Monumental task to preserve past
MONUMENTS may look built to last, but even they decay if left out in the cold.
Such is the case with the Thompson Graham Arnold memorial monument in Heathcote’s cemetery.
Moss is strewn over considerable sections of it and the plaque is almost unreadable, and volunteer research officer and photographer for Monument Australia Sandra Brown thinks it’s about time something was done about it.
She has spent the past four years finding, capturing and researching monuments and memorials all over the country and sees the restoration of this site as key to maintaining the town’s history.
She said that seeing a monument of such a prominent figure in the town’s history falling into decay is a substantial hit to its history.
‘‘Thompson is an important figure in the town’s history and his monument falling into the neglect it has will only lead to his history and significance becoming lost with it,’’ Sandra said.
‘‘A local group or organisation should have taken care of the monument so it didn’t fall into the condition it is in now.’’
Sandra said the interest in keeping these monuments standing lies primarily with the older generation of citizens.
‘‘This interest from the older generation is expected when you consider that the link between them and historical events or figures is stronger on a personal level than with younger generations.
‘‘Each generation has their own history being at different stages in their lives and that tends to determine who is interested in monuments and memorials such as this one.’’
It isn’t all doom and gloom, however, as Sandra said interest in maintaining historical memorials and monuments has risen in recent times.
‘‘The centenary recently has sparked interest in these historical sites again and reminded people how important they are to our history.
‘‘It would be really beneficial to the town’s history if a local group or organisation were to take this on as a project and work on maintaining it and reviving it from its current condition.’’
A police magistrate at 22 and warden for the McIvor District, Thompson Graham Arnold died at the young age of 27 when he was pulling up a blind aboard a coach when a sudden jolt saw him thrown out of it and killed.
Sandra Brown inspects the heavily weathered plaque.