Rest ar­eas hon­our heroes

Sto­ries abound along this spe­cial stretch of high­way

Big Rigs - - NEWS - TRUCKIN’ AROUND OZ ALF WIL­SON con­trib­u­tors@bi­grigs.com.au

A LACK of suit­able rest ar­eas with fa­cil­i­ties for truck­ies has been un­der the spot­light in the road transport in­dus­try.

But there are 23 stops in NSW and the ACT that de­serve spe­cial praise – each is ded­i­cated to brave sol­diers who have won the Vic­to­ria Cross.

A 320km sec­tion called the Re­mem­brance Drive­way com­mem­o­rates those who served in the Aus­tralian De­fence Forces in World War II and sub­se­quent wars.

Run­ning 320km from Syd­ney to Can­berra along the Hume and Fed­eral High­ways via Liver­pool, Mit­tagong and Goul­burn, the Re­mem­brance Drive­way pro­vides rest ar­eas ded­i­cated to VC re­cip­i­ents as well as memo­rial parks and plan­ta­tions along the route.

I drove along the route re­cently and stopped at many of the rest ar­eas and some of them have fruit and food vans which are well pa­tro­n­ised by trav­ellers.

Af­ter­wards I con­tacted Transport NSW to find out the his­tory be­hind them.

Se­nior Me­dia Of­fi­cer Roads and Mar­itime Ser­vices Penny Robins was happy to pro­vide the in­for­ma­tion to Big Rigs.

Af­ter World War II, Mrs Mar­garet Davis, the found­ing pres­i­dent of the Gar­den Clubs of Aus­tralia, sug­gested that a liv­ing memo­rial to those who had served in this con­flict be es­tab­lished.

Mrs Davis was in­spired by the Blue Star High­way, a plant­ing of around 8000 dog­wood trees along a five mile stretch of high­way in New Jersey in the United States, as a memo­rial to the men and women of the US Armed Forces.

There are also a num­ber of memo­rial av­enues in Aus­tralia, such as the Av­enue of Hon­our in Bal­larat, ded­i­cated to those who served in World War I.

As a re­sult of Mrs Davis’ ef­forts, the Re­mem­brance Drive­way Com­mit­tee was formed in 1954.

The Char­ter of the Com­mit­tee was to ar­range plant­ing of av­enues of trees and es­tab­lish groves and memo­rial parks along the Hume and Fed­eral High­ways be­tween Syd­ney and Can­berra.

“The Re­mem­brance Drive­way is a trib­ute from those who re­mem­ber yes­ter­day and have faith in to­mor­row.

“Many coun­tries of the world have planted av­enues and groves of trees. It is be­lieved that Re­mem­brance Drive­way has taken its place among the fore­most of these, and be quoted abroad as one of the finest ar­bo­rial achieve­ments ever planned.

“Re­mem­brance Drive­way thus has be­come a liv­ing shrine, ded­i­cated to the pa­tri­o­tism, hero­ism and en­durance of all those who kept alight the torch of free­dom and jus­tice when, one by one, so many other coun­tries of the world saw it be­ing dimmed.”

In 1954, Her Majesty Queen El­iz­a­beth II and His Royal High­ness Prince Philip each planted a plane tree in Mac­quarie Place, Syd­ney and Her Majesty planted a snow gum at the Aus­tralian War Memo­rial in Can­berra.

These trees marked the be­gin­ning and end of the Drive­way.

Vic­to­ria Cross Rest Ar­eas, ded­i­cated to all Aus­tralian Vic­to­ria Cross re­cip­i­ents from World War II and sub­se­quent con­flicts, have been es­tab­lished on the Drive­way.

Sev­en­teen of the 25 Vic­to­ria Crosses awarded since the World War II have been recog­nised with a ded­i­cated VC Rest Area de­vel­oped by Roads and Mar­itime.

A fur­ther five VC Memo­rial Parks, de­vel­oped with the help of the Depart­ment of Ter­ri­tory and Mu­nic­i­pal Ser­vices, Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory, have been ded­i­cated there.

The Vic­to­ria Cross is the pre-em­i­nent medal for acts of brav­ery in wartime and Aus­tralia’s high­est mil­i­tary hon­our.

Be­cause of acts of val­our and ex­tra­or­di­nary per­sonal courage, Vic­to­ria Cross re­cip­i­ents have been se­lected by name to rep­re­sent the ser­vice of all the ser­vice­men and women com­mem­o­rated on the Drive­way.

The Re­mem­brance Drive­way web­site pro­vides VC Ci­ta­tions for each re­cip­i­ent.

There are a num­ber of parks and plant­ings along the route of the Re­mem­brance Drive­way, help­ing to form the liv­ing memo­rial.

The most re­cent plant­ings in­clude the Aus­tralian De­fence Force Memo­rial Plan­ta­tion, lo­cated be­tween the Sir Ro­den Cut­ler VC Memo­rial Interchange at Pre­stons, and the Aus­tralian Botanic Gar­den, Mt An­nan.

It con­sists of 15.5km of road­side and me­dian plant­ings of 45,000 na­tive trees and shrubs, and is marked with stone Memo­rial Walls at each end.

The Plan­ta­tion was ded­i­cated by the Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral of Aus­tralia in 2010.

Roads and Mar­itime in­volve­ment

There has al­ways been a cor­dial re­la­tion­ship be­tween Roads and Mar­itime and its pre­de­ces­sors, and the Re­mem­brance Drive­way Com­mit­tee.

Roads and Mar­itime and its pre­de­ces­sors have been rep­re­sented on the com­mit­tee from the start. Roads and Mar­itime took up spon­sor­ship of the Drive­way com­mit­tee in 1991 and since then has sup­ported the con­cept of the Re­mem­brance Drive­way with very sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial, planning and ma­te­rial as­sis­tance.

FOOT­NOTE: Along the route there is one “rest area” truck­ies don’t want to stop at. That is the Heavy Ve­hi­cle Safety Sta­tion at Maru­lan.

PHO­TOS: ALF WIL­SON

DED­I­CATED STOP: There is plenty of park­ing for trucks and vans at the Frank Par­tridge VC rest area.

A truck trav­els along the Re­mem­brance High­way.

There are plenty of rest area op­tions along the route.

A memo­rial plaque for VC win­ner Kevin Wheat­ley at one of the rest ar­eas.

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