Rokeby Avenue of Honour
Interesting tree planting ceremony
Out of its very small population, the little district of Rokeby contributed nineteen men to the fighting forces of the Empire during the Great War, and on Saturday afternoon an avenue of trees was planted in the township as a memorial of the men who answered their country’s call. The trees were planted on either side of the roadway leading from the main road through the township to St Matthew’s Church, and along one side of the recreation ground, and should in future years form a very beautiful avenue.
The ceremony of planting the trees was performed in the presence of most of the local residents, and there were also present, the Rev H C Brammall, the Warden of Clarence (the Hon Jas. Murdoch MLC), Councillor G W Allwright, Councillor H F Paul, Councillor O G Morrisby, and the council clerk (Mr Geo. Bignell).
The Warden, who on his arrival was welcomed on behalf of the Rokeby Red Cross Circle by Mr Albert Chipman, addressed those present. He said he was more than pleased that the people of Rokeby were going to do something to show their appreciation of their soldiers. He was not going to say they could not do too much for the soldiers, but there was a great deal they should do for them. Though some of those present might not live to see the trees reach their prime, they would be there for future generations. The avenue should look very fine, and he hoped the trees would grow successfully. Some people thought it a mistake to plant deciduous trees as they looked so bare in winter, but in the springtime they came out into leaf again, and he thought were a reminder to us that, though we had to pass away from this world, we would enter a better life. The trees would remind those of future generations that Australia had called to her children in honour’s name, and they had given their lives for their country. (Applause)
The Rev H C Brammall said that one of the things which had struck him very forcibly when he first went to that district was the number of men who had gone to the front, and since then others had enlisted. He thought there was o more fitting way of perpetuating their memory than the planting of trees. He hoped the trees would grow and flourish, and be a reminder of what was done by the sons of Rokeby, and by the sons of Australia in those years of war, which had no, thank God, come to an end. (Applause)
The trees were then planted by the relatives of the soldiers, one being provided for each of the nineteen men who enlisted, their names being as follows:-
J Branley, C Buck, B Lazenby, and A Pearsall (all killed in action), W Free and E Haynes (both died of illness), W Sutcliffe, G Stanfield, D Stanfield, J Smith, O Smith, E Gill, T Garland, E Percy, H Thorn, G Reeves, D Chipman, J Harrison and G Johnson.
The trees in memory of the men are American planes. At the end of the Avenue there are to be planted two English oaks, one to perpetuate the work of the Red Cross, and the other to represent peace. The cost of the avenue has been defrayed by public subscription, the collecting and other arrangements being carried out by the ladies of the Rokeby Red Cross Circle, with Miss Hookey as secretary, and Mrs Albert Chipman as distributing secretary. A good deal of the timber for the substantial guards with which the trees are enclosed was given, and the posts and guards were made by Messrs Albert Chipman, G Free, J Beard sen., and F Luckman. A number of other residents formed a working bee and dug the holes for the trees on Saturday afternoon.
After the trees had been planted, all present adjourned to the Rokeby-hall, where refreshments were provided by Mrs E P Free and the ladies of the Red Cross circle.