By Chronofus - 6/12/2001
Here follows a transcription of the details of the avenue of bottle trees dedicated to the soldiers of WW1, and known as Heroes' Avenue.
This information is gleaned from early Council Minutes and the corresponding reports of those council meetings in Roma's Western Star newspaper. This document is not complete, and is also intended to fit in with a further document dealing with Roma Town Council, the Western Star and the Great War, which is not to be expected for some time due to the volume of material to be processed.
My notes of clarification are indicated by [square brackets] around them.
To farewell Ald Robinson who leaves this evening for the front.
Present Ald Crawford [Mayor], Ponton, Miscamble, Robinson, Hallahan, Maidens, Williams and Conlan.
The Mayor, having briefly stated the business, it was moved by Ald Miscamble sec by Ald Conlan that this council place on record its high appreciation of the valued services rendered by Ald Robinson to the ratepayers of Roma during the many years he has served them in the capacity of Alderman.
He has always been courteous and courageous in debate, sticking to his opinions and fighting for what he thought was best for ratepayers. On his departure for the war, we his fellow Aldermen wish him every success in his efforts on behalf of the Empire and trust that he may be spared to return to his home in Roma crowned with honours and the goodwill of his fellows. Carried by Acclamation.
Moved by Ald Conlan sec by Ald Maidens: That Ald Robinson be granted six months leave of absence from the council meetings. Carried.
Moved by Ald Conlan sec by the Mayor: that a bracelet gold watch be presented to Ald Robinson in recognition of his services as Alderman. Carried
Letter received from Lieut Col. W Grant asking for a donation towards the purchase of a travelling kitchen for the troops going to the front. Move dby Ald O'Rourke sec by Ald Dunstand: that £10 be donated. Carried. Ald Dunstand, O'Rourke and Kenafake had their names down put down for £1.1.0 each and Ald McLeod, Hallahan and Ponton 10/6 each towards the purchase.
Moved by Ald Maidens sec by Ald Miscamble: that a Roll of Honour be erected in the Town hall showing the names of all those who have gone to the front from this district. Carried
Moved by Ald Maidens sec by Ald O'Rourke: that no more single men be employed
by the council while the war lasts and that all single men now in the employ
of the council be discharged. Ayes- Ald Ponton, Dunstan, O'Rourke, Maidesn,
Kenafake. Noes - Mayor, Miscamble, McLeod, Hallahan. Carried.
Moved by Ald McLeod, sec by Ald Maidens: that the Mayor call a meeting of citizens for the purpose of forming a committee to be called the "Soldiers Farewell Committee" who are to arrange for giving a "send off" to men going to the front. Carried
To discuss notice of motion by Ald O'Rourke that he will move the motion
carried at last ordinary meeting referring to the employment of single men
Present Ald Ponton, Dunstan, Maidens, O'Rourke, Kenafake.
Moved by Ald Kenefake, sec by Ald Dunstan: that Ald Ponton take the chair. Carried
Moved by Ald O'Rourke: that this meeting stand adjourned for a week. The motion not being seconded, Ald O'Rourke retired and the meeting lapsed for want of a quorum.
To deal with notice of motion by Ald O'Rourke he will move that the resoultion
carried at last ordinary meeting with reference to the employment of single
men be rescinded.
Present: Ald Williams [Mayor], Ponton, Miscamble, Dunstan, McLeod, Maidens, O'Rourke, Hallahan and Kenafake.
In accordance with notice given, it was moved by Ald O'Rourke, sec by Ald Miscamble: that the motion carried at last ordinary meeting of the council with reference to the employment of single men be rescinded.
After considerable discussion Ald Maidens retired and the voting on this motion was: Ayes - Mayor, Miscamble, McLeod, O'Rourke, Hallahan. Noes - Ponton, Dunstan, Kenafake. Motion wascarried
Letter received from Bryant and McLean covering sample post cards. Moved by Ald Hallahan sec by Ald Maidens: that a photograph of the town hall and council be taken and post cards prepared and sent to the troops. Carried
Moved by Ald Hallahan sec by Ald Kenefake: that cables be sent to Captains Shanahan and Robinson wishing them the compliments of the season. Carried
Moved by the Mayor [Merrillees], sec by Ald Dunstan that the report [Mayor's] which contained the following resolution be adopted: I recommend that for the duration of the war or until the "Courier" discontinues the publication of a German newspaper, this Council will discontinue to use its columns for advertisements and that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to the Courier proprietary. Carried
Letter received from Anzac Day Commemoration Committee stating that a
public meeting had passed a resolution to recommend to the Town Council that
a monument be erected to the memory of those soldiers who fell at Gallipoli.
