A version of this story previously appeared at tlnews.com.au

On Saturday 5 November at The Commercial Hotel in Kingston, Victoria, Victorian RSL State President, Dr Robert Webster OAM opened the Kingston Remembers Resource Centre. Kingston was the chosen site of the Creswick Shire Avenue of Honour, planted over 100 years ago.

Fifty invited guests listened to several speakers including Montanah McMillan and Campbell Spittle, both in their twenties, whose relatives are commemorated in The Avenue.  Guests also viewed a short film, Kingston Remembers, produced by Terry Hope.

Kingston Friends of The Avenue Inc. were successful under the Victorian Government’s Victoria Remembers Grant Program which funds projects that honour and commemorate veteran service and educate Victorians about veteran contributions.

Montanah McMillan and Campbell Spittle
Montanah McMillan and Campbell Spittle

Dr Robert Webster OAM thanked the Victorian State Government and the Victorian Veterans Council for their support of the project.  He said, “The Resource Centre honours the World War I service of men and women commemorated in the former Shire of Creswick Avenue of Honour.”

The Resource Centre will preserve and share the stories and history of The Avenue.  It consists of film, interviews, resource books and memorabilia.  Photographs and certificates are displayed in a beautifully crafted diorama installed on the wall of The Commercial Hotel.  Multimedia equipment will show recorded interviews, short films about The Avenue, and make Peter Rickard’s history of the men and women honoured by The Avenue, Sentinels of Service – Volunteers of the Kingston Avenue of Honour, available in eBook format. Visitors can also drive along Kingston Road, through the Avenue of 286 magnificent heritage-listed trees.

Julie Baulch, President of The Kingston Friends of the Avenue, thanked all those who contributed to this project by sharing their skills and resources, including Trace Williams, project manager of the diorama, and Sue Gunn who provided the space to display the diorama and other associated pieces.

The committee of The Friends of The Avenue awarded Julie an honorary life membership for her persistence, vision, and dedication to The Kingston Avenue of Honour.  This certificate was presented by Dr Robert Webster OBE.

The Resource Centre can be visited during The Commercial Hotel’s opening hours (12pm-8pm Friday and Saturday and 12pm-6pm Sunday) or by appointment.

The Commercial Hotel aka The Commercial @ Kingston is located at 410 Kingston Road, Kingston, Victoria, 3364. For further information, please call 5345 6576 or 0408 007 464 or visit http://kingstonavenueofhonour.org.au or The Kingston Avenue of Honour Facebook page. Kingston Friends of the Avenue can be contacted at kingstonfoa@gmail.com