Home

Albany’s Avenue of Honour gets a boost through John Calvin School project and MenShed plaque refurbishment

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
John Calvin School's Hamish Plug and Cameron van der Heide. with former students Shannon Schoof and Clinton 'tHart, RSL Albany sub branch president Helen Tasker and City of Albany's David Theodore.
Camera IconJohn Calvin School's Hamish Plug and Cameron van der Heide. with former students Shannon Schoof and Clinton 'tHart, RSL Albany sub branch president Helen Tasker and City of Albany's David Theodore. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany’s Avenue of Honour is being modernised and refurbished in a combined effort to commemorate fallen servicemen and women.

QR codes placed on signs at the entrance to the Avenue of Honour on Apex Drive can now be scanned to provide a map of all 187 commemorative plaques.

The QR code also links to more biographical and service details relating to the person honoured on each plaque.

Launched on Monday, it is the result of a project more than a decade in the making involving John Calvin School Albany students from Years 9 and 10.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW

JSC teacher Ian Bosman has led a five-year project with students to design the app.

Mr Bosman said more than 160 students gathered information related to 184 of the 187 plaques during visits to the Australian War Memorial over an eight-year period.

“It really started in 2011 when John Calvin School teacher Andrew Vermuelen and a group of students visited the AWM in Canberra,” he said.

“I’ve been working with students from 2018 to now on the actual app itself, the technical side of things.”

John Calvin School teachers Andrew Vermeulen and Ian Bosman with students Hamish Plug and Cameron van der Heide and former students Clinton 'tHart and Shannon Schoof.
Camera IconJohn Calvin School teachers Andrew Vermeulen and Ian Bosman with students Hamish Plug and Cameron van der Heide and former students Clinton 'tHart and Shannon Schoof. Credit: Laurie Benson

Information on the app includes details about their service, where they are buried and in some cases images or letters that were sent home.

Mr Bosman said it gave him goosebumps to see the app had officially launched.

“It is fantastic to see how the RSL, the City of Albany, the National Anzac Centre and those at Princess Royal Fortress all came on side to be really excited about it as well,” he said.

“That support gave us a massive boost.”

It is fantastic to see how the RSL, the City of Albany, the National Anzac Centre and those at Princess Royal Fortress all came on side to be really excited about it as well

JSC teacher Ian Bosman

Albany RSL sub-branch president Helen Tasker said the project honoured those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It is special that students, getting close to the end of the school year, can see their QR code project launched and also for those past students who have worked on the project to see their work is valued by the community,” she said.

In addition to the new QR code system, the plaques on the Avenue of Honour are undergoing refurbishment.

The work is being carried out in batches of 10 by Albany MenShed members and funded by donations collected from the Apex Drive collection box.

Apex Club of Albany president Michael Gilmartin said the plaques would be stripped, repainted, embossed and sealed.

“That should see them well into the future,” he said.

Albany Apex president Michael Gilmartin, centre, with Albany RSL's Charlie Tasker and president Helen Tasker.
Camera IconAlbany Apex president Michael Gilmartin, centre, with Albany RSL's Charlie Tasker and president Helen Tasker. Credit: Laurie Benson

Apex Club of Albany presented a $5600 cheque to the Albany RSL sub-branch to complete the work at an estimated cost of $30 per plaque.

Mr Gilmartin said the club decided to contribute after the issue of funding for the plaque refurbishments was raised at an RSL sub-branch meeting.

“We have the donation box at the top of Mt Clarence which is there to maintain and update the facilities on Apex Drive,” he said.

“So I put it to a meeting and people unanimously voted in favour of it.

“So between us, the MenShed and the RSL, who are coordinating the project, we’ll upgrade the plaques.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails