Tag Archives: Eltham Avenue of Honour

Past, Present, Future: Where is the balance?

by Jim Connor

Eltham Trestle Bridge, 1981. The Shire of Eltham Office is in background; constructed 1964, opened 1965. (Photo: G.L. Coop, Eltham. From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

An ongoing challenge as members of a historical society is how do we balance the pressures of possible future development against our desires to protect and honour our valued past, our local history.

As a historical society representing the interests of our community we strive to remain steadfastly non political, yet at times get caught between individual political positions.

Three current local ‘hot’ topics of historical significance are the Eltham Trestle Bridge, the Eltham Avenue of Honour/Eltham Gateway and the former Eltham Shire offices site and adjacent
War Memorial buildings complex.

The Eltham District Historical Society has clearly stated that the valued trestle bridge is of local historical significance, should remain as is and should not be compromised, if and when the railway line is duplicated between Greensborough and Eltham. The sitting State member has indicated it can remain as is and there will be improved scheduling, with no advantage to be gained with duplicating the bridge. Despite claiming ‘the trestle bridge remains’ the political opponent has stated in a meeting with EDHS that, if elected, a new bridge will be constructed beside it and that his position is ‘not negotiable’.

Similarly, possible duplication of Main Road through the Eltham Gateway and World War 1 Avenue of Honour is being considered, which we believe would totally destroy the historical and cultural significance of this meandering, tree enhanced entrance to Eltham.

What are the options, what is the cost vs benefit? Should we need to compromise our heritage even further to possibly save a couple of minutes in travel?

The third topic is that Nillumbik Shire Council is currently considering redevelopment of the former Eltham Shire offices site in Main Road, Eltham, which includes the Shillinglaw trees, together with the adjacent War Memorial buildings complex.

What do we value of our past to preserve in the present for the ‘future’, do we restrict our creative options by honouring our heritage, where is the balance?

These are decisions we will all need to consider……sooner rather than later.

 

[Reproduced from Eltham District Historical Society Newsletter No. 240, June 2018]

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Heritage Walk: Eltham War Memorials – 7 May 2016

Eltham Avenue of Honour plaque

Saturday 7th May 2016 at 2.00pm

Over the past two years our Society along with other similar organizations has participated in the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. This heritage excursion is a further event in that commemoration.

Within our local area many memorials, honour boards and the like were installed after that war. New memorials and additions to the earlier ones were established after the Second World War and there have been subsequent conflicts that are also commemorated. Within Eltham there are a number of memorials dedicated to locals who served Australia in times of war.

This walk on Saturday 7th May will visit a number of memorials along Main Road starting with the heritage listed Avenue of Honour. Along the way we will hear the stories of some of those who are honoured on the memorials. It will include a visit to our Local History Centre where there will be a display featuring memorials beyond the area of the walk.

The walk is about 2 km in length and will take 2 to 2.5 hours. It will start at 2pm at the car park in Wingrove Park near the intersection of Main and Mount Pleasant Roads. (Melway ref.21 J8). This is a one way walk finishing at the Eltham shopping centre. Private arrangements are required to return to the start such as bus or a return walk.

This free walk is open to the general public as well as Society members.

Dogs are not permitted on Society excursions.

Phone number of contact on the day is 0409 021 063