New Cenotaph To Celebrate Centenary In Cowes
A refurbished cenotaph in Cowes will be unveiled in time to celebrate the Anzac Centenary on 25 April.
Phillip Island RSL have initiated and funded the project, along with contributions of $10,000 from the Department of Veteran Affairs and $14,000 of in-kind and ancillary works from Bass Coast Shire Council.
The project involves the construction of concrete platforms with bluestone pavers beside the cenotaph area, installation of two new flagpoles and in-ground uplights, and reinstatement of the grassed area.
The new platforms will allow the RSL to have a formal area to fix marquees for the band and seating for returned servicemen.
The works are expected to be complete by the end of March, weather permitting.
Phillip Island RSL President, Tom Mallaghan, said the additions to the existing cenotaph will enable even more people to take part in the ceremony.
“Up until last year, we always conducted the Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies with everyone facing the back of the cenotaph and sitting on the roadway looking over the water.
“We trialled it last year and found more people could view the ceremony from down in the carpark area of the Jetty Triangle, and by doing it this way, they can actually be part of the ceremony no matter where they’re standing.
“The concrete slabs either side mean it will be a safer environment for ourselves and our guest speakers, because we have had to stand on the grass slope previously.
“It’s a lot safer and an area people will be able to use with disabled access off the roadway onto the slabs, and a nice viewing area for them.”
Mr Mallaghan said with the growing crowd it was vital to have the refurbished cenotaph completed in time for the Centenary.
“Last year we did 800 breakfasts after the dawn service and we’ve planned to do double this year,” Mr Mallaghan said.
“Our venue at the RSL isn’t big enough to seat everyone we expect to turn up, and hosting the breakfast at the Jetty Triangle has been very successful; we got the crowd through very quickly and everyone had a very good egg and bacon roll and cup of coffee for a gold coin donation.”
Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said Council’s Infrastructure Delivery Team is assisting the RSL with the delivery of the project.
“It is hoped that through the Cowes Activity Centre Plan further improvements to the cenotaph site and the Jetty Triangle can be undertaken to continue to allow for the Anzac Day events to grow and be a success,” Cr Brown said.