Arthur Kenny Avenue of Honour (Original)Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The interpretive signs were installed to commemorate the original Arthur Kenny Avenue of Honour which was planted to commemorate boys of the Ballarat Orphanage who served in World War One. 

In 2012, grants from the Victorian Veterans Council and the City of Ballarat, with support from local businesses, enabled the installation of two interpretive signs at Mount Xavier. The site was officially opened by Major General Peter Haddad AO, Chairman of the Victorian Veterans Council, on 9 November 2012. A number of descendants of the original old boys were present at the opening.

Five commemorative plaques were crafted from the trunks of fallen cypresses from the hillside, believed to be remnants of the original Avenue planted in 1917. The one metre half logs were cut by Ian Grace, and set with the individual stories of each of the orphans. These are now kept at Children And Family Services, Ballarat. A commemorative booklet was produced for the 2012 re-discovery. The individual stories of the 103 (now 106) old boys who are commemorated at the Avenue were included in the booklet after extensive research undertaken by historian and ex-resident of the Ballarat Orphanage Frank Golding, and CAFS Heritage Officer, Sharon Guy. 

On the 3rd August 1917, 200 Pinus insignis trees were planted at Mount Xavier Reserve to commemorate boys of the Ballarat Orphanage  who served in World War One. Two pipers played their bagpipes, and the first tree planted was by Governor- General Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson. The avenue was later named Arthur Kenny Avenue of Honour after the former superintendent of the orphanage. 

More than 100 residents of the orphanage who enlisted to fight World War One, and of those who enlisted, approximately 20 died in service or were killed in action.   

Since 1917 most of the trees have died, but the track which Arthur Kenny and orphanage boys created is still there.   

One of the principal functions associated with the visit of his Excellency was the opening of the Mount Xavier Park and the naming of an Avenue of Honor, designed in connection with the Orphanage, and carried out under the direction of Mr. Arthur Kenny, superintendent of the institution.  It was the last of the day's official functions, and the vice-regal party reached Mount Xavier about 1 o'clock after an inspection of the Orphanage.  Their approach was heralded by Pipers G. Norton and A. Morrison, who formed the guard of honor during the day and the party proceeded at once to the lookout, which commanded a splendid view of the whole of Ballarat. The Park is laid out on the highest point of Mount Xavier. The entrance is from Fussell street, and provision has been made for planting around 600 trees. The avenue proper, which is heart-shaped, is 18 feet. wide, and winds round the hill.

Pride of place in the avenue, which is to be planted with ornamental trees, whilst the greater part of the hill will be planted with pinus insignis, was given to the Governor-General and Lady Ferguson. After that trees are allotted to Sir Alexander and Lady Peacock, the Minister for Forests ( Hon. T. Livingstone) , the Secretary for Lands (Mr J. M. Reed ), the Director of Agriculture (Dr. Cameron ) and 100 or more boys from the institution who are serving at the front. 
The Ballarat Courier (Vic), 4 August 1917.


Address:Fussell Street, Mount Xavier Park, Ballarat East, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.564469
Long: 143.894464
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 9th November, 2012
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au