• (L-R): Freshwater locals Christine Frith, Sean Rout and Wendy Machon on Soldiers Avenue.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Freshwater locals in and around Soldiers Avenue are thrilled with the latest street upgrades from Northern Beaches Council.

A unique honour heritage footpath has been recently completed, literally paving the way for Australian soldiers to be remembered for their brave sacrifices abroad in World War I.

Freshwater identity Sean Rout thanked Council for the completed works.

“Soldiers Avenue is an iconic venue which means plenty to so many people on the northern beaches.

“When we approached Council about our plans, they were happy to accommodate what we had in mind for the community, namely our Mayor (Regan) and local Councillors.

“It is vital we remember our fallen soldiers, they are the reason we are fortunate to live the way we do today,’’ Mr Rout said.

In addition to Council’s upgrade, community figures have also successfully managed to secure additional funding from the NSW and Federal Government for further upgrades.

A series of memorial plaques will soon be on full display on both sides of the street, with Soldiers Avenue resident and historian Wendy Machon supplying the words for each soldier.

“The embedded plaques offer the chance to leave a lasting legacy,’’ Mr Rout added.

“Once everything is complete, the street will look fantastic. Fred Reynolds - we believe - was the first soldier from this area killed in Gallipoli and Joe Saunders was another local who left his mark on the soldiers overseas.

“He actually died the day before he was due to return home, a German bomb got him. Most importantly, we need future generations to recognise the contribution men and women had at the time, fighting to preserve our freedom.”

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan was delighted to hear Soldiers Avenue now has its own unique honour heritage footpath.

“What a great local, community driven project. Thank you to those local legends driving this project so all of the community benefit. Thanks to the Diggers club for their continued support over the years too, it has been a great partnership between them, the locals and the Council.

“I cannot think of a better way to remember those selfless men who put their own lives on the line to ensure the future of our great nation,’’ the Mayor said.

“The previous Warringah Council was happy to support this project, so it is great that the new (Northern Beaches) Council is finishing this project off. I look forward to the end product at Soldiers Avenue.”

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