Avenue plaques being restored

A COMMITTED group of volunteers has shifted into second gear to prepare the Avenue of Honour in time for the 2015 Anzac Day centenary.

Restoration: Joan Benton and Lynette Singleton demonstrate how they straighten a bent plate. PICTURE: DYLAN BURNS

Restoration: Joan Benton and Lynette Singleton demonstrate how they straighten a bent plate. PICTURE: DYLAN BURNS

Members of the Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour committee sifted through damaged plaques at Ballarat Regional Industries on Wednesday to prepare them for fixing.

Committee president Bruce Price said the group was currently on track to complete the massive restoration project of the Avenue for next year’s Anzac Day centenary. 

“We are trying to ensure every tree will have a plaque on it,” Mr Price said.

The 22-kilometre Ballarat Avenue of Honour, the longest of its kind in the world, was created in 1917.

There are currently 3800 trees that line the avenue, with just over 100 which are yet to be assigned a plaque.

The Avenue of Honour restoration project began 12 years ago and has since replanted more than 1700 trees and replaced or fixed hundreds of plaques.

BRI has been responsible for the pressing of bent and distorted plaques, recycling hundreds since the project started.

Plaques have either been damaged by mowers or stolen in the past, making the job hard-going for the committee.

“Now we spray around the tree to kill the grass because the mowers don’t go near the plaques and that has reduced the number of damaged plaques,” Mr Price said. 

Mr Price said it costs close to $400 to replace and install a new plaque.

He said there would be a large planting of trees later in the month.

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