Government and community organisations contributed to the restoration costs of the war memorial heritage gates at Canley Heights Public. It's been a two-year project. Principal Elle Hidson answered our questions.
Why are the gates important and what do they represent? The War Memorial Gates at our school commemorate those who died in service or who were killed in action in conflicts involving Australian troops.
How long have the gates been in place? The gates were erected at Canley Heights School in 1959, so they've been up for 60 years now. It was done through the combined efforts of the Canley Heights Baby Health Centre committee and the War Memorial Appeal committee.
Do the pupils walk through these gates every day or are they not for public access? Pupils, parents, staff and members of the community walk near the memorial garden area every day. The area is used for special school events and occasions, as an outdoor learning space as well as for formal events for school assemblies, such as for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.
How big are they? The gates are 3.6 metres high and the overall structure, including brickwork, is 11 metres wide.
What's been done to restore them? How much did that cost and how was the funding raised? Last year and this year the memorial area has undergone a significant refurbishment with restoration of the gates, brickwork, gardens, deck, wall art and mural. The school has been able to restore and improve this significant site due to funding from the Armistice Centenary Grants program, which was applied for through our federal Member, Fowler MP Chris Hayes, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We were successful in receiving $9091 to complete the upgrade -- as well as a $500 donation from Canley Heights RSL Club last year. This year, we were also successful in receiving the Saluting Their Service funding of $3637 from the Department of Veterans Affairs through the Community Grants Hub. That's a total of $13,228, for which we're very grateful.
How important are the gates to the school and the wider community? The restoration and refurbishment of the site wouldn't have been the beautiful and respectful place in the school it is today without the commitment, vision and leadership of assistant principal Mrs Petrie. She and school staff have collaborated over two years to enhance and create a place for our school community to pay respect and reflect on the service, sacrifice and loss from a century of service by men and women in the armed forces. With the latest addition to this area of the Anzac mural, Saluting Their Service, we're honoured to have such a special site here.
- Canley Heights Public: canleyhts-p.schools.nsw.gov.au or email@example.com or 9724 3320.