A PUBLIC meeting on Wednesday aims to determine how best to replace the Dobie Avenue of Honour.
The nearly 100-year-old avenue for 24 Dobie residents who served in Australia’s armed forces during World War I had fallen into disrepair and is set to make way for the duplication of the Western Highway.
Historian Roy Trimble said the meeting would form a committee to organise the replacement and relocation of the memorial.
"The existing trees are not worth saving and VicRoads have made it clear to me that there would be no replacement on land it controls,” he said. “The meeting is really to inform the public about the possibilities because there is quite a lot of interest in replacing it.
“These war memorials are sacred places.”
The meeting is at the former Dobie Public Hall which is now located behind St Paul’s Lutheran Church on High Street.
It will start at 7pm and is expected to finish by 9pm.
Ararat Rural City Council Mayor Gwenda Allgood and the Western Highway Duplication Project Section 2B Team Leader Peter Cowie will attend the meeting.
Mr Trimble said the meeting was open to everyone interested and he would especially like anyone with a family connection to attend.
“To me, they’re the main people we would like to hear from,” he said. “We want to get an idea of the manner in which they would like these servicemen to be remembered.
“They might want to go the traditional way with an avenue or they might want to go with a more modern minimalist approach.”
He said he hoped the replacement memorial could be opened in August next year.
“That will be the centenary of the original opening and I think it would give the committee and their supporters 12 months to do all the planning,” he said.
“I think that would be a good timetable to work towards.”