New war memorial build finally begins

WORK will start on the new Frankston War Memorial next month at Beauty Park after Frankston Council approved the final design of stage one of the $480,000 project.

Councillors agreed to give the go ahead to construction of the war memorial, to replace the existing war memorial in Davey St, at a meeting last Monday evening (12 October).

A tender was awarded by council in July to Convic Pty Ltd to design and build the memorial (‘New design for war memorial gets nod’, The Times 20/7/15) after months of disagreement between councillors over the scope of the memorial.

The new design has been scaled back after a proposed $1.4 million project, announced in early 2014, was regarded as too expensive to build.

An Avenue of Honour connecting to Baxter Street, to honour war heroes such as Victoria Cross recipients, may be added in a future stage if funding can be found.

The $480,000 construction of the new memorial, to be built between Baxter and Spring Streets, has been funded by council ($323,000), the federal government ($120,000), Frankston RSL ($25,000), community donations ($1,735) and Cr Darrel Taylor via his discretionary ward grants ($15,000).

Frankston RSL will also contribute $10,000 annually towards the war memorial’s upkeep.

“This is a memorial to those from our community who have served our country in battle in the past, so it is very pleasing that so many levels of our community have been involved in funding the project,” Mayor Cr Sandra Mayer said.

Dunkley Liberal MP Bruce Billson said the Beauty Park memorial will be a fitting tribute to servicemen and women.

“We have a large number of veterans, their families and descendants in our community who sacrificed much during times of war,” he said.

“Relocating the memorial to Beauty Park will enable more of the community to commemorate the sacrifices of these brave men and women – to better support the ongoing growth in community interest and involvement in significant commemorative occasions. It will also provide improved access for veterans and disabled and frail community members, a more convenient marching route and car parks and improved safety.”

The plaques, badges, obelisk and eternal flame from the existing war memorial, near the Frankston Civic Centre, will be included in the new war memorial.

The names of returned Frankston servicemen and women will be engraved on the new memorial, with 200 World War I veterans the first to have their names included.

First published in the Frankston Times – 26 October 2015

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