Clock Tower Memorial

From Canterbury Commons
Jump to: navigation, search

The following is taken from "The Alert" newspaper, 2 June 1932.

There was a great crowd at the intersection of Anzac Square and Beamish St Campsie on Saturday afternoon last, at the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the handsome clock tower, which is to (sic) erected by the Campsie Women’s Strong Post as a tribute to the men of Campsie who served in the Great War.

The clock tower, which is of faced brick on a concrete base, is 9 feet square for 20 feet of its height, and will contain an electrically controlled clock with syncronised time. There will be four faces, each three feet in diameter; the tower will then be continued for a further six feet in height with a pyramidial cap.

Among those present were the Mayor and Mayoress (Ald. and Mrs. Parry), Major Marr, M.H.R. (Minister, for Marr), and Mrs Marr, Ald. and Mrs English, Ald. and Mrs Rudd, and Aldermen Reid and Waterworth, and members of the Campsie Women’s Strong Post, Girl Guides, and Junior Red Cross. Canterbury Citizens’ Band, under Mr Ted Miller, accompanied the hymn numbers.

Mrs Burnett (president of the Women’s Strong Post) said: “We are gathered here to further a work commenced ten years ago; most of the women who are on the committee today are the same who welcomed home so many of your boys on this very spot, and we have always felt that Campsie had no fitting memorial to their memory. On May 31, 1932, we started out to get the funds necessary for the fulfillment of this work. We have been rebuffed again and again, and offered site after site, but after all these years the memorial is being erected on the site we had first chosen, thanks to Ald. Parry, who said if you are going to build a memorial you must have it where you want it.” Mrs Burnett humorously told the story of the building up of the funds, and suggested as her epitaph they would only have to say "She was a good beggar" and everyone would know who was meant. The clock tower would cost £120, and the clock £125/10/-; they were about £40 short to balance their budget, but the people had been very good, and they knew that they would only have to ask and they would get the balance.

"Some people,” said Mrs Burnett, "say that, we ought to have done this and that, but we decided to spend the money on good Australian workmanship. Many of the women of the committee met today for the first time for many years, and asked 'who’s boy is coming home today.’ Thanks were expressed to the churches, storekeepers and the many noble women who had helped in many ways. She was proud to see the Strong Post colors, red, white and blue—red for sacrifice, white for purity, and blue for eternity.”

Mrs Burnett then called upon the Mayor to lay the foundation stone. Ald. Parry said: "Our purpose this afternoon is the laying of the foundation of this memorial clock tower, the consummation of which proposal crowns many years of hard labor by the ladies of Campsie to erect a worthy tribute to the men of Campsie who served in the Great War. Whilst I am very reluctant to mention names, for fear of omitting someone who really should be recognised, I feel that I must mention the names of Mrs Burnett (president), Mrs Attenborough (treasurer), and the late Mesdames Harding and Peacock (secretaries), who, ably assisted by the other members of the Campsie Strong Post War Memorial Committee, raised a sum of approximately £200. But, as events have proved, the securing of a suitable site has been more difficult and protracted than raising the money. In the first instance, it was desired to place the memorial where it is being placed today; later, a proposal submitted to have it at the intersection of Beamish St and Canterbury Road. About this time the Mains Road Board came into the picture, and by declaration Beamish St became a secondary road, and as Canterbury Road was already proclaimed a main road, and under its jurisdiction, the Board was in a position to say where the tower should be placed at that site. And as the wishes of the Board were not acceptable to the ladies’ committee, the original site was reverted to, and although Mrs Burnett credited me with having given the necessary permission, it must be remembered that there are 12 aldermen in Canterbury Council, and the credit belongs to the whole council. Although it is a matter of 14 years since the conclusion of the Great War, the sacrifices and heroic deeds of our kith and kin still remains fresh in our memories, not only in Campsie, but the whole of the municipality will feel proud of, and honor, this memorial as a fitting tribute to their memory. Owing to the delay in having the work carried out, costs have increased very considerably, and the money in hand will not now be sufficient to meet the outlay.”

The Mayor appealed to those present as well as other citizens to rally to the assistance of the committee by giving donations, and so relieve them of further responsibility after all they have done. He then declared the stone well and truly laid.