The Daylesford RSL Sub-Branch is coordinating a group of community volunteers to create a new sign for the Daylesford Avenue of Honour and to raise funds to complete the project.

More than $3,500 has already been raised through a Friday evening raffle at the RSL with a range of prizes being donated by local businesses.

“The Avenue of Honour has more than 180 trees which were planted in August 1918 by the local Community following the First World War,” said Daylesford RSL Sub-Branch President, Ian Tinetti. “A group of locals who gather socially at the RSL on Friday evenings agreed to form a working group with the RSL to design and source funding to create an impressive sign to recognise this important Avenue.”

The Avenue of Honour runs along Raglan Street, which is the Midland Highway, up to the Daylesford Cemetery. It also runs up the Castlemaine Road and part of the road towards Glenlyon.

“Several designs were prepared by Kevin Lam, a local resident and designer,” said Mr Tinetti.  “The group is aiming to raise enough funds to ensure that the sign is in place later next year. Applications for funding will be made to relevant agencies and community funding support is also sought.”

Initial expectations are that the sign will cost more than $10,000 to build and install. The location is to be discussed with Council and relevant authorities such as Vic Roads and is hoped to be in the vicinity of the Daylesford Railway Station as that is an area that has lots of people visiting and has room for people to park. There is an existing sign in front of the railway station which Daylesford Rotary organised to recognise locals who served in the First World War as well as nurses and volunteers who were involved in many important roles.

There had been brass name plates on each tree but unfortunately these disappeared some years ago. Locals Les Pitt and Ed Butler have undertaken a separate but related project to re-identify each tree in the Avenue.

Like many Avenues of Honour across Australia, the trees are now over 100 years old. Many of the trees will need work done to preserve them and some may need to be replaced. This will be a separate and major project which will need significant funding, firstly to assess the trees and then to progressively carry out the work. The local RSL would like to work with Council and other authorities and groups to ensure that the Avenue of Honour has a secure future.

Council and Community groups have done great work on some of the other Avenues in our Shire such as the Kingston Avenue of Honour which has been a long-term project.

Ian Tinetti advised that anyone who would like to support this important sign project can contact him on mobile phone: 0491 734 998 or join him at the RSL on a Friday evening from around 5.30pm.