BALLINA is a place where the sacrifices of Australians in war will always be remembered.
Past-president of the Ballina RSL Sub-Branch, Max Lewis, made that comment this week after the completion by Ballina Shire Council of Stage 1 of the replanting of the War Memorial Grove in Ballina's CBD.
The completed section is the Crane St block west from Cherry St. The completed grove takes in the eastern Crane St block, and the two adjoining Cherry St blocks.
Mr Lewis was president of the sub-branch during the planning stages for the replanting of the memorial grove.
For the original grove, camphor laurels were planted, and dedicated in 1926, to form a cross which is visible from the air.
The new plantings, complete with concrete blisters, are a native species.
Current Ballina RSL Sub-Branch president Bill Moore said he was pleased council took the initiative to renovate the memorial grove.
Council's manager, open spaces and reserves Jillian Pratten, said the project began because of the poor health of the trees in the western block of Swift St.
She said it cost $55,000 to remove the old trees, plant the new ones and construct the blisters, which it is hoped will have plaques installed on them.
The Crane St section of the cross, which is the longer section of the cross, will have 70 trees, while the Cherry St section will have about 30 trees.
Council will complete the memorial grove in small sections funded through the annual open spaces and reserves budget while there are plans to install interpretive plaques on the corner of Cherry and Crane streets to explain the significance of the grove.
Ms Pratten said it is hoped the project will be completed for the 2015 centenary of the Gallipoli Anzac landings.