Monro Park a riot of colour with roses and summer annuals in full bloom

After the Christmas-New Year rush, it's time to smell the roses.

Speaking of which, the rose bushes in Monro Park, Cronulla - around the war memorial and lining the pathway - are looking sensational.

The roses are interspersed among beautiful summer annuals including petunias, marigolds, cosmos and dahlias, creating a riot of colour.

Sutherland Shire Council parks operations staff pruned the roses at the start of Spring and the plants are in full bloom. They will be pruned again next August.

Monro Park has been a haven for many during the pandemic, and the impact of a now approved development on the northern side was a hot council election issue.

The community has long valued the park as shown when public outrage killed off a council proposal in 1989 to build a car park underneath it.

Under the $1.5 million plan, the site would have been excavated, the car park built into the ground and the park reinstated on top.

Dorothy Monro, 87, the widow of Cecil (Joe) Monro, in Monro Park in 1989. Picture: Philip Lock

Dorothy Monro, 87, the widow of Cecil (Joe) Monro, in Monro Park in 1989. Picture: Philip Lock

The council said it would be similar to the Domain parking station in the City.

However, residents and the RSL strongly opposed disturbing the park containing the war memorial, which had been relocated from the Kingsway.

Among those to protest was Dorothy Monro, 87, the widow of Cecil (Joe) Monro, who played a major role in opening up Sutherland Shire, and after whom the park was named.

Mrs Monro recalled the ceremony 50 years earlier when the Governor visited the then-sleepy seaside village of Cronulla to dedicate the small park which was later named after her husband.

Shire president Michael Tynan eventually moved that the proposal in the Draft Development Control Plan be scrapped.

Monro Park in the late 1980s. Picture: Philip Lock

Monro Park in the late 1980s. Picture: Philip Lock

Cr Tynan said it had caused uncertainty and controversy within the community.

"Monro Park is an area of significance and the very thought of disturbing this park in any way has provided an angry response from the community," he said.

The car park proposal was made in conjunction with the 1988 official opening of Cronulla Bicentenary Plaza (the mall) and the council's other initiatives to breathe new life into Cronulla.