Kurrajong Parade - Memorial trees for the Fallen

18th November 2014

During 1919 the Inverell Municipal Council advertised for submissions of names of those who had died on active service during the War so that memorial trees could be planted in their honour.

The planting of 178 Kurrajong trees was reported in the Inverell Times newspaper 9 September 1919 which recorded the Mayor Ald. Ring as saying '... that it was the mothers who had felt the loss of their dear boys the most.'

Ald. McIlveen made a speech saying the Council realised that for many relatives and it would not be possible for them ' ... to visit the soldiers graves in far off lands .'  It was regarded as a place where relatives might find some comfort and others could come to '... gratefully acknowledge the debt they owe to those who made peace possible at so great a price.'  The Kurrajong trees were chosen because they were '... bright, sparkling and evergreen, as should be the memory of these soldiers.'

Ald. J F O'Connor also addressed the gathering saying he hoped '... it would not be chesrished as a place of mourning, but rather as a place where those who had sustained so great a loss might, in their philosophy, find comfort ... Let it be a place where those not so bereaved may come and gratefully acknowledge the debt they owe to those who made peace possible at so great a price ... May their memory be evergreen.'

The trees were placed in the park starting from The Knoll (Clive Street) down towards the Tingha Bridge with the first trees planted on Saturday 6 September 1919. The first tree was planted for Major Gordon, killed at Gallipoli. After additional names were submitted eventually two hundred and fifteen trees were planted for this memorial project.

In 2006 the Inverell Apex Club built the Kurrajong Memorial. The World War 1 Gun,  captured by the 33rd Battalion and presented to Inverell, was relocated to this site. In 2016, to mark the centenary of the departure of Inverell's Kurrajong recruits,  the Kurrajong Re-enactment Committee planted two replacement trees in the park. Subsequently Inverell Shire Council refurbished the large metal poppy scultpure and placed it near the Apex memorial.

Although the park has undergone significant changes it remains as a permanent and highly visible memorial to all Inverell district men who sacrificed their lives during World War 1.

Click for larger photo

Click for larger photo