P A Burns Reserve

PA Burns Reserve, Altona

PA Burns Reserve is located in Altona Road just past the Altona Sports Club backing on to the beach area which is referred to as the Altona Dog Beach. P A Burns Reserve was recently upgraded (2019/20) to include: separating the shared trail and primary dog beach access path to minimise conflict between cyclists, pedestrians, dog walkers and other users of the space; formalised pedestrian access to the dog beach at three locations; a dog wash down area; two viewing areas overlooking the bay; landscaping and realignment of a section of  the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail.

The reserve and was given the name of P A Burns Reserve, by council around June 1977, to recognise the service of Altona Councillor Patrick Aloysious Burns. Patrick (Pat) Aloysious Burns was elected to the Altona council in August 1967 and served until his retirement in August 1973 when at the age of 76 he decided that it was time to stand aside. During this period he had served as the Mayor for one term (1969/70).

When first elected, Pat and his family were living in Queen Street, Altona and had lived in the area for about 8 years running a fruiters business in Millers Road, Seaholme. Pat’s term within Altona council was not his first time as a councilor or mayor. Prior to moving to Altona, Pat and his family lived in Emerald and he represented the residents on the Ferntree Gully Shire council for five years being their mayor during 1958/59. He brought years of local council experience to the role as well as a fresh view of the challenges facing the newly declared City of Altona. He was a very active member in the administration of the Altona Life Saving club, the Altona Chess club and served on the board of the Altona District Hospital. Cr Burns was mentioned in the book a tilted ‘The Dandenongs’ and in his younger days he was well known as a union delegate and shop steward at the McKays factory in Sunshine.

After retiring from council, Patrick and his wife Ruby remained living in Altona and continued to work for and within the community.  Ruby Hazel Burns passed away in July 1987 and Patrick Aloysious in April 1977 and they are both buried within the Footscray cemetery.

Altona Star: 17 August 1967 p3, 31 August 1967 p1, 22 August 1973 p1, 4 May 1977 p1, 8 June 1977 p1

Research by: Graeme Reilly  (ALHS 2021) & Image by Ann Cassar