A new bench seat commemorating the life and community contributions of one of the region's beloved locals has been installed in the centre of Cowaramup.
Loraine Teasdale passed away in October and in the following weeks, Mukau Giftware and Gallery owner Wendy Sibly came upon the idea to memorialise Mrs Teasdale outside their shop.
"Wendy from Mukau saw the seats up Dunsborough-Yallingup way, she and Kerry (Sibly, husband and co-owner) had been looking to put a seat near their shop," explained Jill Turton of the Cowaramup Business Association (CBA).
"They put their plan to Shire and finally got it through, Kerry then worked with the Cowaramup Bull Shed who gave a quote. The Cowaramup Business Association agreed that a memorial seat was a great idea to recognise Loraine's fabulous contribution and agreed to fund the project."
Mrs Teasdale had been instrumental in the creation of the famous Cowaramup Cow Herd.
"After the Cow Parade had been through the area Loraine came up with the idea of the Herd of Cows to honour the dairy history and to further play on the CowTown tag Cowaramup had acquired," said Ms Turton. "Others came up with similar ideas but Loraine persevered until the Cowaramup Lions Club took it up and working with Loraine and other town members, made idea real.
"From day one, people stopped in the town to find out what was going on and then to enjoy the cows. We believe it increased the income of most of the shops in town by about 10 per cent pretty quickly, at a time when the economy was quite depressed. Businesses and individuals own the cows and they and many locals take ownership and pleasure from the herd.
"Its going to be a long time until Cowaramup becomes a tourist destination of its own, but its definitely a secondary destination. I'd be doubtful that there are many visitors to the area from Cape to Cape who don't at some point visit to see the cows. Its an opportunity for businesses to grow, for visitors to enjoy the local community and to find out more about our town - like that it's named after the Cowara bird."
The Cowaramup Bull Shed members completed and installed the seat, before Loraine's husband George was approached for his blessing to dedicate the seat to his late wife.
The CBA arranged for the plaque to be installed, before the seat was officially unveiled last Friday.
"Loraine was unlikely to have thought that her little idea would create such a boon in our town. We are very appreciative and thankful for her idea and persistence."
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