Aussie and Kiwis dig in to renovate bus stops in Mt Hawthorn

Australian and New Zealand soldiers sandbag the bus stops. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Australian and New Zealand soldiers sandbag the bus stops. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

AUSTRALIAN and New Zealand soldiers have again joined forces to reflect their nations’ bond, restoring two Mount Hawthorn bus stops before the centenary of Armistice Day that ended WWI on November 11.

“This is an education piece for the children of the future about the experiences of the past,” Friends of Anzac Cottage president Pete Ramsay said.

A New Zealand Vietnam War Anzac veteran, Mr Ramsey organised restoration of the nearby cottage for 10 years until 2006.

Australian and New Zealand soldiers sandbag the bus stops. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

While on the South Island recently he saw the work of Kiwi soldiers on a bus stop, which was used as the inspiration for two stops near the cottage on Kalgoorlie Street and Anzac Road.

“I wanted to use timber, iron sheeting and sandbags because they were the materials associated with Gallipoli and Vietnam when Australians and Kiwis fought together under Anzac,” Mr Ramsey said.

The Kalgoorlie Street stop will tell of the Gallipoli Peninsula conflict in Turkey at the start of WWI.

The Anzac Road stop will tell of the 1960s’ Vietnam War, Anzac soldiers serving at their base of Nui Dat, and the WA branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia that restored the cottage.

Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

Yesterday, engineers from the Karrakatta-based 13 Field Squadron, 16th Battalion Royal West Australian Regiment, joined Christchurch-based members of 3rd Field Squadron, 2nd Engineers Regiment, Royal New Zealand Engineers to dig deep and create the sandbag footings for the bus stops.

As they worked, children from Mount Hawthorn Primary School brought their lunches.

The soldiers’ work is expected to finish mid-October, after artist Drew Straker paints the stops’ murals for the project sponsored by the City of Vincent and Bendigo Bank.