Moved by Ald Miscamble. Sec by Ald McLeod: that this council concur with the
recommendation and in due time do all in their power to assist the movement.
Notice of motion by Ald Miscamble: that the suggestion be to place the monument in Wyndham St, 3 or 4 feet from the kerbing.
Letter received from Anzac Committee asking if council will assist to defray their expenses. Moved by Ald Williams, sec by Ald O'Rourke: that this council agree to assist in conjunction with Bungil Shire Council.
Letter received from Maleny Patriotic Committee asking councils co operation and assistance in connection with the following resolution: That the attentionof the State Government be directed to the lack of sympathy and assistance given to any of the War Funds by some subjects of enemy origin through out Queensland, and that the State Government be respectfully requested to co operate with the Defence authorities in formulating a scheme to rectify the position. Also, that no subjects of enemy origin should occupy any responsible position under the Government until twelve months after the war.
Moved by Ald Miscamble sec by Ald His Worship the Mayor that the council endorse the foregoing resolution and communicate with the Maleny Patriotic Committee to that effect. Carried
Letter received from HJ Diddams quoting price for momentos for soldiers enlisting. Moved by Ald McLeod sec by Ald Williams that Mr Diddams be asked to forward a sample. Carried
Letter received from United Services League asking that a meeting be called to further conscription. Decided that this matter be let in the Mayor's hands.
Letter received from the Toowoomba and District Conscription League asking that a public meeting be called to consider the Referendum. Decided that they be informed that the meeting will be called next week. Carried
Moved by Ald Dunstan, sec by Ald Ponton that: this be extended and brought up to date [roll of honour]
Letter received from the Enlisting Officer asking that the Mayor call a public meeting in connection with the new recruiting scheme which the Mayor stated he had already done. Moved by Ald Miscamble, sec by Ald Williams that the Mayor's action be endorsed.
Letter received from Lieut. Best expressing thanks for the courtesy shown the delegates at the recent recruiting conference.
Letter received from Belgian Consul asking for assistance. Referred to Patriotic Committee
Letter received from Anzac Commemoration Committee received. Deferred.
Letter received from Returned Soldier's Bureau asking if they shall send a list of employees who require work. Decided yes
Letter received from Anzac Commemoration Committee, asking that the reserve immediately east of the Court House be set aside as a site on which to erect, later on, a suitable Anzac memorial. Moved by Ald Merrillees, sec by Ald Williams: that the Mayor call a special meeting to deal with this matter. Carried
Extract from article covering the Roma Jubilee Celebrations.
Speech by Hon JM Hunter, MLA: He hoped to see the great war ended. He thought some resolution should be passed by the meeting in relation to those who had given their lives for the empire from the district.
The Chairman of the Celebration dinner, Ald Miscamble [Mayor] also spoke: The chairman said he was thinking of how they might make Roma more beautiful still. Nineteen of those from the district had fallen in battle, and he thought it would be a good idea to plant a tree to the memory of each, and call the place "Heroes' Avenue". It would be a permanent memory in green. They should also plant a tree to the memory of all who had enlisted. A resolution of sympathy with those who had been bereaved was passed in silence, all present standing.
Moved by His Worship the Mayor [Miscamble], sec by Ald Wright:
That this council take into consideration and make arrangements for holding an Arbour Day in July next for the purpose of planting a tree to commemorate the life of each Roma boy who has fallen in the present war, after that each lad who went to the front from Roma, commencing with Roma natives. Carried
At a meeting of the Town Council on Wednesday, the Mayor (Ald Miscamble) said that he had been thinking of some way in which they could perpetuate the memory of our brave boys who had made the supreme sacrifice in fighting for us. Only that day he had seen in the paper where a lad born at Roma had been killed at the front: V Maguire, whose father [HR Maguire 1896-1900] was once in business here; and last week the sad news of two others having sacrificed their lives came through to us, and we thought the least they could do was to keep their memory green. He suggested they should hold an Arbor Day in July next, and plant a tree in memory of every lad who had gone from Roma. He knew the business men did not like trees but there was room enough in the streets to have a garden in each, and the town would be more beautiful. He further suggested that they should plant trees from the post office corner to the public school - the school the boys came from and that those trees form an avenue to be called "Heroes' Avenue", also that Arthur St be planted with trees in memory of the men. He moved that arrangements be made for holding an Arbor Day in July next; and that they plant a tree in memory of each lad and man. It would, he said, create a national spirit, and also show loyalty to the dead.
