Calder Memorial Avenue - Werribee SectionSubject
Wyndham City LibrariesDate
The Calder Memorial Avenue was dedicated to the memory of Mr William Calder (1860-1928), the first chairman of the Country Roads Board.
William Calder was determined that the Geelong Road should be beautiful as he believed it was a major internal trade route. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic : 1848 – 1957), Monday 26 August 1929, p.5.
This tree planting project had begun several years earlier. Then at a conference of the National Roads Association and the Geelong Tree Planters Association they decided they would name the avenue of trees in Geelong Road after the late Mr William Calder, in recognition of his great services to Victoria as chairman of the Country Roads Board. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Wednesday 4 April 1928, p.25.
The movement initiated by the National Roads Association to complete the avenue of trees on Princes Highway between Melbourne and Geelong, as a memorial to the late Mr. W. Calder, started to take '...definite shape'. The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854-1954), Thursday 12 April 1928, p.9.
The memorial in his honour was planted at Werribee on 6 September 1928. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) Thursday 6 September 1928, p.6.
More than 300 citizens received invitations, however more were expected to attend. Planting trees at the ceremony will be the Governor (Lord Somers), Lady Somers, the Premier (Mr Hogan) and the Lord Mayor (Sir Stephen Morell). Mr W. J. Thwaites advised no transport arrangements had been made and visitors would need to travel to a point one mile on the Geelong side of Werribee on the Geelong-Melbourne road. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) Thursday 6 September 1928, p.6.
Money was raised for the Calder Memorial Avenue by donations to an appeal that raised £1,390 the managing committee also promised donations outstanding to the value of £277 and a further sum of £600 to the Country Roads Board. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Tuesday 18 September 1928, p.5.
Mr John Glenn the president of the Commercial Travellers Association planted the first tree at a ceremony attended by locals and many of the Association members. Werribee Councillors Galvin, Cherry and McKenzie represented the council as well as Mr McCormack the chairman of the Country Roads Board. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic : 1848 – 1957), Monday 26 August 1929, p.5.
Mr. W. McCormack, chairman of the Country Roads Board, stated that the board would look after the trees planted along the road, for all time. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Monday 26 August 1929, p.5.
The Calder Memorial Avenue was still a work in progress in 1934 between Melbourne and Geelong where 67,200 trees had already been planted. It was thought that the scheme would be completed by 30 June 1934.
Based on this research, we believe the Werribee section of the Calder Memorial Avenue is located on the old Melbourne Geelong Road, near Brophy’s gate, somewhere near the railway crossing at Ballan Roads and Cottrell Streets. Werribee Shire Banner (Vic. : 1911 – 1952), Thursday 24 July 1924, p.2.
The location descriptions in the newspapers at the time are very vague.