THE Terang Returned and Services League (RSL) has unveiled a permanent commemoration of World War II, with the W871 tram now open to the public.
The RSL sub-branch officially opened the new installation last Sunday, with World War II veterans Len Pomeroy and Sam Wiltshire and Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan among the special guests.
To honour Mr Pomeroy, the Terang RSL decided to name the new installation ‘Len’s Tram’.
The tram donation was part of VicTrack’s Retired Trams Strategy, which saw 134 out of 237 recently retired trams provided to schools, community groups and other not-for-profit organisations.
After arriving at the Terang RSL hall in June, a number of volunteers have been hard at work for about four months restoring and fitting out the old tram.
Terang RSL president Steve Bloxham said the final look of the tram was in line with his initial plans for the installation, which included an information centre and a replica World War II recruitment centre.
“In our time, our duty is to guard the legacy of the sacrifice of every serviceman and woman who defends us, our freedom and our values,” he said.
“Our tram will benefit the wider community in so many ways, as a welfare drop-in centre for veterans and their families, local school visits, a community visitor centre and a tourist stop for travellers.”
Mr Bloxham said further plans for the installation included an accompanying ‘tram stop’, complete with a table and fencing.
“The RSL will go from strength to strength in the years to come,” he said.
“It (the hall and adjoining gardens) belongs to the community.”
Mr Bloxham said the tram project was a group effort, with a number of people donating both their time and money.
“I would like to thank VicTrack in giving us the opportunity to create our memorial,” he said.
“I would like to thank the restoration team, Les, Terry, Don, Gary, Roger, Leo and John, who have over the past four months dedicated their time from their families.
“The team’s families have had to endure so much during this period and I would like to also thank all of them for their dedication and time.”
The Terang RSL also held a Remembrance Day service on Monday.
Mr Bloxham said there was a “good turnout” for the service, which honoured all those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in all conflicts since World War I.
In his speech, one of the main sentiments was that the fallen are not missing, but are always in people’s memories.
To book a visit to the Terang RSL tram installation, contact Steve Bloxham on 0436 411 499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.