New heritage drive trail honours military ties

Published: Friday, 11 January 2019 at 11:17:43 AM

A new heritage drive trail which honours the long association Geraldton has had with the military has been produced which explores places and stories associated with war in the City of Greater Geraldton.

The War Years Drive Trail booklet which is now available, takes readers on a journey through Geraldton to a number of different sites and places of significance.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said many locals will be interested with the war connections Geraldton has.

“Many locals might not associate Geraldton with war but we actually have a long history and this new trail gives us a whole new insight into that era,” he said.

“Geraldtonians have continued to serve our country in the various theatres of war, from the battles of World War I and World War II, to the more recent military conflicts of the Korean and Vietnamese Wars.

“We have deep connections with the loss of the HMAS Sydney II in 1941 which came as a huge shock for Geraldton at the time, dispelling any previous thoughts that it would not be affected by the war.

“Despite the terrible loss of life inflicted during the war, the presence of large numbers of servicemen and women in Geraldton and the wider district introduced activities, industry and experiences which has changed our City forever,” Mayor Van Styn added.

Geraldton’s involvement with the military and war began as early as 1629 when a group of soldiers, led by Private Wiebbe Hayes, rose against the mutineers of the shipwrecked Batavia.

The self-drive heritage trail takes approximately one-day to complete covering around 200km.

Locations include West End beaches, Olive Street Memorial, Marine Terrace, Geraldton Railway Station, Birdwood House, sites in Greenough, Mullewa and many more.

The War Years Drive trail booklet is available as a free download via the Geraldton Regional Library website and will also be available as a free app early in 2019. 

Hardcopies of the trail booklets are available for purchase from the Geraldton Regional Library, Geraldton Visitor Centre and the Mullewa District Office for $10 each.

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