Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The Eurack Avenue of Honour is a World War I memorial on Eurack Road commemorating the 26 soldiers from the district who enlisted for the war. The planting of the Avenue commenced as an Arbour Day project for the Eurack School in May 1916 on the initiative of Lieutenant George Pentreath, then head teacher of the school who enlisted in July 1916. The Avenue was planted on Arbor Day, Friday 28 July 1916 in front of the Eurack School, general store, post office and church, the centre of the small settlement that sprang up after the Eurack Estate was subdivided for closer settlement in 1891. The memorial is a single row of 20 Ulmus x hollandica (Dutch Elm) planted along the south side of Eurack Road. Each tree is marked with a stylised white painted concrete cross bearing the name of the soldier/s it commemorates inscribed on a black marble plate. Six of the trees are dedicated to brothers. One of the crosses commemorates Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War who was killed in 1916 when HMS Hampshire struck a mine en route to Russia.
How is it significant?
The Eurack Avenue of Honour is of historical, aesthetic and social significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The Eurack Avenue of Honour planted on 28 July 1916 is historically significant as one of the earliest known of this form of war memorial in Victoria, followed by memorial plantings in Maldon, August 1916 and Ballarat, 1917. It is also significant for exemplifying rural Victoria's reaction to World War I. It is representative of plantings that first appeared in Australia during World War I commemorating all those who enlisted for service in an egalitarian form where each individual, regardless of rank, was equally recognised for their service. The Avenue has significance for its commemoration of Lord Kitchener and has no known comparison in Victoria.
The Eurack Avenue of Honour is of aesthetic significance as an intact and distinctive commemorative planting. The uniform plantings of the trees and the stark concrete crosses in their isolated surroundings combine to create an imposing cultural landscape.The Eurack Avenue of Honour is of social significance for its relationship with the community as a memorial to those who served in World War I and for its continuing commemorative importance. The Eurack Avenue of Honour and dedication plaques remain as an indication of the involvement of Victoria's small communities in commemorating the sacrifices of their volunteers, along with the loss and sorrow experienced by small rural areas like Eurack.
AVENUE OF HONOUR - History
World War One affected Australia more than any other event since British settlement, if only by the killing or injuring over 200,000 Australians in just four years. The war's impact was so tragic and pervasive that it demanded commemoration. Planting trees was seen as a symbol of hope for the future, as well as adding beauty to towns and the countryside. It also provided a tangible way for the ordinary person to become personally involved in commemorating those lost during the war.
Victoria became the avenues' heartland, perhaps because they had been promoted earliest and hardest. The Victorian State Recruiting Committee had written to all municipalities and shires in 1917 recommending that an assurance be given to every intending recruit that his name would be 'memorialised in an avenue of honour'.
The Eurack Avenue of Honour was planted on Arbour Day, Friday 28 July 1916. It comprises a roadsiderow of 20 trees and 20 stylised concrete crosses bearing the names of 26 local servicemen who volunteered in World War I. Of interest is one cross that bears the name of Lord Kitchener.
The Avenue was established on the roadside in front of the Eurack school, general store and post office, and the church. It was not uncommon to establish memorials within the vicinity of schools, to impress on children the importance of sacrifice for what was perceived to be a greater good. This was the centre of the small settlement that sprang up after the Eurack Estate was subdivided for closer settlement in 1891.
The Eurack Avenue of Honour and dedication plaques remain as an indication of the involvement of Victoria's small communities, along with the loss and sorrow experienced by small rural areas like Eurack.
Beeac [site #52], Cressy and Eurack all chose to honour their volunteers with an avenue of honour. Fourteen elms were planted in Wallace Street between Main and Coulston Streets at Beeac in 1917, and later in 1918 another 22 were planted in Coulston Street between Wallace and Lang Street. Shire of Colac Minute Books, 15 May 1916, p346; 19 June 1916, p351; 18 June 1917, p13. An Avenue of Honour of 137 'Australian trees' was planted at Cressy in September 1918 [site #174]. The names of those soldiers who were involved in the war from Cressy, Weering and the surrounding district were nailed to guards surrounding the trees, but these have not survived. Shire of Colac Minute Books, 15 July 1918, p203; 14 June 1919, p289; Colac Herald, 11 September 1918; Cressy Centenary Celebrations, ibid. The most intact avenue of honour in the Shire, however, survives at Eurack. Twenty elms were planted in December 1918 to commemorate the 26 soldiers from the district who enlisted for the war [site #189]. Colac Herald, 19 December 1918; Six were brothers, and shared the same memorial. These and their dedication plaques remain as an indication of the commitment, loss and sorrow experienced by the Eurack community.
Shire of Colac Minute Books, 15 May 1916, p346; 19 June 1916, p351; 18 June 1917, p13.
Shire of Colac Minute Books, 15 July 1918, p203; 14 June 1919, p289; Colac Herald, 11 September 1918; Cressy Centenary Celebrations, ibid.
Colac Herald, 19 December 1918; Six were brothers, and shared the same memorial.
AVENUE OF HONOUR - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object. General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component. General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan endorsed by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. Note: The existence of a Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan endorsed by the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan. General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable. Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works may submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.
Management and maintenance of trees including formative and remedial pruning, removal of deadwood, pest and disease control, cabling, mowing, weed control and mulching.
In the event of the loss of a Dutch Elm, replanting with the same tree species.
Removal of elm suckers, but excluding herbicide use.
Road works that occur at a distance greater than 2.5 metres from the tree row.
Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard; Pruning of Amenity Trees AS 4373.
Removal of plants listed as noxious weeds in the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
Repainting the memorial crosses in the same colour of previously painted surfaces.
AVENUE OF HONOUR - Permit Exemption Policy
The purpose of the exemptions is to allow works that do not affect the cultural heritage significance of the place.
The cultural heritage significance of the Eurack Avenue of Honour is primarily as an intact commemorative planting which symbolises the response of a rural community to World War I. The significance of the Eurack Avenue of Honour lies in the uniform planting of the trees and the associated concrete crosses.
Eurack Avenue of HonourVic. War Heritage Inventory H2102
Eurack Honour Roll (First World War) (Part A)Vic. War Heritage Inventory
Eurack Honour Roll (Second World War) (Part B)Vic. War Heritage Inventory