Ald Wright said he had great pleasure in supporting the Mayor's proposal.
Ald Williams also supported the Mayor's idea, but said they should get something better than pepperina trees.
The Mayor said he was not in favour of pepperina trees.
Ald Dunstan said bottle trees were too messy; apple trees would be better he thought.
Ald Crawford also supported the motion and said a resident of Roma had a Moreton Bay fig growing in his garden, and it was a revelation to him. He did not know what kind of tree would grow in the west. It would, he thought, be a good idea for them to experiment with the Moreton Bay fig, to see if they would be suitable for the streets.
The Mayor said they would have to be planted a good distance from the water tables [kerbing] or the roots would lift them.
Ald Wright seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.
ROLL OF HONOR
The sad news has just been received to the effect that two more Roma volunteers have been killed in action. They are Pte Ern Kupfer, son of a well known family at Yingerbay, killed on Oct 4 in France, and Pte Bob Gregg killed Oct 14 in France. Pte Gregg worked in Roma for Mr C O'Malley and we understand his parents live in Brisbane. Recent casualty lists are making a heavy toll of volunteers from this district ad since our last issue word has been received of two more having been wounded, Ptes Quinliven and Hadwen.
Mrs Millburn received a cable stating her husband 2nd [Lieut?] AM Millburn, was admitted to hospital on October 6th, suffering from severe illness. A later cable says one leg was amputated, and progressing well. Before enlisting from Roma, about two years ago he was married to the third daughter of Mr and Mrs Perrett, Bungeworgorai, and was employed in the railways.
Moved by Ald Merrillees sec by Ald Wright:
That inquiries be made as to suitable trees for planting in streets.
At the council meeting on Wednesday, the Mayor referred to the matter of planting a tree for every boy killed on active service, from McDowall St to the State School, and it was to be called Heroes' Avenue. They should consider what trees would be most suitable. He was opposed to pepperina trees. It was also resolved to write to the Minister for Agriculture with a view to getting suitable ornamental trees.
Letter from Hon. J Hunter and the Curator of the Botanical gardens re
trees for streets. Moved by Ald Wright sec by Ald Williams that these gentlemen
be thanked for their assistance in the matter [May not refer to Heroes Avenue]
Letter from Queensland Recruiting Committee enclosing copy of a certificate and suggesting that the Council give one to each soldier from the town. Moved by Ald Care sec by Ald Wright that: this matter be left in the hands of the War Council.
Ald Merrillees expressed his thanks and satisfaction for the assistance at the recent function for returned soldiers rendered by the following employees: Messrs Bones, McIntosh, Lanham and Hartley.
Moved by Ald Care sec by Ald Wright that: the warmest thanks of this council be tendered Dr and Mrs Merrilleess for the fitting and successful function held by them on Saturday last in honor of our returned soldiers. Carried
Letter received from The Hon JM Hunter MLA re ornamental trees. As requested
he had asked the Curator of the Botanic Gardens to have the matter enquired
into, and submit the names of shade trees suitable for the purpose required
by Council. He also, as a trustee of the Botanic Gardens, asked the Curator
to supply Council with as many of those trees as he possibly could. [Council]
Decided to write to Mr Hunter thanking him for his action in this matter.
Letter received from Mr EW Black, Curator Botanic Gardens, Brisbane, forwarding a list of suitable trees. Received.
Invitation received from Rev J Muir inviting the Mayor and Aldermen to
be present at the unveiling of an Honor Board in the Presbyterian Church on
Sunday afternoon next.
Letter received from Bungil Shire Council stating they will bear ½ cost of Anzac Day celebrations.
It was decided to arrange for the planting of 25 trees in the street forthwith.
ROLL OF HONOR.
The Mayor read the names of the men from this district who have fallen in the war
The Roll of Honor is as follows . .
Charles Macfarlane, killed in action.
Frank Bartlem, killed in action.
