Pioneers honour our local Diggers

Castlemaine Pioneers & Old Residents Association representatives Tony Millar, Barbara Bunton, Wilson Bunton, Lois Barry, Graeme Barry and Russell Sheehan present the replica montage to RSL members Alan Lane and Barb Templar.

The Castlemaine Pioneers & Old Residents Association Inc made a special presentation to the Castlemaine Returned Services League (RSL) on Tuesday. 

The association gifting the RSL with a half-size replica of their very impressive ‘Australian Natives Association – Castlemaine Branch’ montage featuring the portraits of 70 local Diggers which served in World War One. 

Castlemaine Pioneers & Old Residents Association president Russell Sheehan said the P&ORA felt that it was important the portraits be on public display for all to view at the local RSL Hall in Mostyn Street. 

“The montage is not readily accessible in its permanent home at the Faulder Watson Hall in Barker Street. The building is only open for private bookings. So therefore we wanted to make sure the community was aware of its existence and the role these men played in the Great War,” Mr Sheehan said. 

Castlemaine RSL secretary Barb Templar and treasurer Alan Lane thanked the Pioneers for their generous gift. 

“We look forward to proudly displaying it here in the hall where community members can view it on Anzac Day or Remembrance Day or whenever the hall and our extensive collection are open,” Barb said. 

The original montage created by A Verey & Co Castlemaine was officially unveiled during a visit to Castlemaine by the Commanding Officer of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps General Sir William Riddell Birdwood himself on March 30, 1920. 

Over a four-year period Year 9 students from Olivet Christian College worked to research the lives of the 70 soldiers and these have been compiled into stories by local member Tony Millar. You can find out more about these stories and other items in the P&ORA collection by visiting their headquarters at the Old Telegraph Station in Barker Street. The Old Telegraph Station is open Wednesdays from 10am. 

Castlemaine Mail
Your source of independent local news in the Mount Alexander Shire.