From a young age, Jennie Blackman displayed a natural affinity for animals. Something that was often remarked on and obvious to everyone that knew her throughout her life.
Jennie was also well known and much-loved member of the Mudgee community, rarely seen without her loyal companion, a Border Collie named Charlie.
A symbol of the love that Jennie gave to and received from the community will live on after Council moved to officially name the new Mudgee dog park, 'Jennie Blackman Park' in her honour as part of the next stage of the Glen Willow development.
Council will be relocating and enlarging the dog exercise park and at their meeting on October 21, Councillors moved to officially change the name.
When asked about the proposal, Jennie's parents, Judy and Philip, said they were thrilled that Jennie would be honoured in this way as a symbol of the love that Jennie gave to, and received from, the Mudgee community.
"It reflects the love for animals Jennie had from the time she was small - particularly dogs and cats. For some years prior to her death in June 2019, Jennie and her beloved border collie, Charlie, were seen every week in the CBD - often calling in at offices and shops to say "hello" to friends and other dog lovers. Before Charlie, it was her corgi cross named Albert that accompanied Jennie on these visits," they said.
She will always be missed but it will be lovely to have this permanent memorial.
The people of Mudgee's support and friendship - through therapy, school, TAFE training and employment helped Jennie achieve her goals and dreams. Her parents and family say they are extremely grateful to the Mudgee community for embracing Jennie the way they did, helping her to thrive and live her short life to the full.
"She will always be missed but it will be lovely to have this permanent memorial," they said.
A statement from Mid-Western Regional Council echoed this sentiment.
'Jennie Blackman was a much loved and valued team member of Mid-Western Regional Council for many years.' the statement read.
'She was well known across the organisation, having first worked with the then Director of Operations Brad Cam at Council's Operations Facility on Depot Road before moving across to the Mudgee Administration Building upon his appointment as the General Manager.
'Jennie always brightened the day of her colleagues and when she was not at work often stopped by with her beloved dog Charlie. The pair were regulars on the main street, grabbing coffee and stopping to say hello to the many members of our community.'
"The whole family is thrilled about the dog park. It's a lonely tribute and we know that she would be thrilled with it," Judy said.
Council's decision at the meeting will be submitted to the Geographical Names Board (GNB) for their next meeting along with our application to name the park.
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