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Telegraph Park Opening
PP Brian Bamford MC.
Good afternoon – Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
In Particular Ms Jaclyn Symes MLC For Northern Victoria representing the Victorian Government, Mayor of The Shire of Strathbogie Cr Amanda McClaren and fellow Councillors, the CEO of the Shire of Strathbogie Mr Steve Crawcour, Mr Marcus Swinburne Victorian Community Engagement Manager Telstra, Mr John Poland President of the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Servicemen and Service Women Assoc., President of Euroa Sub Branch of the RSL Mr Phil Munt and members of the RSL, District Governor of Rotary District 9790 Bernie Bott and Mr Rodney Claxton Everlon Bronze.
The Rotary Club of Euroa welcomes you to today’s unveiling and official opening of Telegraph Park.
Before we begin proceedings I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet today and pay my respects to their elders past and present.
Today marks the culmination of a project which started almost 4 years ago when a small group of three met to discuss the idea of developing what we then called the ‘vacant Telstra block’.
This group then developed the concept and approached Telstra with a formal proposal to develop the block into a memorial for WW1 volunteers and to create a green space in the centre of town.
In the very early stages of this project the group of three became a sub-committee of the Rotary Club of Euroa and for some time faced what seemed to be an insurmountable task.
Yes, we could push some dirt around, level the block, plant some grass, but the cost of designed and manufactured suitable memorials was the sticking point.
After some consultation with Rodney Claxton from Everlon Bronze, the same company who had manufactured our 3 VC statues and now these memorials, we were pointed in the direction of the ‘Victoria Remembers Grants Program’. This was an initiative of the Victorian Govt. to honour the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC.
We spent some time preparing our business case and application. Fortunately, the application was successful receiving the maximum amount of $80,000 from the Victorian Government, the project was now a reality.
President Richard Nettleton.
Distinguished Guests Ladies and gentlemen
In 2014 Telstra made an offer to a small working party (Jenny Houghton, Paul Rieusset, Brian Bamford) to take over this block of land. Telstra made it clear that the land was to be used for a World War 1 memorial as part of the centenary of Anzac.
This small group worked on the lease of the land from Telstra, a formal business plan, and how to construct name boards to honour the 1165 volunteers all in some sort of park setting.
The Rotary Club of Euroa were approached by the working party late in 2015 as to their interest in taking on the lease of the land and creating a community park which would have the World War 1 volunteer boards.
The club fully supported the proposal seeing this as an outstanding Community project.
The three original members were appointed to a sub committee with then president of Rotary Club of Euroa, David Rutledge. Members of the sub-committee were to oversee and drive the project.
In March 2015 the sub-committee applied for an $80,000 grant from the Victoria Remembers Program sponsored by the Victoria Government. The application was successful and the funds were secured to build the honour boards. We are extremely grateful to the Victorian Government whose grant made the whole initiative possible.
The five honour boards which will be unveiled shortly were designed and constructed by Everlon Bronze from Wodonga who also designed and made the three Victoria Cross Statues at the Euroa VC Memorial Park. The club thanks Rodney Claxton from Everlon for his assistance and advice during the project.
1165 names are inscribed on the five honour boards which are situated in the park area. The names who have a cross next to their name died while serving and a hole is placed at the right hand side of each name to hold a poppy. Our Guest Speaker Jeff Starkey will tell us more shortly about these volunteers.
Members of the Rotary Club of Euroa commenced work on the park area in October 2017. By this time the new amenities block had been completed by the Shire of Strathbogie and were in operation. The Rotary Club acknowledges the enormous support and expertise offered and provided by the Shire of Strathbogie. Although, this is for us a Rotary Project, we also see this as a true partnership and acknowledge the shire and its officers for their willingness to support the project. The toilet facility, the lights and seats were all supplied by the shire.
In particular we would like to thank Mary Townsend who was our wonderful Project Manager. Mary kept the project under control and ensured we met all deadlines and followed all species.
I would also like to acknowledge Gavin Williams and Jess who have been so obliging in keeping things alive and neat and tidy as the project progressed.
The clearing of the park area, pathways, erecting lighting towers, sprinkler system, gardens, tree plantings, painting, concrete bases for the name boards was carried out by members of Rotary Club of Euroa, Euroa Lions Club, Euroa Apex Club and many volunteers and businesses offering their time and equipment. Their names appear on the sign on the wall to my right.
It will be remembered that all these current day volunteers were paying respect to those 1165 volunteers from the district who served in World War 1.
The Rotary Club of Euroa chose to call the area Telegraph Park. The telegraph was one of earliest forms of communication. It was the only way to keep in contact with fierce battlefields to the home front. Unfortunately many times it was used to inform family members of death or injury to their loved ones fighting on the front line.
Telstra, Rotary Club of Euroa members and the Shire of Strathbogie agreed that Telegraph Park was an appropriate name for the park. I think you will agree that this has been a true community project with a very fine outcome. It is testimony to the fact that if we all pull together we can achieve great things for our community.
Balmattum Walking Track –
the track has been whipper-snipped from Rotunda to the top.
George Hunter Playground Upgrade
Check out the work of Michael Bell and Des Nicel in East Timor, click here