Wimmera veteran groups receive state government grants

Minyip and District Historical Society secretary Shirley Smith, president Diane Connolly and Minyip RSL sub-branch president Michael Krause. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI
Minyip and District Historical Society secretary Shirley Smith, president Diane Connolly and Minyip RSL sub-branch president Michael Krause. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

MINYIP and District Historical Society will establish a memorial to those who served in the First World War.

The society has received $16,141 from the state government for the project. 

Society president Diane Connolly said there had been talk within the committee for some time about cleaning up the memorial gates at the Minyip Recreation Reserve. 

“The area wasn’t overly attractive. It grew weeds and it had to be cleaned up every year,” she said. 

“We looked around for some money to do something with that and the grant popped up.

“Because we don’t have a First World War memorial, we applied for the grant.” 

Mrs Connolly said the historical society researched people in the area who had served in the war, starting with about 130 people listen on the town’s war memorial boards.

However the committee later discovered the number of people who served was closer to 400.

“After researching names we found a significant number more – we are up to about 380,” she said. 

“A lot of those people grew up in the area and moved away.

“We thought, ‘If we are going to do this project, we might as well do it properly’.” 

Mrs Connolly said the memorial would compliment the memorial gates.

“We will have a wall with name plaques on them behind those gates,” she said.

“It will be paved and tiled so we don’t get the weeds growing through it. With a bit of luck we will have enough money in that grant to put in a large planter box to grow rosemary, unless I can find some red poppy seed.”

Mrs Connolly said Minyip was possibly one of the only towns in the Wimmera without a First World War memorial.

The project is due to be finished by Anzac Day.

Brimpaen Reserve’s management committee also received a state government grant for $4955, to restore the area’s memorial gates. 

Dooen Public Hall received $2910 to restore two war honour boards, and Goroke War Memorial Committee received $2540 to buy display cases for Goroke Memorial Hall. The cases will display letters and photographs of servicemen and women from the area.