Formally known as Camp Hill and
St Paul's Plains, Avoca is a principal town in the Fingal Valley on the Esk Highway, 27kms from the Midlands Highway. Avoca is located at the junction of the St Paul's and South Esk Rivers, and serves the communities of Royal George and Rossarden.
John Wedge, surveyor and explorer, named the town in 1833, having been inspired by the Thomas More poem 'The Sweet Vale of Avoca'. Avoca's namesake is in County Wicklow in Ireland.
There are a number historic colonial buildings including the Parish Hall, the Union Hotel, and St Thomas' Church.
For more information please visit the following websites:
Rossarden & Storys Creek Museum Contacts -
Lorraine Watson 63852177 and
Gary Cobb 63852166
Avoca Information Centre
Avoca Memorial Hall
Midlands Rural and Remote Child Care Service
Avoca Primary School
Avoca War Memorial
Royal George Hall
Memorial to the Anzacs who Enlisted from Avoca
The Avoca Museum and Information Centre (AMIC) planted 50 silver birch trees in Boucher Park and their successful application to the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program has enabled the placing of a small brass plaque on a plinth in front of each tree to commemorate all those who enlisted in World War One from the Avoca area. The project will be completed by Anzac Day 2015.
Sergeant Lewis McGee who was awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery is to have his plaque placed in front of the only established tree in this area of the park, and the Northern Midlands Council have placed a picnic seat beneath this tree.
The 51 plaques will be easily accessed for local
and visitors so that the soldier’s name, age, rank,
enlistment date, where they fought and the date
discharged, killed or wounded can be read.
AMIC thanks Bill Chugg for his research on soldiers from the Fingal Valley. If relatives find that their loved one is missing AMIC welcomes this feedback and will ensure that a plaque is placed in honour of this soldier. More detailed information about each soldier is available at the Avoca Museum. This includes the next of kin so that visitors researching their own family history can seek relatives.
In 2010 the Greater Esk Tourism group secured funding from many sources to restore the Old State School in Boucher Park and develop the Avoca Museum and Information Centre which opened on Australia Day 2012. AMIC has since successfully gained funding to clean up the Cenotaph and Memorial Gates to the park and planned and successfully held the first ANZAC Day Service at Avoca for 47 years, in 2013. Despite the very windy weather over 150 people attended, expressing their delight in seeing the Cenotaph looking so good and the improvements that have been made to the park and the old building. The level of support from such a small community is outstanding as local volunteers maintain the park and building.
The 'Anzacs who Enlisted from Avoca' small plaque project will enhance the ANZAC Day Service in 2015 commemorating the centenary of the First World War. The community will be able to walk among the trees and read individually the stories of the soldiers who enlisted, their own ancestors who did not hesitate to enlist to fight for England and to head off to train in strange lands then to go to battle in horrific conditions in the Dardinelles and in France. Seeing the young ages of those men and what happened to them, and names that will be very familiar, will bring home to those reading the plaques just how personal and just how brave those men were.
The Memorial will be unveiled by Eric Hutchinson at 1pm on Anzac Day, after the Anzac Day Service.
Councillor Mary Knowles
Photo: Tyler Phillips and Jack Bestwick helping at a recent working bee.