The world was still reeling from the effects of the global Spanish flu pandemic when his Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, officially opened Ballarat’s iconic Arch of Victory on 2 June 1920.
One hundred years later, and the world is once again dealing with a global pandemic, an event that sadly prevents the residents of Ballarat from any large gathering to commemorate the centenary of one of the City’s most significant structures that stands at the entrance to Australia’s longest commemorative avenue of honour.
“The Arch of Victory Committee, with the support of the City of Ballarat, is encouraging residents to pause and reflect on the significance of the Arch of Victory to Ballarat through an online salute to commemorate 100 years of history,” Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor said.
The City’s website is hosting special historical information and videography commentary about the Arch of Victory in the lead-up to the June 2 centenary with links to the honouringouranzacs.com.au site that tells the stories behind the 3801 brave Ballarat men and women who fought for our country’s freedoms during the Great War.
Arch of Victory Committee President, Garry Snowden said Ballarat residents were extremely proud of the City’s Arch of Victory and tree-lined Avenue and would not let a pandemic dim the light on such a momentous occasion.
Committee member, Cr Daniel Moloney said not unlike ANZAC Day, the Ballarat community and the Arch of Victory Committee would find a way to respectfully acknowledge the endearing story behind the Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour, created to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those sent to war.