Watch the video of the Opening Ceremony
In 1921 an “Avenue of Honour” was created in Heroes Avenue, Emerald to commemorate the memory of 32 young local men who lost their lives in WW1.
32 trees were planted each with a memorial plaque. These plaques were rescued when the trees were cut down due to road widening in the 1950’s.
The Emerald RSL decided to bring the Avenue of Honour back to life with an Anzac Walk that starts at the cenotaph in town centre and finishes near the RSL at our new Anzac Place.
On March 11th 2015 the Governor General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove officially opened Anzac Walk. The RSL feel’s extremely privileged that Sir Peter considered our project to be of major importance to the centenary of Anzac Day.
The Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove arrived in Emerald aboard Puffing Billy together with 10 diggers “returning from WW1” and a large group of Emerald Primary School children and teachers dressed in period costume.
They were welcomed to Emerald by Peter Maloney, President of the Emerald RSL, Senator Michael Ronaldson, the Mayor of Cardinia, Leticia Wilmot and the CEO of Anzac House – Victoria, Michael Annett. The Air Force Roulettes also came to pay their respects.
In the adjacent park the sights of 1918 Emerald here there to behold – veteran cars and bikes, the light horse brigade, the people of Emerald in period costume and the Navy Cerberus band were there to strike up with music of the time.
The 10 diggers then formed a guard of honour which Sir Peter reviewed. From there Sir Peter visited the Club’s new Statue of the Unknown Soldier where sculptor, Ronnie Sexton and MP Jason Wood were there to inspect the statue.
Sir Peter Cosgrove opening Anzac Place
The Opening Ceremony then took place with Sir Peter unveiling the plaques and he and lady Cosgrove then chatted to some of the 3000 people of Emerald. We then watched the skies for a star burst as the Roulettes revisited our Anzac Place.
Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove the moved up Anzac Walk where the audio trail is and met many of the descendants of the 32 diggers who never returned to Emerald after WW1. This was a moving and memorable experience. The descendants then moved up the Walk to a poppy on the relevant information stand that bears the name of their digger.
The entourage then moved to the RSL for refreshments. The Governor-General left Emerald at 2.15pm.
The people of Emerald and visitors were then encouraged to do the Anzac Walk audio trail and listen to the stories of the 32 diggers and how they lost their lives. To do this you need a smart phone to experience the audio trail and a QR code to activate the stories. The starting point for the Walk is outside the NAB in town near the cenotaph.
Anzac Walk Brochure
The Anzac Walk brochure has just been released. Click here to see it and/or download (pdf).
The Audio Trail of the lives of the 32 diggers can be read or listened to as follows:
(a) Walk the walk and read the plaques on the information stands.
(b) Scan the QR Code on the first stand on a compatible mobile phone (outside the National Australia Bank in Emerald).
(c) Listen at home to the audio by clicking on the audio trail link.
Allow 30 minutes to complete the trail.