By Wendy Williamson
Sunday 16 July is the date set aside for a major fund-raising event for the Seville War Memorial.
The director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson AO, will be guest of honour, along with the Federal Member for Casey, the Hon Tony Smith MP, a big supporter of the highly anticipated memorial.
The fund-raiser, for which bookings are a must, as seating is limited, will take the form of a morning tea from 10.30am at Wild Cattle Creek Estate, 473 Warburton Highway, Seville. Tickets cost $50.
As well as enjoying morning tea, guests will each receive a commemorative gift. An added attraction will be a display of Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant memorabilia and material relating to the Charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba. It will be the first time this material, kindly lent by locals, has been on public display.
“We’re looking to create a war memorial for the 21st century, as well as a public work of art,” said Mount Evelyn historian Anthony McAleer, excited to see the project progressing.
Despite contributing significantly to war efforts, particularly in World War I, when as many as 15 men from tiny Seville lost their lives, the people of Seville have never had a war memorial where they can gather to honour all those who served their country in time of war.
After World War II, a memorial swimming pool was constructed, but this was dismantled in recent years and the site turned into a water play park. It is in the adjoining parkland (on the corner of the Warburton Highway and Seville-Monbulk Road) that the memorial will be constructed.
Standing four metres high, it will comprise four glass panels.
At the unveiling of the plans in April, Mr McAleer praised the work of SMAQ Design Collaborations.
“They’ve taken the concept of the traditional cenotaph memorial and modernised it,” he said.
“This memorial won’t just be a list of names in stone.
“It will pay tribute to those from Seville – who served, suffered and died for our nation – by giving detail through words and images, by telling their stories in a heartfelt and emotive way.”
One panel will commemorate the Yarra Valley’s only Victoria Cross recipient. George Ingram VC, MM, was the last Australian to be awarded the Victoria Cross in World War I. He was born in Bagshot, near Bendigo, and grew up in Seville. After serving in Rabaul, he went on to serve in the 24th Battalion AIF on the Western Front, where he was awarded both the Military Medal and the Victoria Cross.
The posters of the design for the Seville War Memorial are expected to go on public display shortly.
For bookings and further information on the morning tea on Sunday 16 July, go to www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=285095&