World War 1 link for new park­land

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FESTIVAL GARDENS -

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.

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