H. G. Rayner, died on service.
-. Cartwright, died on service.
H. Mallon, died on service.
Sl. Sheridan killed in action.
Norman Saunders, killed in action.
John Greenan, killed in action.
Philip Browne, killed in action.
P. F. Green, killed in action.
-. Newbould, killed in action.
J. P. Murray, killed in action.
E. C. Pearce, killed in action.
George Brown, killed in action.
Allan. Linton, killed in action.
M. Webb, killed .in action.
H. V. Cory, died on service.
A. Wilson, killed in action.
D. A. Murphy, killed in action.
N. Crawford, killed in action.
W. G. Dray, killed in action.
Neil Henderson, killed in action.
Chris Ryan, killed in action.
L. McMullen, killed in action.
R. G. Gregg, died of wounds.
F. Beltz, died of wounds.
W. Brion. killed in action.
J. Deazeley, killed in action.
M. Fraser, killed in action.
J. Macleod killed in action.
E. Kupfer, killed in action.
W. Clark, killed in action.
W. Nightingale, killed in action.
H. Walters, killed in action.
R. Waters, killed in action.
E. H. Guest, killed in action.
E. Simcoe, killed in action.
W . Waters, killed in action.
W. Shambrook, killed in action.
P. Strachan, killed in action.
Jas. Sim, killed in action.
A. Stein, killed in action.
E. De Vere, killed in action.
R. Swan, killed in action.
G. Snellgrove, killed in action.
John Murphy, killed in action.
-. Denman, killed in action.
W. Clayton, killed in action.
G. Parr, killed in action.
E. Ensor, killed in action.
H. C. Ashburn, killed in action.
F . Page, killed in action.
John Gavin, killed in action.
John Williams, killed in action.
J. H. White, killed in action. .
Fred. Lindsay, killed in action.
P Harms, killed in action.
Since the above list was read, word has been received that the following
have made the supreme sacrifice :--
Patrick Gerald Walsh, killed in action
John Stein, killed in action.
This was followed by one minute's silence as a tribute to the memory of
those who fought and died for us. The Dead March in Saul was then impressively
played by the orchestra. Many of the audience were considerably affected.
Pastor W. Rothery said that after listening to the "extra" his spirits had risen, but he could not help feeling depressed whenthe list of names was read. In regard to Anzac, he said a new word ad been coined. Some words were easily forgotten, but he sincerely hoped that the word Anzac would never be forgotten. The Anzacs had achieved what was regarded as impossible. They all regretted that the forces had to be withdrawn from the Peninsula, but while they were there they kept a large Turkish army engaged. Had it not been for Gallipoli the conquest of the Holy Land would not have been achieved. Today Gallipoli was fading a little alongside the Australian's great deeds in France. Our men are proving in France that they belong to the good old British stock. The odds rare almost too great for us, but they did not belong to the stock that gave in easily. Those sublime qualities of tenacity and endurance which are characteristic of the British race would ultimately overcome the very great odds which were against them.
The Mayor moved the following resolution :--
On this, the third anniversary of the landing of the Australasian troops
on Galipolli, this meeting of citizens of Roma and District emphasises the
unswerving loyalty of the people of the State to the Throne and Empire of
His Gracious Majesty the King, and pledges their determination to maintain
the partnership of national sacrifice which has been sealed already by the
blood of Australia's bravest sons. This meeting expresses admiration of the
magnificent heroism, self-sacrifice, and endurance of the sailors and. soldiers
of Australia and New Zealand, who, on the First Anzac Day and throughout the
Great War, for the maintenance of justice, liberty, and freedom, have shed
immortal lustre on the name of their country, ant voices heartfelt sympathy
with those whose love ones laid down their lives for the Empire, assures the
bereaved, and the sailors and soldiers who have suffered, the undying gratitude
of the people who through that sacrifice retain the blessing of liberty, enhanced
by a fuller sense of nationhood and closer and stronger union with the other
portions of the British Dominions, also urges upon all who are eligible the
imperative duty of following the example of those heroes whose names will
lie honored so long as history endures."
Councillor John Murray, in the unavoidable absence of Cr. P. Hoskin (Chairman of the Bungil Shire Council) said it gave him very much pleasure in seconding the motion, as he believed they should put every ounce of energy into the war. No one should hold back.
