Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Great Ocean road

LATEST NEWS A FITTING MEMORIALThe new sculpture at Eastern View is a perpetual memorial to the men who built the Great Ocean Road in honour of their fallen comrades.“The 3000 returned sailors and soldiers built the Great Ocean Road, the world’s biggest war memorial, as a monument to their fellow Australians killed at Gallipoli, at the Somme and the many other places where Australians served in that conflict,” said Roger Grant, head of Great Ocean Road marketing.“Now they have their own monument, this wonderfully evocative work by sculptor Julie Squires called ‘The Diggers’.“I want to congratulate Julie for the magnificent job she has done capturing the spirit of the men who, often in extraordinarily harsh conditions and using only minimal equipment like picks and shovels, etched this road into the coastline.”As a Tiger Moth buzzed overhead, cars from the construction era ferried special guests including descendants of the workers and a memorial service was held, the sculpture was unveiled today by The Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Bruce Billson.The Victorian Branch of the RSL, which has supported the creation of the sculpture from the outset, was also represented at the unveiling by its president, Major-General David McLachlan.Another distinguished guest was Mr Barry Fagg from the Geelong Community Foundation, the organisation that along with the Federal Government, helped finance the sculpture.“The involvement of the Geelong Community Foundation in this project is very appropriate and I am extremely grateful to Barry and his fellow board members,” Mr Grant said.“The moneys used on this project come from the funds left to the foundation by Howard Hitchcock, the former Mayor of Geelong who is known as The Father Of The Road.“When times got tough financially during the constructions process, he delved into his own pockets to see that the work went on and the men were paid.“Now, 75 years after the official opening of the road in 1932, he is still working for the good of those workers, creating this permanent monument to them.“It is a wonderful occasion for us, for the RSL and for the families of the people who worked to build this road.”

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