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Avenue of Honour
Avenue of Honour

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The Avenue of Honour commemorates those from the district who served in both World Wars. 

After the Second World War, an Avenue of Honour dedicated to those who had served, was planted along Geelong Road south. It was composed of desert and claret ash trees, with each tree bearing a plaque with a serviceman's name. It was proposed by the Footscray Tree Planter group. This was in addition to the existing avenue of Canary Island palms, at the north end of Geelong Road, leading to the memorial in Footscray Park.

Footscray`s “forgotten” Avenue of Honour will be restored to its former glory when 147 gum trees are planted to mark 100 years since Gallipoli. Maribyrnong Council will plant the gum trees along Geelong Rd, between Ballarat Rd and Gordon St, under a $140,000 project commemorating the Anzac centenary later this month. Mayor Nam Quach said the council had also applied for federal funds to restore the cenotaph at the Ballarat Rd end of the avenue. The original avenue was established in 1947 as a dedication to the more than 2000 Footscray men and women who enlisted during World War II. Desert and claret ash trees were planted to stand alongside 700 bronze plaques ­engraved with their names. 

But most of the avenue was demolished in the 1960s when Geelong Rd was widened. More than 100 plaques are believed to be buried beneath the road while hundreds were torn out with some later salvaged from a rubbish tip. Another eight were found in 2009 in the backyard of a dilapidated council-owned property at Yarraville. The remaining 225 plaques were relocated to a memorial garden at Footscray Park in 2012.

Footscray Historical Society secretary Bill Horrocks said the avenue had been forgotten for too long. Sadly, it was in ruins, which would have been devastating to the families whose loved ones were commemorated at the site, Mr Horrocks said.

“The families of the soldiers each paid for a plaque and made a commitment to look after it but unfortunately it’s fallen into disrepair,” he said.

Footscray RSL vice-president Peter Doody said the tree planting was a “nice gesture” as it was more ­important than ever for the next generation to remember the price paid for their freedoms.

“Anything that reminds people of the past sacrifices made by our armed services, I’m all for it, because we don’t want them to have died in vain,” Mr Doody said.
Maribyrnong Leader, 10 March 2015.

Location

Address:Geelong Road, Footscray, 3011
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.794904
Long: 144.900173
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Avenue of Honour
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:Multiple
Actual Event STart Date:
Actual Event End Date:
Link:

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 2nd August, 1947
Source: MA,SKP
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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