Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Arch of Victory

The employees of E. Lucas and Co, (the Lucas Girls), having completed their tribute to the local soldiers with the Avenue of Honour, set about on work to provide a suitable entrance to The Avenue. After much planning and consultation the Arch of Victory was established. The combined cost of both the Avenue and Arch amounted to 4000 pounds. This money was raised by the girls themselves via many fund raising activities. As well, each of the girls donated 2d of every 1 pound of their wages towards the cost. The girls had the full support of E. Lucas and Co throughout the whole process of establishing the Avenue and the Arch.

The foundation stone for the Arch was laid on the 7th February 1920 by Gen W.R. Birdwood.  The Arch was officially opened by the Prince of Wales, Prince Edward on June 3rd 1920. This date  also commemorated the third anniversary of the first trees being planted in The Avenue. As their gift for opening the Arch, the Lucas Girls made the Prince a pair of pyjamas.

On 13th March 1938 the Temple of Remembrance was opened. This is situated to the left hand side of the Arch and to the beginning of the Avenue of Honour. The temple houses a Book of Remembrance which contains a number of steel sheets upon which have been inscribed the names of every person who has a tree in the avenue.

The Arch is 57 feet high and 64 feet wide. It is constructed of bricks and rendered cement.

Photo of Ballarat's Arch of Victory
Arch of Victory by Nigel Stevens

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