Memorial Wall Rotunda expertly restored

November 17th, 2023Memorial Wall Rotunda expertly restored

A historic rotunda in Ballarat's Arch of Victory precinct has been expertly restored.

A historic rotunda in Ballarat’s Arch of Victory precinct has been expertly restored.

The Memorial Wall Rotunda at the Arch of Victory has undergone extensive conservation works in recent months, including cleaning, repairing render, applying waterproofing and repainting.

The works, which were approved by Heritage Victoria under a heritage permit exemption, were funded by a $20,000 contribution by the City of Ballarat and a further $20,000 from the Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour Committee Inc, generously supported by the Haymes Foundation.

The rotunda was officially rededicated by City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson on Saturday 11 November, as a prelude to this year’s recent Remembrance Day service at the site.

Cr Hudson said the project was a great example of the City of Ballarat partnering with a deserving community group to deliver something of significance.

“Monuments such as this are so important to Ballarat and it is vital that we continue to maintain them to ensure they last for many more generations to come,” he said.

This rotunda now contains a granite column that has an alphabetical listing of the names of the City of Ballarat World War I service personnel whose names are commemorated with a tree in the Avenue of Honour.  

It was originally located across the road on the northern side of the Avenue of Honour, immediately adjacent to the former Ballarat Golf Club building.

It was relocated to its current position in 1993 as part of the major redevelopment of the Arch of Victory precinct that took place at that time. The alphabetical listing was added with the generous donation from Irene Lillingston in memory of her late husband. Illumination was added later by Ballarat electrician WM McKnight & Sons.  

The dome of the rotunda was originally constructed by the same bricklayer that worked on the Arch of Victory, George Brookes, using bricks sourced from the Ballarat firm, Selkirk Bricks. When it was relocated in 1993, Ballarat building firm H Troon carried out that detailed task.

The recent refurbishment work was designed by Quadratum Architecture & Conservation and carried out by Ballarat builder and preservation heritage specialists, PFB Building. The work was completed in time for the recent annual Remembrance Day formalities that were held on Saturday November 11.

This year’s Remembrance Day service specifically remembered 20 Ballarat men who attended local schools and lost their lives in World War I with no known graves.

Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour Committee President, Garry Snowden said honouring men and women by name was an important part of every service.

“While experiencing the grief of losing a loved one, the families of this year’s group were also denied the very small consolation of at least knowing that their son, husband, father or brother was buried under a headstone bearing their name,” he said.  

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