Ballina rebuilds memorial grove

A PLANNED revitalisation of a memorial grove in Ballina’s CBD has been welcomed by the president of the Ballina RSL Sub-branch, Max Lewis.

Ballina Shire Council’s facilities committee last week gave the nod to rebuilding the 68-tree World War I memorial, and it is expected the project will be rubber-stamped at the full council meeting later this month.

Mr Lewis said ‘anything that is going to be a memorial for the fellows who served is a good thing’.

“Anzac Day is getting big and children are now interested,” he said. “Anything that you can leave behind for future generations to come is well worthwhile.”

Mr Lewis praised the council for its support of the ex-service community.

The new memorial grove, to extend along Crane Street from Moon to Martin streets, and along Cherry Street from Tamar to Swift streets to form a cross, is a replacement of an original grove planted in 1926.

Camphor laurels were planted originally.

Council’s manager, open spaces and reserves, Jillian Pratten, said the 30 or so remaining trees from the existing grove would be removed, and 68 Waterhousea floribunda trees – the weeping lilly pilly – would be put in their place, with concrete blisters to protect them from vehicles parking in the streets.

The council has received a $50,000 grant to begin the project, and will spend a further $50,000 to complete it.

Ms Pratten said plantings would begin towards the end of the year.

The plan is for plaques to be placed at the bottom of each tree, and the content of each plaque will be decided by the RSL sub-branch.

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