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Final touches to Avenue

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Ken McDonald with one of the erected plaques in the Coimadai Avenue of Honour. Photo – Jessica Howard
Ken McDonald with one of the erected plaques in the Coimadai Avenue of Honour. Photo – Jessica Howard

By Jessica Howard

The installation of 129 name plaques has begun at the Coimadai Avenue of Honour, marking the near end of the WWI memorial.

Coimadai Avenue of Honour Restoration Association chairman, Ken McDonald said the plaques replaced those that were lost when the original Avenue of Honour was chopped down and submerged in the Merrimu Reservoir in 1967.

“Coimadai has been without any form of commemorative plaques for 50-years,” he said.

“The replacements honour the 129 volunteers from Coimadai who served in the First World War. We have so far installed 43 of the plaques, with the rest to be installed in the lead up to Anzac Day”.

Mr McDonald said the name plaque project was primarily funded by the community, with help from all levels of government.

“One of our members, Heather, painted all the posts and backing boards and even donated the paint. There have also been substantial donations from Wilsons Hardware and Building Supplies and Hine Signs of Bacchus Marsh.

“Everyone has been really inspired by this project and no offer to help has been turned down”.

Once completely installed, the 129 commemorative plaques will be officially dedicated during the 100-year anniversary in June next year.

Mr McDonald said the contribution to WWI by Coimadai residents was an “outstanding act of patriotism”.

“The community provided 129 volunteers to the War from a population, as listed in the Victorian Places directory, of 296 residents.

“The newly constructed memorial park and the listing of the names on the trees of the 129 volunteers will help to ensure that this outstanding contribution is not forgotten by this, and future generations”.