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City of Casey unveiled a new memorial site to the more than 100 people who had gathered at the Lyndhurst landmark to commemorate Remembrance Day on 11 November.
Located at Figtree Walk Reserve in Lyndhurst, the memorial includes a door which represents the ‘homestead door’ for the eight local men who fought and never returned.
Council funded $67,500 towards the project, while more than $21,000 was contributed from various local sources, including from fund-raisers held at the hall before it burnt down.
In 1944, the Lyndhurst Memorial Hall was destroyed by a fire and council has been working since 2015 to deliver a new memorial site to the area.
City of Casey Mayor Cr Geoff Ablett said the site was designed to honour eight soldiers from Lyndhurst who didn’t return from both World War I and World War II.
He praised the hard work of both council officers and residents who ensured that a new memorial was built.
“These local landmarks are an important part of our community, to ensure that our residents have a place where they can reflect and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Cr Ablett said.
“This new memorial complements the current reserve and is easily accessible from the road through the creation of a new walking path.
“While there will not be regular memorial services held here, the public is encouraged to view the memorial and use it for peaceful observance.”
The memorial helps to serve in honouring these people while enhancing a family friendly space, and assists in educating residents about the history of the local area.
Cr Amanda Stapledon said the memorial was “beautiful and so meaningful.”
She said the door symbolised what the servicemen were fighting for: “Home, family, country and freedom and the sacrifices which they made.
“It makes me want to cry. We know there’s so many that didn’t come home.”
Dandenong/Cranbourne RSL Sub Branch president John Wells OAM said the new memorial was “imaginative and creative” and important for future generations.
“It really does tell a point in the story of departure that left a safe and well-known and well-ordered life to go into great danger – and some of them never came back. I think the memorial shares that better than any other memorial in the country.”
“We want to keep this the lucky country and that means people have to be prepared to look after each other.”
Council would like to recognise and thank Geoff Kirkham, as well as Helen Fotheringham, Jenny and Howard Coleman, Ric Techow and Rod Greaves for their efforts in helping to deliver the new memorial. It also acknowledges the support provided by local RSLs.
Police are investigating whether a medical condition was behind an Endeavour Hills collision that flipped one car onto its roof.
Casey Highway Patrol and CFA crews were called to Power Road about 7.20pm on Monday 13 November.
Leading Senior Constable John Diamond said a Honda Odyssey station wagon was travelling south and allegedly crossed the dividing line.
Heading in the other direction was a black Volkswagen.
“The driver noticed the oncoming vehicle travelling towards her onto the wrong side of the road,” Ldg Sen Const Diamond said.
“She has sounded her horn to warn the driver and pretty much immediately took evasive action and steered to the left to avoid a collision.”
He said it appeared the Honda struck the Volkswagen’s rear driver’s side tyre, causing its driver to lose control.
The vehicle rolled over near Kennington Park Drive.
“We’re investigating whether there was a medical condition that caused the car to cross onto the other side of the road,” Ldg Sen Const Diamond said.
The driver received minor injuries and her male passenger was not injured.
An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said paramedics treated a man in his 70s at the scene for a minor chest injury and took him to Dandenong Hospital in a stable condition.
A CFA spokeswoman said eight trucks attended the scene.
It was originally reported to emergency services that there was a car on fire but crews quickly determined that was not the case.
Casey councillor Susan Serey is recontesting for a seat in State Parliament.
On 15 November, Cr Serey was formally announced as the Liberal candidate for Narre Warren South in the 2018 state election.
In a statement, she stressed her service for the local community including a recent stint as Casey deputy mayor and volunteer work.
“As a councillor of the City of Casey, I hear from residents and traders every day who are battling higher electricity prices and a tsunami of crime under Daniel Andrews and Labor.
“I am committed to standing up and fighting for Narre Warren South so that locals get the representation they deserve.”
In contrast, her statement described ALP endorsed candidate Gary Maas as a “union organiser who lives nowhere near the Narre Warren South electorate”.
Mr Maas, the state secretary of the National Union of Workers, recently told Star News that he was moving from his St Kilda East home to live in a local rental property.
He said he’d buy a home in the electorate if he won the seat.
In the 2014 election, Cr Serey achieved a one per cent swing against sitting Labor MP Judith Couacaud Graley.
The ALP holds the seat with a 5.5 per cent margin.
Ms Graley resigned from the seat in September, effective from the 2018 state election.
A passionate nine-year-old is giving back to “sick kids” this Christmas by giving a very special and unique gift that has been years in the making.
Abigael Donoghue is no ordinary Grade 3 student.
When she turned four years old, her mum Christine said she set her mind to growing her hair out to make wigs for children.
When asked why she is doing it, she merely shrugs her shoulders.
“We’ve never gotten to the bottom of it, she’s just always wanted to donate her hair to sick kids”, proud mother Christine Donoghue said.
“No-one in our immediate family has been sick, nor has she got sick relatives.
“She just has a heart of gold and wants to help others.”
Abigael has had setbacks of her own, suffering mild scoliosis and coeliac disease.
“Her spine is shaped like an ‘S’, which means that she can’t always do what the other kids can.
“But she keeps powering through, saying that there’s kids out there who are worse off than she is.”
Now that she’s nine, Abigael has decided it’s the perfect time to make the cut.
Her long strawberry-blonde hair currently measures over 80 centimetres in length, of which 35 centimetres will be cut off on Sunday 26 November, at Premiere Hair in Beaconsfield.
The hair will be donated to Hair With Heart, a children’s charity that provides wigs to kids who have lost their hair due to alopecia or another medical condition such as cancer.
Abigael thinks the wigs are important “so people can’t pick on them”.
“I just want to make them happy,” she said.
In the lead-up to the big snip, Abigael is also raising money for the Royal Children’s Hospital through a Go Fund Me page.
So far, she has raised $500 of her $2000 goal.
To help her along, her orthodontist Dr Karim from Straight Smiles has pledged to match whatever she raises.
To support a little girl’s big initiative, head to the Go Fund Me website and search for: “Abigael’s donating her hair”.