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Finley Memorial Obelisk

30/04/2016

As we have just enjoyed another wonderful Anzac Day we thought it might be appropriate to talk about the history of the obelisk which is our current cover photo. This article has been extracted from "Looking Back on Finley" written by respected Finley identity, the late Norman McAllister, back in 1978.

"Shortly after the conclusion of the 1914-1918 War the question of erecting a Memorial, to those who had served with the fighting forces abroad, exercised the minds of district citizens and there was a division of opinion as to whether a conventional type of Memorial should be selected or one of a utilitarian nature; some amenity which the town needed.

The reasoning behind a conventional ‘granite’ memorial was that a ‘Cenotaph’ was relatively inexpensive to erect, it was maintenance free for all times, it was specifically a Memorial to those who served, whereas utilitarian memorials were very expensive, usually involving long term finance, raffles etc., and eventually became a divisive factor as their life and usefulness diminished and the cost of repairs and maintenance increased.

Some further discussion took place on the matter of the location for the Obelisk; one section of opinion favoured the intersection of Warmatta and Denison Street, near the Post Office, but it was felt that this would become a traffic hazard and that a Parkland Setting would be more suitable, hence the present site was selected and the area developed as a Memorial Park.

The Memorial was unveiled by Colonel William McKenzie MC on 24th May 1923 in the presence of the very large and representative district gathering.

After World War II the Finley Memorial School of Arts was erected and later again a War Memorial Swimming Pool. However, the names of the fallen were engraved on the World War I Obelisk and for all Commemorative occasions this Monument still seems to be regarded as the accepted memorial."

Page 150 "Looking Back on Finley", 1978, Norman McAllister.

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