Thursday, 10 February 2011

Beaconsfield Park Memorial Gates by Ann Taylor

Cardinia Shire Council is currently undertaking works at Beaconsfield Park. The park is situated at the corner of Beaconsfield-Emerald Road and Old Princes Highway. This area is just over the Cardinia Creek Bridge. Cardinia Shire Council initially provided $10,000 to have plans developed for this area and then were successful in gaining a Federal Government grant of $112,572 to have these works carried out. The works include new drainage and footpath and extensive landscaping and planting of native and indigenous plants. Stage one of these works will cover the front entrance of the park and then future works will include a boardwalk and post and rail fencing.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), Thursday 26 January 1939, page 6.

An historically important part of the Park is the Beaconsfield Park sign and in 2008 the Beaconsfield Progress Association was successful in gaining a Cardinia Shire Council Heritage grant to have this sign restored. In 2009, more funding was obtained to have pillars built for the signage. The refurbishment work on the Beaconsfield sign has now been completed. The sign has a special place in the history of Beaconsfield, as it was erected, together with Gates, which have since disappeared, in 1939 in memory of the soldiers who took part in the Great War. The Gates and sign were the gift of the Craven sisters Belinda, Mattie and Alice who previously had the Beaconsfield Post Office. Shown above is a report on the Gates from The Argus of January 26, 1939.

The late Tony Rushton, who lived in Beaconsfield and had a passion for local history, had this photo, shown above, in his collection. It is thought to be taken at the opening of the gates. In the group second from the left is Harold Harbour, third from left ‘Slim’ Parkes and on the right ‘Bluey’ Jim Parkes. Tony Rushton had expressed a desire to see the sign and pillars restored, and now this has finally taken place.

The neglected sign before refurbishment, above, and after refurbishment, below. Photographs by Ann Taylor.

The information in this article was first published in the December2010/January 2011 edition of the Beaconsfield Banner, the Community Newsletter produced by the Beaconsfield Progress Association. Ann is a regular contributor to the Beaconsfield Banner.

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