THE Garden of the Grieving Mother project is progressing well.
Design has been completed by Setsquare Studio of Brunswick and documents to enable advertising for tenders for development of the site are expected to be ready by the end of April 2016.
A Contractor is expected to be appointed in mid June, subject to confirmation of successful Government applications for funding advice being due ‘in June’. Estimated costs exclusive of GST (which is refundable if required) are in excess of $400,000.
Arch of Victory/ Avenue of Honour Committee Inc. President Bruce Price said, “If all government applications are successful in addition to other confirmed contributions, we need to raise a further $50,000 from the
Community, Service Clubs, Charitable Foundations, organisations etc. and these are being pursued. “Donations over $2 are tax deductible and we are relying on the generosity of the public who have always in the past supported the projects relating to the Arch and Avenue.
“The small donations are equally important and provide donors with a link to the Grieving Mother Project and its associated messages.
Last week the President of the Ballarat Branch of the National Trust of Victoria, Dianne Gow, presented the Arch of Victory / Avenue of Honour Committee with a cheque for $500, for the Garden of the Grieving Mother project. “I think it’s lovely that we really acknowledge this happening,” Ms Gow said. “If you are a Ballarat person you have a connection – my grandmother planted 4 trees in her youth and she always knew her trees and the number of her trees, and before she went to God she paid to have her trees replaced and that was a lovely thing.” “Her maiden name was Burridge and there are quite a few Burridges’ that planted trees – there were 7 girls so they all went out planting trees.” Ms Gow added that her grandmother had spoken about being taken to the Avenue of Honour by horse and dray after work. “When it was discussed committing to this it was so unanimous, everybody was really easy, it was very good because normally the National Trust don’t donate to things that aren’t National Trust owned.” Chair of the Fund Raising subcommittee Jeremy Johnson said the donation was very welcomed. He added that the Arch of Victory was looked upon by some as a tombstone for their loved ones. “They couldn’t travel the battlefields of France, so they could come here on Remembrance Day and treat this as their gravestone,” he said.
“Not only were there sons over there but husbands and boyfriends so many in the community were affected.
“We are grateful to the National Trust and this money will assist the Garden of the Grieving Mother Project – a project that will complement the Arch and Avenue.” Subject to receiving sufficient funding the project should be completed in time for an Opening on February 15, 2017.