The official opening of the Avenue of Honour and associated memorial, by Hon Con Scaccia, then Minister for Veteran’s Affairs and Cr Gerry Smith, then Mayor of the City of Greater Geelong, took place on 1 October 1995.
The ceremony coincided with the anniversary of the opening of the National Vietnam veteran’s memorial in 1992.
The living and granite memorials recognise the service and sacrifice, of many hundreds of servicemen and women from Greater Geelong and the surrounding region, who served in the Vietnam War.
On 7 March 2000 a formal ceremony took place where the VVAA President Peter Sullivan and then Mayor Cr Ken Jarvis planted a tree to commemorate the beginning of the new Avenue of Honour, as part of the Boulevard Upgrade Project.
Images: Glenn Williams 19.10.2023
The following summary of the history of the Vietnam Veterans’ Avenue of Honour and Memorial, is extracted from a City of Greater Geelong report, December 2016:
The first spark for a Geelong and District Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and Avenue of Honour was ignited following the opening of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Canberra on 1 October 1992. Shortly after the national event, discussion took place with the City of Greater Geelong who agreed to the installation of the Avenue of Honour adjacent to Pilkington’s (glass factory) and Osborne Park. Council initially supplied and planted Plane trees for the Avenue of Honour.
The Geelong and District Vietnam Veterans’ Association (G.D.V.V.A) approached the Council in 1994 requesting it City consider the possibility of developing a Vietnam Veterans Avenue of Honour on a major arterial road within the region in conjunction with G.D.V.V.A 20th Anniversary to be held in October 1995. Subsequently the City suggested the Avenue be located on the Princes Highway between Mackay and Swinburne Streets as part of the Boulevard Project. The planting of an initial 70 London Plane trees was carried out by JobSkills staff in September prior to the official opening of the Avenue by the Minister of Veterans Affairs Hon. Con Sciacca and Cr Gerry Smith, Mayor.
At the same time discussion took place with the Council to erect a historic marker to signify the Avenue of Honour at the entrance to Osborne Park. With the generosity of many in the Geelong community the engraved granite face was installed on the northern wall, along with two commemorative plaques.
Twelve of these trees were later removed in 1997 as a result of the summer drought and soil condition.
In 1999 Council began work on the Melbourne end of streetscape beautification of the Melbourne Road, known as, the Boulevard project. In July of that year, agreement was reached on a proposed re-design of the Avenue of Honour and it was also agreed that the Boulevard project was in a position to fund the installation of the Black African Granite to the south face and the sides of the memorial. Some of the funding was received from the “Their Service-Our Heritage” project.
Images: Glenn Williams 19.10.2023
Following consultation with the Geelong and Districts Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia in August 1999 and with their agreement, the Plane Trees were removed in 1999/2000 to compliment the trees within the Boulevard project.
A wide concrete footpath dissects the double row of trees on the west side of Princes Highway (Melbourne Road). It was constructed in May 2016 in consultation with the Vietnam Veteran’s Geelong Branch and Bike Safe.
In addition to the signs marking the northern and southern entry points into the Avenue, several large, photo-style panels are installed at regular intervals, along the footpath beneath the double row of trees.
We’re collecting as much information as possible about avenues of honour and the people they commemorate, including
Images of Avenues
The history of the site
Details of the service men and women (including names, dates, images, stories etc)
Service number or records
This collection is being used to contribute to the national online encyclopedia of Australia’s Avenues of Honour and the people associated with them. We welcome your contributions.
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TREENET’s Avenues of Honour project is a national initiative to document, preserve, promote and reinstate the original Avenues of Honour and to establish new commemorative trees, comemmorating Australia’s war service encompasing plantings from Boer War, WW1, WW2 and all subsequent conflicts.