Official Opening of Anzac Walk, Emerald 11March2015

Melbourne always has the most lovely Autumn days and today was definitely one of those.  Which truly was a blessing for the event I was about to witness.

I was privileged to attend the official opening of the new Anzac Walk this morning at Emerald, Vic. I first heard about it in February via a business colleague and then other photography friends told me about it also. However I was to learn that this has been in the planning for some considerable time and the Shire of Cardinia was approached about it, around 18 months ago.

I decided to take the morning off and visit Emerald to witness this event as it is only a short distance from home and this isn’t something that would happen every day. In fact, it was a once-off. I spent my time doing some ‘investigative interviews’ and spoke to some of the locals which included Rob and Anne Taylor who were dressed up for the occasion. And Dianne told me of her life in Czechoslovakia as a child, how she lived with her family in Hitler’s Camp and later how they left the country and eventually came to Australia. She’s had a really interesting life and I asked her if she’d ever written a book? Apparently two have been written in the past that have included her life happenings.

There were vintage cars on display, two mounted horsemen, soldiers, nurses and others.

His Excellency, Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife, Lady Cosgrove attended this event – their first visit to Emerald and Sir Peter was quite taken with the Puffing Billy and his ride on it. He said it might be their first visit but not their last and would love to come again. Accompanying them were several soldiers in uniforms from the First World War period and children and their parents in period costume.  His arrival was marked by three of the Roulettes which had flown up from Sale.

This event was to commemorate the 32 soldiers from Emerald and surrounding districts, who never came back home. As the RSL President, Peter Maloney, said, it was all about the 32. He gave quite an emotional speech.

Present also was the Mayor of the Cardinia Shire, Cr Letitia Wilmot and also various other dignitaries.

The Anzac Walk is designed to provide the Emerald community and visitors with a unique way to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli as part of this year’s Anzac Day commemorations.  There will be an audio trail with an app that people can download on their phones to listen to stories about the 32. Anzac Walk is a new footpath along Memorial Avenue, and also includes the existing footpath along Main Road between Church Street and Kilvington Drive.  There are information stands with information about the 32 soldiers.

Below are some images I took from this morning and more will be available later.  Click on the first one and you can scroll through at a larger size.