New garden opening to commemorate fallen soldiers

April 17, 2013 by  

A new memorial garden dedicated to local soldiers who died in the two world wars will be officially opened in Footscray this week.

The Footscray Memorial Garden is a new home for a series of plaques which were originally placed on Geelong Road. The Geelong Road Avenue of Honour was set up in 1947 and was funded by the community to commemorate those who had died in World War One and World War Two with plaques featuring the names of each soldier erected along the road. However, later upgrades and changes to the road meant many of the 226 signs were no longer visible.

In 2009, after consulting with the community, Maribyrnong City Council made a decision to move them to a new location. The new memorial garden was developed at the entrance to Footscray Park. The garden has been laid out to reflect the original Avenue and is made from a series of concrete plinths on which the memorial plaques have been mounted. The plinths are surrounded by landscaped gardens designed to provide a quiet space for visitors to reflect.

Printing services have been used to create interpretive panels to go with the plaques; these contain information and quotes about the soldiers and their lives alongside additional images. Family members, local RSL branches and veterans’ groups have all been involved in the design; working alongside the Maribyrnong Heritage Advisory Committee.

The garden is open to the public now, but it will be officially opened tomorrow at 10am.