Charlton was a hive of activity Monday (4th) as two events were launched that are sure to be a drawcard to the town; one for a period of three weeks, the other permanently. At 10am a large crowd assembled in Lions Park at the top of View Street to watch Commodore Greg Yorke, AM, CSC officially open the Sir John Monash Tribute Garden featuring a magnificent mural painted by renowned artist Glenn Downy. This was accompanied by 2 large panels mounted on framework constructed by Joe Durie, telling the story of this great Australians life from his childhood through to his accomplished military and civil career, as well as the History of the Battle of Hamel, often Called ‘Monash’s Masterpiece’. Also prominent in the garden is a piano painted by local artist Darren Mills that features images significant in Monash’s life. Native plantings, playground equipment and a mounted telescope will be developed at a later stage to further enhance the project.
Project partners included the Victorian Governments Department of Veterans Affairs, the Besen Foundation, Regional Development Victoria, Charlton Lions Club (who maintain the garden), Charlton Bendigo Community Bank, Charlton Neighbourhood House, Buloke Shire, GWM Water, Charlton Forum, Charlton Rotary Club, David Price OAM, Charlton RSL Sub-Branch, Charlton Golden Grains Museum, Australian War Memorial, Shrine of Remembrance, Rotary Club of Melbourne and Scotch College. Also present was Charlton RSL Sub-Branch Padre Reverand Judi Bird who gave a blessing for the project and led a prayer for the fallen.
Locals and visitors are encouraged to visit the gardens located at the top of View and Currie Streets and spend some time enjoying the magnificent views, and learning about the amazing life of service Sir John Monash gave to Australia.
Following the official opening, everyone was invited to head to the Charlton Shire Hall for refreshments and a very special exhibition opening. Charlton has been very fortunate to secure for three weeks the Shrine of Remembrances travelling exhibition, ‘Changed forever, legacies of conflict.’ This amazing selection of artworks features work by both former Australian Defence Force personnel and refugees who had made a home after leaving their wartime countries to settle in Australia. The moving stories cover more recent conflicts from East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and many more, and are all accompanied by informative panels backgrounding the artists history, and motives behind their work.
Introduced by Shire Mayor, Daryl Warren, Shrine of CEO Mr Dean Lee officially opened the exhibition and praised the work of local volunteers who not only helped assemble the exhibition, but also who have given up their time to man it over its period in Charlton. The audience present was also fortunate to be able to listen to Mornington Peninsula artist, and former soldier and award winner James Farquharson tell of his very personal experiences that led to his involvement in the project.
The exhibition opens Fridays through to Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm until July 26, and is free of charge. Group bookings are welcome and can be arranged by calling 0473 759 456.