Bruce Rock’s Memorial House and Coronation Rose Garden are now secured in the State Register of Heritage Places with registration becoming final this week.
Conceived as a ‘living memorial’ to soldiers who fought in the First World War, the almost century-old building exemplifies the utilitarian war memorials built throughout Western Australia during the inter-war years.
The place was designed, built and operated with funds raised by the local community, embodying the country philosophy of self-reliance and resilience.
Flower-selling, dances and socials were organised by the Bruce Rock community to raise money for the project, with the State Government matching community-raised funds dollar for dollar (or ‘pound for pound’ back in the day).
The brick and iron Californian Bungalow style building is representative of rural hospital facilities constructed in 1920s WA. Memorial House is a well-preserved example of how this typically residential building style could be adapted for a health facility.
The rose garden, also included in the registration, was planted in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The memorial hospital operated as a health facility for many years until being converted to an aged care facility, and renamed Memorial House, in 1978.
As stated by Heritage Minister David Templeman:
“Sites like this represent not only the history but the character and fibre of regional communities, which is why I am pleased that Bruce Rock’s Memorial House and Coronation Garden has been permanently included on the State Register of Heritage Places.
“Built in large part through community effort in 1922, the place is intrinsically linked to Bruce Rock’s story as a community, as well as reflecting an important time and stage in our State’s history.
“It is one of few ‘living memorials’ – built to honour those who fought in World War I – still standing and in good condition, today.”
As stated by Agricultural Region MLC Darren West:
“Bruce Rock boasts a strong and important history in the Wheatbelt.
“This particular site is historically significant and culturally important for local and nearby residents.
“I am pleased that it has been permanently listed on the State Register of Heritage Places.”