What is Significant?
The Kardella Avenue of Honour, established c.1919, at Kardella-Fairbank Road, Kardella Why is it Significant?
The Kardella Avenue of Honour is of local historic, social, and aesthetic significance to the district of Kardella.
Historically and socially, the Avenue is important as one of a series of honour avenues and other memorials that were established throughout Shire after World War 1, which demonstrate the effect of this conflict upon small rural communities. As many of the original buildings associated with Kardella have now vanished, it is an important reminder of the early settlement of this area. (AHC criteria - A.4, D.2 and G.1) Aesthetically, the now mature trees enhance the setting of Kardella. (AHC criterion - E.1)
Kardella Avenue of Honour - Physical Description 1
The Kardella Avenue of Honour consists of two sections as follows: - Following the old Kardella Road alignment there are 9 Ash and 6 Elm trees in good condition.
- Along the present Kardella Road there are 7 Elms in poor condition, which is due to pruning and Elm Leaf Beetle infestation.
There is also a pair of Oak trees, however, it is believed that these were planted earlier in honour of Boer War soldiers (see separate citation).
Kardella Avenue of Honour - Veterans Description for Public
The Kardella Avenue of Honour, along Kardella-Fairbank Road, was planted to commemorate the First World War. The avenue consists of two sections; the old Kardella Road alignment where nine Ash and six Elm trees are still standing, and along the present Kardella Road where there are seven Elms in a more fragile condition. There is also a pair of Oak trees believed to be planted in honour of Boer War soldiers.
The exact date of the Kardella Avenue of Honour is not known, however the other Honour Avenues in the former Shire of Korumburra were established in 1918 Kongwak and 1919 Strzelecki, so it is likely that Kardella also dates from around this time. The Avenue passed through what was originally the village of Kardella, which once included a store, school church, public hall and railway station. Today only a scattering of houses remain and few if any date from the First World War or earlier.
In Australia, commemorative trees have been planted in public spaces since the late nineteenth century. Arbor Days were held regularly in most Victorian State Schools during the late 1800s and early 1900s, and numerous trees were planted in parks in Melbourne and throughout Victoria to mark the visits of important and famous people.
This tradition of commemorative planting was continued in 1901 when at the end of the Boer War trees were often planted for each soldier of the district who was killed in South Africa. These plantings, however, rarely consisted of more than two or three trees in each town.
During and after the First World War avenues of honour consisting of trees lining significant streets became a popular form of commemoration. They represented a new egalitarian approach to the commemoration of soldiers where rank was not a consideration: each tree symbolises a person.
Avenues of honour are a uniquely Australian phenomenon. Australians, and in particular Victorians, embraced the idea of planting them more enthusiastically than any other country in the world. Dating from May 1916, the Eurack Avenue of Honour is the earliest known avenue of honour to be planted in Victoria.
By the time of the Second World War avenues of honour had declined in popularity as a means of commemoration. Today it is estimated that over 300 avenues of honour have been planted in Victoria to commemorate service personnel since 1901.