Avenues of Honor: the beginnings

History in the Newspapers

Oakleigh and Caulfield Times Mulgrave and Ferntree Gully Guardian: 27 Apr 1918
From Clayton and Clarinda Lady Mayoress and Patriotic League, requesting permission to plant trees in Clayton Road, west side, in honor of each volunteer for active service from the district, with guard and name-plate.
Cr Armstrong, in moving that the request be granted, said: “The money was in hand for the purpose.”
Seconded by Cr. Dixon.
Cr Jordan: “It was in my mind to brlng up a similar proposal for the Shire generally. I am sure we all appreciate the spirit which prompted the request; but this should not be a matter of effort on the part of any particular society - it should be part of a general scheme to beautify the Shire and be an everlasting memento of the boys who have gone from our midst to fight for King and Country .”
The motion was altered and carried as follows:
That the request be granted, but before determining the roads on which trees be planted, that all Red Cross Societies in the Shire be asked to send delegates to the next council meeting to discuss a general scheme of tree-planting on the roads, to be determined on for the purpose of perpetuating the memory of our soldiers.


Oakleigh and Caulfield Times Mulgrave and Ferntree Gully Guardian: 11 May 1918
Following the lead of the Clayton Branch Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League, and the Mulgrave Council's resolve to launch a general scheme of tree-planting in honor of the men who have enlisted from the shire, a conference of representatives of patriotic societies and the council was held in the Shire Hall on Thursday evening, 2nd last. Cr Coleman (President of the Shire) occupied the chair and there was a good attendance of Councillors and representatives, including seven ladies. Mr. Earle said the suggestion was put forward by the Clayton League with the object of
(1) Establishing a memorial to the men who had enlisted for the front, and
(2) To perpetuate their memory, and possibly to provide an example for future generations to think imperially and become equally good citizens. He said Mr. Cronin, Curator of the Botanical Gardens, recommended Portugal Oak, value about 2s, supplied by Mr. Nobellus, of Emerald; the trees were
particularly healthy and strong and attained full growth in five years. The cost of tree guards would be, roughly, 4s each, and suitable name-plates were manufactured in Victoria. As regards location, in view of the narrowness of Clayton, Springvale and Ferntree Gully roads, etc, Dandenong Road was suggested as the most suitable, being wide, likely in years to come to be thickly populated, and the most suitable section was between Clayton and Springvale roads. An opening ceremony was desirable, with speakers and music suitable to the occasion. A personal touch might be lent by asking the mother, father, or nearest relative of each soldier to plant their particular tree, and they might also assist in protecting the avenue.
The President: “The crux of the whole matter is, where should the trees be planted? The most effective would be an avenue of honor on a suitable main road or, alternatively, in the localities the lads had left. Another question for our consideration is whether, in special cases, trees should be planted beyond the shire boundaries.”
Resolved on motion of Messrs Hourigan and Earle that a memorial of our boys who have volunteered for active service take the form of avenues of honor.
Cr Jordan: “When in Ballarat the other day I was struck with a fine avenue three-quarters of a mile long. We have to thank Mr. Earle for the valuable information he has given. The trees should be planted in the districts where the boys enlisted. Burwood held a meeting and decided to make it an entirely municipal matter. I feel sure the proposal will meet with the approval of the ratepayers, provided the trees are planted in the respective Ridings from which the boys enlisted. The suggestion re the planting of trees by relatives is an admirable one. I move that an avenue of trees be planted in each of the three Ridings in memory of the Iads who have gone.”
Cr Armstrong, in seconding, said he “thoroughly approved of the proposal.”
Cr Forster: “I have pleasure in supporting the motion and am very pleased Clayton has chosen Dandenong Road; it is the only one in the Centre Riding wide enough. “
Mr. Earle: I can quite see the advantage of planting trees near a relatives’ house, but you lose the dignity of an avenue of trees. If an avenue is planted it will be a memorial for all time….”
Cr. Jordan: “I am not keen on tree-planting; I will not object; my experience is that it has been a failure. Forty boys who lived within a mile of the Glen Waverley post office have gone to the war. Each Riding should have its trees. Personally I would like to see a bluestone column, with a machine gun on it; an avenue of trees, to my mind, is not good enough.”
The President : “I am glad there no amendment, as it is desirable for each Riding to have its avenue, thereby fostering community of interest, and dignity would be equally maintained. Clarinda is not identical with Clayton, though working together in patriotic movements, but the difficulty is we are confined by the Local Government Act to our municipal boundaries.”
Mr. Castle: “It is part of Moorabbin and adjoining municipalities.”
The motion was put and carried unanimously.
Mr. Hourigan said Clayton Road was the best for the South Riding, with trees planted north and south of the railway gates, and would be an effective memorial. Clayton and Clarinda people use the station and the road leading to it. There are cases of lads whose parents live near the boundaries of
the shire and it would be a thousand pities to exclude them. I move that trees be planted in Clayton road, north and south of the railway gates.
Mr. Crawford, in seconding said it was only fair to meet the wishes of the Clarinda people.
Mr. Earle: “Our first thought was for Clayton road, but experts say we would rue the day we planted trees there; that was the only reason why we chose Dandenong Road, and in view of expert opinion we want to be careful.”
Mr. Kollmorgen: “Clayton Road is too narrow; Dandenong road is the best.”
Mr. Castle: “Clayton Road is the best.”
Cr Forster: “The pine trees on the road would kill the trees.”
The motion was carried and Mrs. Whitbourn, Miss. McBean, Mr. Earle and the members for the South Riding were appointed a committee to choose the trees.
Centre Riding - Committee, Mr. and Mrs. Jane and members for the riding, with power to add.
North Riding - The Secretary to write to Curator of Camberwell Gardens for advice.
The President thanked the representatives for their attendance, and they in turn acknowledged the Council's courtesy and attention.

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