Why was no Avenue of Honor planted in Glen Waverley?
Oakleigh and Caulfield Times Mulgrave and Ferntree Gully Guardian: 27 July 1918
TREE PLANTING OBJECTED TO AT GLEN WAVERLEY
A communication was received from L. Ajani, T. Moylan, Cutting, Robins, and H. Evans regarding planting trees in honor of our boys fighting for our liberty, stating that their patriotic activities were centred in Glen Waverley and asking that no trees be planted for their boys at Mount Waverley.
Cr Cotter: “At the meeting Mr Ajani said his boys enlisted from Glen Waverley and their names are on its honor roll; therefore he wished their names to be excised from the North Riding avenue and attached to Glen Waverley. The others make similar requests.”
Cr Forster, in seconding pro forma, said: “They do not want an avenue of honor at Glen Waverley, but I have made up my mind that it will be planted somewhere in the Centre Riding; they wish to have it at Notting Hill.”
Cr Scott: “The council resolved on a general scheme of planting an avenue of honor in each riding, bearing the entire expense, and I do not see how we can depart from our resolution.”
Cr Jordan: “I feel a little bit loath to speak in opposition to the requests made; but now, after the council has decided to plant an avenue in each riding, at the eleventh hour, when all arrangements have been made for the tree planting in the North riding five or six ratepayers offer opposition to trees being planted for their boys. I do not see how we as a council can depart from our general scheme. The council was unanimous and now we are asked to alter our policy. If the request were granted an Injustice would be done to other persons in the riding.”
Cr Stocks: “I have much sympathy with the petitioners, but cannot see how more than six names can be cut out now. “
The President: “There are 11 names affected.”
Cr Cotter: “On the Saturday night that the President called the public meeting the residents had not grasped the situation.”
Cr Jordan: “Mr and Mrs Jane were present at the meeting, by accident it was said, when it was determined that trees be planted in each riding.”
Cr Armstrong: “I thought it was a matter that the riding members would work out for themselves. It was ventilated fully in the local paper, and I do not see how the names can be excised. The council will have to plant a tree for very soldier.”
The President: “Any request from any parent will receive consideration. I regret very much that this discussion is necessary. Over ten weeks ago I called a conference of parents, residents and Red Cross workers to discuss the matter and the council's scheme was endorsed, although Mr. Jane said he preferred a monument and that he had called in on his way home. I called a meeting for last Saturday and one two weeks before; one was only a repetition of the other. To say that the Glen Waverley people did not know what the council intended to do is an absolute misstatement. There was at the first meeting a small attendance and the matter was informally discussed. Those present said trees were not wanted at Glen Waverley. Mr. Ajani made a personal request re trees for his boys which I had to refuse. The position now is: we arrived at a unanimous decision to plant trees in each of the three Ridings; some who were in favor of a central avenue gave way gracefully. It is incumbent on us to carry out the resolution as determined by the council and the conference. We have carried it out at Clayton and will do so at Mount Waverley. There are 11 names out of 40, and are we going to cut out a fourth of them? We have obtained trees and guards and made every arrangement to plant trees, and now at the eleventh hour are asked to relinquish that principle. We cannot do it. But I make this suggestion: that the trees be planted, but if desired the name plates of certain soldiers be not affixed. The same people, who said they would have none of it, now ask us to plant trees in the Centre Riding, which is peculiar and there must be something behind it.”
Cr Cotter: “I am neutral in this matter. They have £9 collected for the erection of a monument. They do not favor tree-planting, because those planted in the Centre Riding have not been a success. I have no feeling in the matter, and simply voice the opinion of the ratepayers. I sympathise with the President, who has made all arrangements.”
The President: “Some parents in the Centre Riding were aggrieved that their boys were not included in the Clayton avenue, but we dealt with this scheme from its inception as purely a riding matter.”
The motion was withdrawn and it was resolved on the motion of Cr Jordan, seconded by Cr Stocks that a reply be sent to Mr. Ajani that the council regrets its inability to comply with the request to transfer names of soldiers from the North to the Centre riding, as all arrangements had been made for the tree-planting and the original determination of the council was to keep each riding separate.
The President: “At the meeting at Glen Waverley the people wished to put a resolution opposing tree planting, but I did not take it. There was no interest or desire in any way to help in any ceremony. We should select our site and plant our trees.”
Cr Jordan moved that the matter of site be left to the members of the Centre riding to report to the next meeting.
Cr Forster: “There is no need to postpone at all. My idea was to plant in Springvale Road; I now move that they be planted in May Road. It is no use trying to convince those people who think that what they say is law.”