That grand old hymn, "Abide with me," was then sung, and the singing of the National Anthem brought the proceedings to a close.
The Musical Committee comprised Miss G. Timbury, Messrs. Henderson, Radford, Peek, and are to be congratulated on their efforts.
ROMA STATE SCHOOL
Anzac Day was fittingly celebrated at the Roma State School on Thursday afternoon, and there was a large and representative attendance. Proceedings were opened with patriotic songs by the children of the middle, infant, and senior rooms. In the senior room there was a "march past." Some smartly-dressed lads, mostly in khaki, with flags and guns, took part in it, to patriotic music supplied by Miss Hawkins (violin), and Albert Ruff (kettledrum). The march past was greatly appreciated by the visitors. An adjournment was then made to the grounds, where the Union Jack was unfurled and the children were addressed.
His Worship the Mayor (Ald. W. Miscamble), in the course of his remarks, said that many of the boys who took part in the famous landing at Gallipoli on the morning of April 25th, 1916, had attended the Roma school. They ought to be mighty proud of them. They had been set an almost impossible task, but they achieved their object in spite of all the prepared defences of the enemy. The boys landed on Gallipoli and their glorious deeds will never be forgotten They were all greatly indebted to the boys who had gone away to fight for them, and also to the boys who went from the Roma district. Those boys went voluntarily to fight for the liberty and privileges which they were enjoying in this fair land to-day. He impressed upon the boys and girls never to forget the heroes who went away. The man who went away to fight for his country was a better man than the one who stayed at home, and the least they could do for him was to show him all the respect and consideration possible. He had offered his life that they and him (the speaker) might live in peace and comfort in Australia. He regretted to say that returned soldiers were not getting the respect they were justly entitled to. (Applause.)
Mr. C. D. O'Brien, P.M., impressed upon the boys in particular that the heroes of Gallipoli could not have accomplished what they did had they not persevered. They must learn to stick to it. That meant that, no matter what they took on, they must not drop it until they carried it through. He referred to the anxious time when the Germans were near Paris, and also the recent big offensive. If it were not for the soldiers' capacity top stick to their jobs the British nation would not be in the position it was today. It was quite possible that when the boys grew to manhood they would be called upon to fight for their country, like their soldiers on active service today, If they didn't persevere, he felt sure they would not give as good account of themselves as the Anzacs had. (Applause.)
Captain Paul D. Robinson, an old pupil of the school, said he was glad to be back at school once again. He had some pleasant memories of the school - he also had some unpleasant ones. (Laughter.) He particularly impressed upon the boys the duty of fighting for their country. No man had gone to the war expecting to find any pleasure in it, but all were prompted to go by a stern sense of duty. They all realised what war meant. They were going to stick to it until they saw it through, so that there would be no more wars. (Hear, hear.) After the war there was going to be a League of Nations formed so that a nation like Germany would not be able to repeat her crime They were going to make it compulsory to keep out all robbers in the future. The boys there
that day would have to be trained and he felt sure they would, give a good account of themselves. (Applause.)
Mr. J. R. Mayfield, head teacher, referred to Roma's great effort at the time of Signaller Skeyhill's visit, when a sum of £800 was raised. Signaller Skeyhill addressed the pupils at the school the following day, and in the course of. a conversation with him he told him (the speaker) that he had been told that at Roma he would see the most patriotic school in Australia. He was very proud of that. He referred to his collection of soldiers' photographs at the school, which he called his "Heroes' Gallery." It was unique, and he was immensely proud of it. Over 200 of his pupils had gone to the war, -and many had distinguished themselves.' Major Shanahan had been decorated with a D.S.O., Pte. Kenny Bassett had won the Military Medal, while three other pupils had also gained the M.M. Three of his teachers were now on active service. The first old school boy to fall was Frank Bartlem The boys had nobly done their duty and he admired them. They were not conscripted, but many of them went in opposition to their parents and friends. He was pleased to think they all went voluntarily. He felt confident that if ever the time came for the boys there that day to take up arms they would acquit themselves like the heroes in the gallery. (Applause).
The National Anthem was then sung, and cheers were given for his. Mayfield.
