World War 1 link for new parkland
A park within Warragul’s Chesterfield Rise estate will be renamed Decker Park as a tribute to a local World War I family.
The park, in Cromwell Rd, is being renamed as an Anzac commemoration project
During the Anzac centenary period (2014 to 2018), the state government is conducting the Anzac Commemorative Naming Project in partnership with naming authorities, primarily councils.
The project recognises the 100-year anniversary of the first Anzac landings at Gallipoli in 1915. It commemorates a century of Anzac tradition by acknowledging the men and women who have served in an operational capacity in the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces and those in the community that have displayed the ANZAC spirit.
Officers said the Anzac commemoration project provided an opportunity for the municipality to acknowledge and honour the wartime service and sacrifice of local military service people and locals who have supported Australia's military cause.
Council contacted the Warragul Sub-Branch RSL to gauge its interest in participating in the project and the RSL provided the name “Decker” after the three Decker brothers who served during WW1.
Two parks in Warragul were considered as suitable for the project including Scenic Park and Chesterfield Rise Park. Officers discussed the proposal with surrounding residents of both parks.
The response from Scenic Park residents was mixed with as many in favour of the change as those not in favour.
The response from residents in Chesterfield Rise was overwhelmingly in favour of the change to Decker Park. Letters were sent to 249 residents with 63 responses received. Of the responses, 55 were in favour and only eight were against.
Cr Danny Goss said this park renaming was part of the Anzac centenary project that honours war service from 100 years ago.
He said Albert Decker was a famous Warragul man and was one of three sons who went to war.
He said Albert was killed in the war, Jacob was wounded in Gallipoli and Bill served in France.
“This is wonderful recognition of these young men. It is hard to imagine the parents being back here and then receiving the news that one had died,” he said.
Cr Mikaela Power said it was astonishing to think now about what those parents must have thought when three sons left to serve in the war and then only receive letters that were months out of date.
Cr Jessica O’Donnell said there was overwhelming community support for this project as well as support from the RSL.
Officers said naming the park Decker Park would increase the profile of the park and its potential to become a significant community park within Chesterfield Estate.
Council will fund interpretive signage at the park that will outline the history of the Decker brothers.