Incorrect signage on the entrance to Emu Vale.
Incorrect signage on the entrance to Emu Vale. Casandra Garvey

Put it write, Emu Vale residents say

FOR 13 years, residents of a small village in the Southern Downs have had to explain to visitors the correct way of pronouncing where they live, and shake their heads each time they drive into town.

"Welcome to Emuvale" reads the two signs on either side of the village - but in fact, that's not how you spell the historic part of the Downs at all.

"Emu Vale has always been two words," resident Mavis Bradford said.

At least until 2001, when the Emu Vale State School celebrated its 125th birthday, when new welcome signs were erected by the Warwick Shire Council - inadvertently changing the village's identity.

"It just doesn't suit Emu Vale," resident Darien Fritz said.

"It's created some confusion with how to pronounce the name."

When the regions amalgamated, Emu Vale Hall Committee secretary Jenny Whitsed wrote to then-Southern Downs Regional Council CEO Rod Ferguson to politely inform him of the mistake.

"As there is no progress association in Emu Vale, the members of the Memorial Hall Committee wish to offer a suggestion regarding the signage in Emu Vale," Mrs Whitsed wrote.

"When the new signs were put up, saying 'Welcome to Emu Vale, Gateway to Mt Superbus' ... the words Emu Vale were made into one - that is the village signs became Emuvale. This is on every sign at both ends of the village."

Mrs Whitsed then asked Mr Ferguson, should the signs be replaced in the near future with SDRC insignia, if the incorrect spelling could be fixed too.

However, when the new signs were installed with the SDRC insignia three years after Mrs Whitsed's letter, the space-free moniker came with them.

The grammar Nazis had cause for further shudders when the Emu Vale Memorial Hall had a new sign made in 2009. It is believed the sign-writer travelling out to work on the new signage spotted the incorrect welcome sign, and unfortunately decided to copy what was written.

Following Daily News inquiries, an SDRC spokeswoman said council staff would amend the two signs to the correct spelling of Emu Vale "as soon as possible".

Southern Downs deputy mayor Ross Bartley welcomed the opportunity to upgrade the signs.

"I live on the Hermitage-Emu Vale Rd so I know how important it is to get the spelling right," Cr Bartley said.

"It should be Emu Vale, with a space and capital letter V for Vale."

Do you know of any other incorrectly spelt signs around the Southern Downs region? Email us and let us know at edit@warwickdailynews.com.au



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