When you look at Buchanan Park today, it is hard, almost impossible to comprehend where it all began.
But it’s this venue, its international-standard facilities and stately arena, that most suitably epitomises just how far the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo has come.
In 1959, armed with little more than enthusiasm and vision, Mount Isa Rotarians took it upon themselves to create an event which would put their city on the map.
It was a great idea. It was going to be huge, but where would it be held? It’s here that a parcel of land out past the airport – a dustbowl to be frank – came to the fore. Kalkadoon Park was born.
The city’s Rotarians, business people and broader community joined forces to make this event a reality and make Kalkadoon Park its home.
Working bees were staged, volunteer troops were rallied and everyone pitched in.
Kalkadoon Park was built by the hands of the Mount Isa community from the spoils of a mine site salvage yard, with the generosity of civic-minded businesses.
For 48 years Kalkadoon Park was the home of Isa Rodeo. Thousands of wonderful memories were made there and to this day, the site still rings with the spirit of rodeos past.
A dawning of a new era
But things change. The rodeo continued to gain momentum and it became clear that if the event’s potential was to be met, newer, better facilities were needed.
Enter Buchanan Park Events Complex – a multi-million dollar, international standard, multi-use facility.
As with most projects of its kind, there was much deliberation, debate and politicising about Buchanan Park. But ahead it went and the result is what you see today.
Named after racing stalwart David Buchanan, the park was constructed adjacent to the existing Mount Isa Race Club.
Now living in Brisbane, Mr Buchanan said he would never have imagined that Buchanan Park would have evolved to what it is today.
The first rodeo at Buchanan Park was held in 2007. It was a dawning of a new era and most saw the new venue as just another step in the continuing evolution of this great event.