or cool down unless they drive.

You're willing to pay $35,000 dollars for a chair, but yet you won't pay $50,000 for the pool? You could go to the shops and get a chair for $2. Your chair that you're buying for the CBD could break but the pool won't. The chair can only hold one person but the pool can hold hundreds.

Why can't we have both pools? Just because Kangaroo Flat is getting a pool doesn't mean we have to get rid of the Golden Square Pool. 

People who live in Golden Square and don't have a car, can't walk to the Kangaroo Flat pool, especially since if you're going to a pool it is most likely going to be hot. 

The Kangaroo Flat pool is an indoor pool so it will be hotter in there and smell strongly of chlorine.

From Ava Barker, Golden Square Primary School.