Community stories: 23 July 2020
The Thallon Progress Association (TPA) has operated for more than 50 years. It was incorporated in 1995, and is run by a Committee of five with 20 volunteers. The TPA works closely with other local groups and has achieved many significant projects for Thallon in the last five years. In 2015, TPA began building the town’s first war memorial, and since then, the community has embraced the ANZAC Day tradition, with more than 100 people attending the dawn service each year.
It has been a whole of community effort to establish the Cenotaph in the town park and complete subsequent stages, which included WW1 and WW2 Honour Rolls, WW1 and WW2 Commemorative Pavers and also Commemorative Booklets and a WW2 Photographic Exhibition (which is now permanently displayed in the Town Library). Up-lighting of the memorial and a new flagpole have also been installed.
A $5,000 grant from the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program, supported by the Monsanto Fund (now Bayer Fund), enabled the TPA to embark on another stage of the project to bring them closer to completing this special memorial that will ensure those who served from the Thallon district will never be forgotten.
They used the funds to pave around the war memorial to create a safe, level surface that allows all members of the Thallon community to safely participate in the annual ANZAC Day service. The paving has also created an attractive centre piece for future landscaping to occur.
While the design of the project remained the same, the planned timeline for laying the pavers blew out, as the volunteer workforce had to prioritise working on-farm, due to the drought. Instead, the Balonne Shire Council’s WORC team laid the paving, ensuring safe and easy access to the memorial area.
Future stages of the Memorial will also commemorate later wars and conflicts, with plantings to complete the landscaping.