Bowen Library renamed to mark 25th anniversary

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Upgrades & Improvements, Heritage, Art & Culture

Maroubra’s Bowen Library will be renamed ‘Lionel Bowen Library and Community Centre’ as part of celebrations for the library’s 25th anniversary this month on Thursday, 25 August.

Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza said the renaming provides proper recognition of the late Member for Kingsford Smith who was also Deputy Prime Minister from 1983 to 1990.

“Lionel Bowen was an impressive man, who not only did some wonderful things for Randwick City, but went on to represent Australia on the national political stage as Deputy Prime Minister alongside Bob Hawke.

“The Lionel Bowen Library is a much-loved library in the eastern suburbs and we’re proud to not only have refreshed the library for the community, but also to give it the name it deserves in honour of Lionel Bowen,” said Mayor D’Souza.

Mayor of Randwick in 1948, Lionel Bowen played a significant role in Sydney’s eastern suburbs community over many decades.

The renaming coincides with the recent renovation of the library to refresh the interiors, providing a better space and access for visitors to attend the 1,900 events, courses and classes held each year.

Lionel Bowen laid the foundation stone for Randwick City’s first library in June 1951 adjacent to Randwick Town Hall, which opened to the public on 12 July 1952.

In 1969, the Council opened a new purpose built library and senior citizens centre at Maroubra Junction.  However, in May 1987, the library burnt to the ground beyond repair, destroying 55,000 of the 75,000 books in the library’s collection.

Out of the ashes rose a new library across the street, opened by Lionel Bowen on 25 August 1991 and named the Bowen Library in his honour. 

25 years on, the Lionel Bowen Library is frequented by over 320,000 visitors every year, and hosts 1,900 events, classes and courses.

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