10 December 2018
New Zealand Army engineer Corporal Andy Good, from Christchurch, and his Australian counterparts have revamped two bus stops near a historic Perth cottage built more than 100 years ago for a wounded First World War veteran.
The Anzac cottage in the suburb of Mount Hawthorn was built by the local community in one day in 1916. Community members donated money, skills, furniture and building material for the cottage, which served two purposes – a memorial to those who lost their lives at Gallipoli, and a home for a wounded veteran and his family.
Many years later the cottage fell into disrepair, and there was talk of demolishing it.
Peter Ramsay, a New Zealand Vietnam War veteran and a life member and the immediate past president of the Western Australia branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, helped take on the daunting task of restoring the cottage to its 1916 state.
Now the two bus stops close to the project have also been revamped, to reflect the two conflicts that are closely interwoven with the cottage – the First World War and the Vietnam War.
Honouring the Anzac tradition, soldiers from the New Zealand and Australian armies worked together to build the sandbag, timber and iron bus stops.
Corporal Good, from 3 Field Squadron, Burnham, who specialises in moulded concrete sandbag replica walls, travelled to Australia and, with his colleagues from 13 Field Squadron, completed the bus stops.
He said it was a privilege working with his Australian colleagues.
“We had a plan, but we adapted it each day and it was a real team effort. We had a job to do and it was great to work on it together.”
While the simulated bunker effect looks simple, there was quite a process to it to ensure it was stable and long-lasting, he said.
Mr Ramsay, who was project leader, said he was delighted the Anzac tradition had been used to complete the project.
“It’s great the cottage still stands and is an important reminder of the sacrifices made so long ago,” he said.