Street seat restoration

RESTORATION: Kerang Men's Shed member, Trevor Wilkinson is overseeing the restoration of a memorial seat dedicated to two former residents killed in World War One.

RESTORATION: Kerang Men's Shed member, Trevor Wilkinson is overseeing the restoration of a memorial seat dedicated to two former residents killed in World War One.

A SEAT dedicated to two fallen World War One soldiers will be restored to its former glory using modern materials.

Kerang Men's Shed member, Trevor Wilkinson will spend the coming weeks working to restore the seat and shelter dedicated to mates, George Vernon Carter and Bob Emmett.

The Kerang and district sub-branch of the Returned and Services League, the Kerang Family History Group, the Rotary Club of Kerang and Kerang Probus united last year to ensure the seat, originally located outside the Kerang Post Office, would be retained as part of Gannawarra Shire Council's efforts to rejuvenate Victoria Street.

The seat honours the lives of Appin resident, Corporal George Vernon Carter – who was killed in action on December 24, 1917 – and Lake Meran farmer, Bob Emmett – who was killed in action on April 15, 1918.

The families of both men dedicated the seat and shade structure, previously located outside the Australia Post office and near the Kerang council chambers that was constructed to honour those who served in World War One.

The town's Rotary Club rebuilt the shelter in 1997 after it fell into a state of disrepair, with club members overseeing the structure until it was removed from the site prior to the start of rejuvenation works.

"The original seat was riddled with white ants, with the Rotary Club converting the seat to steel at the time when it was restored," Mr Wilkinson said.

"Unfortunately the seat cannot go back to its original 1920s material, but I hope to get it back to what it originally looked like."

Mr Wilkinson – a Rotary Club of Kerang member – has worked with the Men's Shed, fellow Rotarians, the RSL sub-branch and Kerang Museum members to undertake extensive research in efforts to restore the structure.

Investigations revealed the original seat included a wall featuring a map of Kerang on one side and a map of the district on the other side.

This wall, as well as insignia from the units the men served in, will be added to the new structure.

"Once I get the roof off the structure, it will be sandblasted, primed and powder coated for longevity," Mr Wilkinson said.

"The new structure will use similar materials that are on the shelter near the clock tower, which is recycled plastic that is guaranteed to last for between 20 and 50 years."

Mr Wilkinson is working with a number of community groups and businesses that are donating materials and labour to ensure the project is completed in time for the completion of the Victoria Street works.

"Although Gannawarra Shire Council provided a small budget for the project, a number of groups have been happy to come on board," he said.

It will be then place back in Victoria Street, a further north than its previous position.

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