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City of Ballarat Community Magazine October 2011
the Arch of Victory
Restoration works are complete on the Arch of Victory, one of the most
important icons in Ballarat’s historic landscape.
The six-month restoration project was completed in August and included the
restoration of all cracked and drummy renders, roofing and plaques. New
low energy lighting was also installed as part of the historic works.
The Arch of Victor y has both state and national heritage listings, and significant
cultural and heritage values to Ballarat. With the 100th anniversar y of World
War 1 approaching, the Arch of Victory is looking at its finest.
An official opening of the restored Arch of Victory is on Sunday 6 November,
organised by the Arch of Victor y / Avenue of Honour Committee. Among the
VIPs who will take part in the official opening is the Governor-General of
Australia Quentin Bryce. The Committee encourages the Ballarat community
to participate in this momentous occasion.
The restoration project was the result of 12 months of planning between
Council and the Arch of Victory / Avenue of Honour Committee of
Management. The works were jointly funded by Council ($300,000) and
the Federal Government which provided $335,000 through its Regional
and Local Community Infrastructure Program and $175,000 through the
National Heritage Sites Program.
The historic restoration of the Arch of Victory was completed in August. An official opening is scheduled for 6 November.
THE ARCH OF VICTORY: A PROUD HISTORY
In June 1917, The Lucas Girls, a group of 500 women employed by local
clothing manufacturer, E Lucas and Co., began the planting of the Avenue
of Honour having raised £2000 for the project. The Avenue was a memorial
to the people of Ballarat and the surrounding district who enlisted in World
War I – army personnel, sailors and nurses.
Having completed the Avenue plantings and following the end of the war in
1919, a further £2600 was raised by the Lucas Girls for a commemorative
arch to be built to provide an entrance to the Avenue. This simple project
became the historic icon that is the Arch of Victory.
The Arch of Victory was designed by H.H . Smith, who was the head of
the Art School at the School of Mines in Ballarat at the time. The design
depicted a grand cement rendered masonr y structure of a single central
arch flanked by wide piers.
General Sir William Birdwood laid the foundation stone for the structure on
7 Februar y, 1920. Sir Birdwood was the commander of the Australian and
New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.
With many local men volunteering their labour, the Arch of Victory was
quickly completed and officially opened at a ceremony by HRH The Prince
of Wales on 2 June, 1920. This date marked the third anniversar y of the
first tree planting in the Avenue of Honour.
The public donated £400 for the maintenance of the Arch of Victory and
the Avenue of Honour. A returned soldier was employed to tend the trees
in the Avenue.
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