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Open Day at ANZAC Cottage: 'The Story of ANZAC Cottage'

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The Community Spirit Prevails
In commemoration of ANZAC, Lady Barron setting the Memorial tablet at ANZAC Cottage in 1916.
In commemoration of ANZAC, Lady Barron setting the Memorial tablet at ANZAC Cottage in 1916.

The ANZAC Cottage story is acknowledged as clearly illustrating the strength of the community spirit, respect and admiration felt for those who fought at Gallipoli. This support on the home front for those affected by war an extension of the mateship forged on the battlefront. Ironically, ANZAC Cottage too had its own battle to survive and exist as a testimony to those who participated in the First World War.

Sadly, not all members of the community were pleased to see the ANZAC Cottage project go ahead, voicing their doubts quite publicly. This talk, by Anne Chapple starting at 2.30pm on Sunday, September 6 is a fitting topic to fall on Father's Day.

Widows, many with children never to see their fathers again, were among the recipients of these types of cottages and houses built in Australia.

John Beveridge, Secretary of the Mt Hawthorn Progress Association, Sidney Gibson, Organiser and Builder and Frank Kelsall, president of the Mt Hawthorn Progress Association.
John Beveridge, Secretary of the Mt Hawthorn Progress Association, Sidney Gibson, Organiser and Builder and Frank Kelsall, president of the Mt Hawthorn Progress Association.

Anne the granddaughter of Private Porter will reveal the objections to and snide remarks made about the project and the reactions of the Mt Hawthorn Progress Association to this opposition. Take a peek into the not so well known events surrounding the building of ANZAC Cottage.

ANZAC Cottage built in one day

The spanking brand new ANZAC Cottage in 1916, the fruit of a caring community.
The spanking brand new ANZAC Cottage in 1916, the fruit of a caring community.

ANZAC Cottage built in one day on February 12, 1916 by the community of Mount Hawthorn as a home for a returned wounded soldier and his family and as a memorial for those who lost their lives in the tragic Gallipoli landing.

Officially opened on April 15, 1916 with the honour of living in Anzac Cottage given to Private Cuthbert John Porter (Anne's grandfather), who returned wounded on the first Ballarat landing at Albany on July 31, 1915. Private Porter and his family lived in the Cottage until his death in 1964. Formally taking over the property on April 16, 1916 and raising the Australian flag every dawn for 48 years.

Living Memorial to the ANZACS

ANZAC Cottage, at No.38 Kalgoorlie Street in Mount Hawthorn, has a unique history, Constructed as a practical monument to commemorate the Anzac's participation in the First World War, the first memorial to the Great War built in Australia. Open to the public on the first Sunday of each month from 1.00pm to 4.00pm, offering free entry and afternoon tea for a gold coin donation. All are welcome to attend and learn more about its unique history.

There are many impressive monuments, but memorials built and maintained by local communities enshrine that personal commitment in keeping the ANZAC spirit alive. The carefully maintained War Memorials in our suburbs, towns and local communities, well attended on ANZAC Day are living proof. ANZAC Cottage, after nearly 100 years with its ups and downs is still a living memorial to the original Anzac's and those who have served and sacrificed since.

Friends of ANZAC Cottage has been set up to retain the connection of the cottage to the Mount Hawthorn and the broader community. If you wish to know more about this event or would like further information about ANZAC Cottage, check out their Facebook page or call Anne on 0411 44 55 82.



Photos courtesy of Friends of ANZAC Cottage unless otherwise noted. All photos taken from the booklet: "ANZAC Cottage Souvenir of the Monument Erected at Mt Hawthorn 1916".
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Why? Hear about ANZAC Cottage's battle to exist
When: Sunday, September 6. Open from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. Talk starts at at 2.30pm
Phone: Call Anne on 0411 44 55 82 or email chapan@highway1.com.au
Where: ANZAC Cottage, 38 Kalgoorlie Street, Mt Hawthorn
Cost: FREE to enter and hear talk. Gold coin donation for afternoon tea.
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