Memorial celebrates 105 years

Glenda and Jack Harriott with the anti-aircraft artillery at the Waurn Ponds Memorial Reserve. (Louisa Jones) 416581_07

Waurn Ponds Memorial Reserve (WPMR) is celebrating 105 years this weekend with a community service and afternoon tea.

WPMR committee of management will also recognise its 25th year alongside the reserve’s anniversary with an annual memorial service at WPMR from 10.30am on July 7.

President Jack Harriott said he helped form the committee in 1999 to save the reserve from a proposed auction by the state government.

“The memorial was first started off in 1919 and it was forgotten for a long time. It was on about a five-acre site and the government got the idea to sell it,” he said.

“I started work in Waurn Ponds in 1952, and I knew it was a memorial, but a lot of people didn’t, and I knew that it should never be sold. I realised that it was still a memorial, so we jumped up and down and stopped the sale and we’ve got a great memorial there now.”

Mr Harriott said he looked forward to seeing people at the reserve and taking in its “beautiful” sights, including memorial plagues and a big anti-aircraft.

“There’s people there (at the memorial) nearly every day walking their dogs or looking at the plaques and all that sort of thing,” he said.

“We’re very proud of it and we get up to 150 people there when we have a big ceremony, we put on a very good afternoon tea, and everybody’s welcome.”

The July 7 event will begin with a march into the reserve by past and present servicemen, servicewomen, and Australian Defence Force cadets.

The Geelong Memorial Brass Band will also provide music with the light refreshments available following the service.