Granville commemorates cenotaph centenary

GRANVILLE State School is encouraging community members to gather at the foot of the school’s war memorial this weekend to celebrate 100 years since its unveiling.

The World War 1 memorial at Granville State School keeps watch over the students and grounds. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

The World War 1 memorial has kept a close eye over the school and its students since April 3, 1921 – proudly displaying the names of the men from Granville who fought in The Great War.

The names of the soldiers who died in battle are also engraved on the plinth.

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Long-term teacher and local history enthusiast Ross Sharpe said the cenotaph played an important role in the lives of the students who spend their formative years at Granville.

“The children refer to the memorial as ‘The Soldier’ and we make a concerted effort to make sure every child who comes through the school understands his importance,” Mr Sharpe said.

An ANZAC Day service has been held at the memorial every year and community Dawn Services used to be held there as well.

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“It is really important for the community to understand that the school does not own this cenotaph. It is a memorial that belongs to all of us,” Mr Sharpe said.

“The memorial is a great piece of community history and honours those from Granville who made the ultimate sacrifice. This particular statue is one of the first war memorials in Maryborough.”

Natasha Beardsmore and Ross Sharpe encourage are encouraging the local community to attend the war memorial centenary at Granville State School on Saturday, 8 May 2021. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

The school will mark the cenotaph’s century on Saturday, 8 May 2021.

“In the decades to come, when other anniversaries are commemorated, people will be able to say they were at the centenary,” Mr Sharpe said.

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Maryborough’s Town Crier will open proceedings at around 10am.

A Scottish pipe band, war horse and the 9th Battalion Reenactment Group will also kickstart proceedings.

In a special tribute, the son of one of the men whose name appears on the memorial will lay a wreath to honour the soldiers.

The school will host a Mother’s Day market after the service.

Staff member and President of the P&C Natasha Beardsmore encouraged the community to attend.

“We don’t want people to think it is just a Granville State School event. It really is for everyone. We are celebrating a piece of Granville’s history – and that includes all of us,” she said.

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Ms Bearsmore said the school’s History Hall will also be open on the day.

For more information, you can visit the school’s Facebook page.

Granville State School is 146-years-old, having opened its doors in 1875.

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