The visitors then inspected the Heroes' Gallery. The walls of the High School are literally covered with photographs of the boys of the school who enlisted. There are over 100 photographs, and some of them are beautifully mounted. In the collection is a photograph of Pte. A.F. Birkett, who was in the famous retreat from Mons. The collection is unquestionably a very fine one, and Mr. Mayfield must have gone to considerable trouble over it. He deserves great credit for his efforts to keep green the memory of those heroes who rose to the occasion in the hour of their country's peril.
OUR VOLUNTEER FORCES
Included in a recent casualty list is the name of Gnr. Gordon Gerrier, M.M., wounded.
In the casualty list issue don Tuesday the death of Pte. Lindsay Gordon Millwood Richards, of Mitchell is reported. The cause is not stated, but he was previously reported as being gassed.
On Thursday Mr and Mrs H. Harms, of this town, received the sad news that their son, L-Cpl Percy Harms, had been killed in France on the 18th of march last. He had been in France over 12 months with the 42nd Battalion. He enlisted at Roma in march 1916, and was only 20 years of age when he fell on the field of battle.
On going to press last night word was received that Pte. Patrick Gerald Walsh, son of Mr and Mrs J Walsh, of Roma, had been killed in action in France on 5th April last, and also of the death of Pte. John Stein, who was killed in action in France. His parents, Mr and Mrs. F. Stein, reside at Yingerbay, and he enlisted at Roma some 18 months ago.
The deepest sympathy of the whole district goes out to the bereaved parents in their great sorrow.
Moved by Ald Merrillees, sec by Ald Care: That the sympathy of this Council be conveyed to the bereaved persons, (bereaved through loss of the "Wimmera") through the Permier and member of the District. Carried
Letter received from Military Hospital stating that leave as requested
had been granted Saunders & Harvey, without pay.
Letter received from Chief Secretary's dept, stating Council's sympathy had been conveyed to relatives bereaved through loss of "Wimmera". [SS Wimmera - trans-Tasman steam ship sunk 25th July 1918 by a mine sowed by the German raider "Wolf".
It was decided to leave in the Mayor's hands the matter of arranging a date for the tree planting, obtaining apple trees from Mrs Pockley [Pockby - not clear, no name in rates to come close], and obtaining Mr R Spencer's services to deal with them. Moved Ald Miscamble, sec by Ald Conroy that: That a letter be written [to] Military Headquarters, pointing out the manner in which the death in action of Private Harry McKenzie was made known and asking for an explanation.
The Mayor referred to the Heroes' Avenue in Wyndham street, and said they had procured some nice bottle and kurrajong trees. He said there were some very nice emu apple trees about eight miles from the town, and he would like to see some of them planted in the avenue. Each tree in the avenue was to be named after a lad from the school who had made the supreme sacrifice in, the great war. It was a grand sentiment, and he thought they should invite the public some Saturday afternoon to help with the planting of the trees.
Ald. Williams suggested that the services of Mr. Robert Spencer be procured to transplant the trees. Several towns throughout the State were planting trees in commemoration of the brave boys who had fallen in the war.
On the motion of Ald. Wright and Care the matter of arranging a day was left to the Mayor.
There was a large gathering at Wyndham-street yesterday afternoon, when the first trees in Heroes' Avenue were planted.
His Worship the Mayor (Ald. Miscamble explained the object of the gathering, and apologized for the absence of the Rev. Father Hennessy, Rev. A. E. Henry, and Rev. Martin. He was sorry to learn that the Rev.
Henry had that afternoon received the sad news that his brother had been killed in action in France. Over four years ago war broke out and it was not finished yet. The news lately was particularly cheering, and he thought
the war would be over in another year. Since the outbreak of war 1200 men had enlisted from the Roma district, of whom 76 had been killed. They had met that day to pay their respect to the departed. Twenty-seven trees were to be planted in honor of the boys who had attended the local State school. Pte. F. Bartlem was the first of them to pay the supreme penalty. He admired the men whose souls were big enough to go and volunteer to fight the enemy of humanity and civilisation.
Rev. J. Muir said they had been called to do honor to those heroes who had given their lives for their country. The men who had responded to their country's call had realised the very highest ideals of life: True living and true happiness was to be found in the service rendered to others. The boys who would not come back were not dead. Their lives would live on. As long as Roma existed they would never be forgotten.
The first tree was planted in memory of Norman Saunders by the Mayor and Mrs. Spence at the Post Office corner. While planting a tree in front of the school in memory of a teacher, Lieut. G. J. Sheppard, the children sang " God Speed the Right" very impressively indeed.
