Friday, 29 July 2016

ANZAC Centenary art project at Coburg Primary School

In June 1984 the Coburg Primary School Council gave Coburg Historical Society a beautiful handwritten book recording brief biographies of 100 of the old boys of the school who served in World War One.

This Soldiers Record book forms the basis of a three-part project funded by an Australian Government ANZAC Centenary Grant:

1. An art project involving students of the school under the guidance of artist Kelly Gatchell Hartley.

2. A permanent memorial to the old boys of the school.

3. A book to be published in 2017 entitled ‘The old boys of Coburg State School go to war’.

The Soldiers Book contains a plan of the avenue of trees planted in the grounds of the Infant School in memory of 35 of the old boys who died during that war.

And now, 100 years after the events of World War One, the students of Coburg Primary School have re-imagined and re-created that avenue of trees in memory of those past students who served their country so many years ago.

Coburg Historical Society thanks Principal Jane Hancock, artist Kelly Gatchell Hartley and all the members of the school community who have taken part in this exciting project.

The art work will form part of an exhibition to be held in April next year when we launch the book ‘The old boys of Coburg State School go to war’, written for Coburg Historical Society by Dr Cheryl Griffin.


  1. Thanks. Kelly did a terrific job. The children learned so much and had fun doing it! And it's been a fantastic start to our ANZAC project. The art work will be featured in the book and will also form a central part of the exhibition that will be up for the launch of the book next April. All I've got to do is finish writing the thing!

  2. A wonderful project. Well done. Frederick Kiellerup, who married Alster Finck in 1903, is remembered here too. Alster's brother, Louis Wilhelm Finck, was my GGF.

  3. Thanks, Colin. I'll have some more images of the re-imagined Avenue of Trees soon, one of which is in memory of your relative Frederick Kiellerup. Another member of your extended family, Norman Gates, is also remembered there. He was Louis Wilhelm Finck's nephew (his sister Hanchen's son. I'll leave you to work out Norman's relationship to you!