A COMMUNITY-DRIVEN effort to restore Port Campbell’s war memorial has come down to the wire.
The town will unveil its memorial makeover on April 24, just one day before the centenary of the Gallipoli landing.
The unveiling will cap off about two months of work by a dedicated band of volunteers.
Group member Leigh McKenzie said countless hours had been spent bringing the soldiers’ memorial up to scratch.
“We put in a lot of hours,” he said.
“It’s probably been a week’s full-time work for three or four people.”
Mr McKenzie said the memorial was in a “sad state” before volunteers and contractors got to work.
“If it’s not maintained it’s probably a bit disrespectful to those who have gone before and those who constructed it,” he said.
The memorial was dismantled as part of the works, with stones weighing up to 600 kilograms carted to Warrnambool for cleaning.
The site was levelled and a new slab put down and the memorial replaced over the weekend. The last bluestone pavers to complete the memorial’s overhaul were to be laid yesterday.
The memorial’s location created its own challenges and most materials had to be carted in by hand.
“The site being so hard to get at we couldn’t bring in any heavy machinery,” Mr McKenzie said.
“We even had to carry the pavers up along the walking trail.”
Mr McKenzie said funding from government, Origin Energy and Corangamite Shire had helped make the project a reality.
The memorial cost about £160 when it was built in 1920.
It was moved to its current site at Beacon Point in the 1930s to make way for the construction of the Great Ocean Road.
The restored memorial will form the centrepiece of Port Campbell’s Anzac Day ceremony, which usually attracts more than 80 people.
Mr McKenzie said the centenary of Anzac had helped inspire the revamp.
The memorial will be officially unveiled next Friday, April 24, at 11am.