Engaging kids in the Avenue’s story

June 3, 2022 BY

History alive: Bruce Price, grandson of Edward Price (illustrated on the right), said children can easily grasp the Arch and Avenue’s story for many years to come. Photos: EDWINA WILLIAMS

A CHILDREN’S picture book sharing the true story behind the establishment of Ballarat’s Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour was launched last week in Alfredton.

The publication of Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and One Trees, written by Naomi Irvin, illustrated by Liv Lorkin and commissioned by Integra, was read and celebrated at the Arch View Café.

Iconic historical characters Eleanor Lucas, Edward Price, Tilly Thompson and E. Lucas and Co’s ‘Lucas girls’ are the main personalities in the book, with the first three represented at the launch by costumed Ballarat Centre for Music and The Arts performers.

Author Naomi Irvin read excerpts from the book.

Bruce Price, the great-grandson of Mrs Lucas and grandson of Mr Price, said the publication was a “marvellous” way of keeping history alive.

“My concern was that these stories would drift away over the years, and the younger generations would have no idea about it, so this book creates a link, especially if the various schools around the city embrace it,” he said.

Arch of Victory-Avenue of Honour committee president Garry Snowden said Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and One Trees had already sparked the curiosity of his two grandsons.

“Through Integra’s initiative, this very special story is now being made accessible to children,” he said.

“From this day forward, those two boys, whenever they drive along the Avenue, are going to have a different, deeper understanding of this story, and that’s terrific.

Edward Price, Tilly Thompson and Eleanor Lucas were played by BCMA performers Brandon Moore-Trye, Ella Bedggood, and Melissa Prichard.

“Many of the parents and grandparents who read this story to their children will similarly have little light-globe moments that alert them to aspects of the story they didn’t know before, which is a bonus.”

Mr Snowden thanked Integra’s Victoria Rushton for her idea to produce a book, and for engaging local creatives Irvin and Lorkin in the project.

Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and One Trees can be purchased at Ivy and Coco, the Orchard Café in Lucas, Integra’s land sales centre, and the Arch View Cafe.

Primary schools interested in adding copies to their library can contact Mr Snowden via [email protected], or Integra via [email protected].