Muriel Drynan Memorial Park is a picturesque slice of peace and quiet, tucked in behind Beaudesert suburbia at the top of Birnam Street. An impressive fig tree in the middle of the park dwarfs the basic swing sets, see-saw and slippery dip which are scattered beneath the shade of its enormous branches. The tree – one of several majestic old figs in Muriel Drynan Memorial Park – is a sight to behold at golden hour, when its silhouette cuts a striking figure against the skyline.
The park looks out over sloping paddocks behind the park, where livestock lazily graze right on the edge of town, to the hills of Biddaddaba and beyond. On a clear day, you might even be lucky to catch a glimpse of Tamborine Mountain. The park’s picnic shelter itself looks pretty unassuming – just a table and bench seats beneath a basic roof. But it holds many special memories for the people who’ve celebrated birthdays and Christmas parties there or sat for quiet lunch breaks with family and friends at their slice of country paradise in the middle of town.
Muriel Drynan Park sits right next to the Council parks and gardens plant nursery, which is open to the public on Fridays and is the collection point for Council’s annual free trees program. Muriel Drynan, the park’s namesake, paved the way for future generations as the first female councillor elected to the Beaudesert Shire Council.
Cr Drynan, who was born Muriel Newman in Kalbar in 1909, served on Council from 1965 to 1973, the year she died. Her first husband, Cr Robert Davis from Mt Barney, died quite young and Cr Drynan’s second husband Andrew Drynan, who also has a park named after him at Running Creek, served on Council and was Mayor from 1973 to 1977. Cr Drynan’s relative Catherine Drynan, who lives in Rathdowney, remembers Muriel as a very talented woman who devoted her life to serving her local community – a talented organist, playing at St Thomas Anglican Church in Beaudesert, and a leader in the Girl Guide movement