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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 663


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:46): A little over 100 years ago, five months ahead of the outbreak of World War I, an important historical event occurred in the heart of the electorate of Casey in the towns of Lilydale and Coldstream. In the second week of February 1914, John Monash brought 3,000 troops by train to Lilydale for a camp of instruction. As I said, it was five months ahead of the outbreak of World War I, at a time when the country knew that war was imminent. Those 3,000 soldiers came for a week of instruction and training. On the Thursday of the second week of February 1914, they moved from Lilydale to Coldstream for a mock battle. As it happens, this battle was witnessed by General Sir Ian Hamilton who of course would go on to a very senior role in Gallipoli. On Sunday 8 February this important event was commemorated in Lilydale at Lilydale Lake where the camp took place and then, on the following Thursday, out at Mount Mary where the mock battle took place.

A dedicated organising committee ensured the event was a great success. Storyboards and plaques were erected, thanks to the dedication of the local Rotary and a Centenary of Anzac Local Grant of $5,200. This important local history is vital for our local community, particularly for the younger generations in school to be able to see and touch and feel the community contribution at their local level. I want to pay tribute to the organising committee, particularly to Anthony McAleer who spent so much time organising the event and who has dedicated himself to this particular event by authoring a book that was also released on the day. On behalf of all of the committee, I wanted to make mention of this important event here in this chamber.