This week marks 100 years since Kingston’s Avenue of Honour was planted, on August 10, 1918.
Geoff Fiddian curated the following facts by reading historical editions of the Creswick Advertiser.
The State Recruitment Committee of Victorian Municipalities voiced the idea to plant an avenue in early 1918. After that, Creswick Shire President, Captain Parkin, presided at a public meeting to discuss the idea. At a second public meeting, held on April 27, it was agreed the avenue would be planted along the road to Springmount, rather than from Picken’s Corner to Kingston or South from the Showgrounds to Kingston.
A committee of representatives from Allendale, Broomfield, Cabbage Tree, Campbelltown, Dean, Eastern Hill, Greenhill, Hollinwood, Kangaroo Hills, Kingston, Kooroocheang, Mollongghip, Moorookyle, Mount Prospect, Newlyn, Rocky Lead, Smeaton, and Ullina was then formed, which also included the presidents of all the shire’s Red Cross Branches.
For several consecutive Saturdays, working bees were held to dig holes to plant seven foot high trees before tree guards, three-feet square, were transported from the railway station on bullock and horse drawn dray and planted.
Sir Alexander Peacock officially opened the Avenue, which originally consisted of 225 trees and name plates, that August.
Following their planting, it was predicted the trees would have a lifespan of forty years, but with their recent restoration by the Kingston Friends of the Avenue, the community, Heritage Victoria and Hepburn Shire Council, this has been proven wrong.
Today, the Creswick Shire Avenue of Honour at Kingston stands as a living memorial of the men and women who served during World War I and as a place of reflection and gratitude for those who pass through it.
The Avenue is not only a testament to those commemorated, but also to the endeavour of the residents of the Shire of Creswick, who undertook its establishment.
The Avenue’s will be commemorated this Friday at 1.45pm with the planting of a new tree by Ballarat MP Catherine King.
The tree will not only mark the centenary, but also honour the horses who died during the war.
Peter Somerville OAM, from Friends of Sandy and the Australian Light Horses Inc will sppeak at the event about the role of horses during the war.