Mr. C. D. O'Brien P.M., referred to the splendid national spirit which animated Belgium to turn a deaf ear to Germany's peace proposal. Some people said Australia became a nation when the States were formed into a Commonwealth, but others said Australia rose to nationhood on the 25th April, 1915, at Gallipoli.
Mr. J. R. Mayfield, head teacher, also spoke, and referred to the many noble and loving traits in Lieut. Sheppard's character, which made him respected by one and all.
Trees were planted in honor of the following :---N. Saunders, F.. Bartlem, N. Crawford, P. Browne, D. Murphy, H. McKenzie, T. R. Twine, F. Warren, -. Newbould, P. Walsh, W. Waters, A. Stein, P. F. Green, P. Crowley, S. Sheridan, H. Walters, G. J. Sheppard, W. Shambrook, J. Bond, C. Ryan, N. Henderson, F. Burtleshaw, G. Brown, J. Greenan, W. Brion, and C. Macfarlane.
Letter received from Recruiting Committee stating names of local soldiers returning home will in future be furnished.
Heroes Avenue. Commenced Friday 20th September when trees as per plan hereunder were planted. Copy of western star article published previous week on the planting of the bottle trees glued into minutes book with a hand drawn map of the trees.... (including soldier Brion marked)
Link to scan of map in new window.
Notification from Recruiting Committee of Returning Soldiers.
Letter received from F Weiske returning thanks for Council's wishes for himself and family. [Association to Heroes Avenue not clear, but Council was in the habit of writing sympathy letters to families of fallen soldiers, a number of which wrote back letters of thanks which were noted in the minutes. No Weiske can be found in either our rates or cemetery records]
Letter from QR Paull, quoting for brass name plaques for trees. Moved by Ald Care sec by Ald Crawford that 75 plates 3"x1" be procured Moved by Ald Crawford, sec by Ald Wright that 47 additional trees be planted during the year, making one tree for each fallen soldier from the district.
It was decided that particulars of the circumstances surrounding the death of Private Wyles be forwarded [to] the Member for the District.
Letter from QR Paull quoting 2/9 each for brass name plaques 3"x1". It was decided to obtain quotations elsewhere.
Written in Red Ink:
Moved by His Worship the Mayor [Miscamble] sec by Ald Care: We the Mayor and Aldermen of the Town of Roma in Council assembled hereby record our devout thankfulness that the war upon which the British Empire entered in the sacred cause of liberty and justice is now ended and that success has crowned the arms of the Allies. We fervently hope that the League of Nations, the outcome of the deliberations of the great conference at Versailles will assure a lasting peace, that the sacrifices made by the peoples of our Empire shall not have been in vain
and we pray a new era of goodwill and of brighter prospects to all humanity.
7th. December 1938
THE MAYOR ,
I am enclosing herewith a Chart to the Avenue of Bottle Trees leading from the Railway Station to the "Soldiers Memorial" in the Queens Park, Roma. A bottle tree has been planted in the Avenue to the memory of every "Digger" enlisted from this District, who lost his life in the Great War and whose name will be found on the Memorial in the Queens Park.
Each tree has been labelled with the name of the "Digger" whose memory it is intended to perpetuate but, already, a few of the labels are missing and I am sure you will agree with me that it is very necessary that a more abiding record should be provided so that the location of each tree may be known: and, with this end in view, the Chart has been prepared and a copy of it is now being forwarded to you and also one to the Chairman of the Bungil Shire Council, in whom, together with myself, is vested by special resolution of the Roma Town Council the site in the Queens park, upon which is erected the Soldiers' Memorial.
May I ask that you will see that this Chart is carefully preserved, for future reference, when necessary.
I may add that two or three of the bottle trees are dead or dying, but will be replaced when a suitable opportunity offers.
In conclusion, may I express the hope that you, Sir, and your brother Councillors, and your successors in office, who represent the district, from which were drawn some of the men whose memory is intended to be perpetuated for all time, will ever regard it as a sacred trust, to see to it that the Avenue of Trees and Soldiers' Memorial are never neglected.
I am, Dear Sir,
Wm Geo Mayne
ROMA LOCAL REPATRIATION COMMITTEE
Link to scan of the chart of trees mentioned.
[No record has yet been found of how the Avenue went from Council hands to the Repatriation Committee]