A monument dedicated to Griffith’s pioneers will be given a spectacular phoenix rebirth on Saturday during the Rotary Club’s unveiling ceremony.
The new and improved monument will stand in the same plot of land once occupied by the old monument, which had become so dilapidated that it was widely considered a public eyesore.
Rotary club member Noel Hicks said the historic monument was long overdue for an upgrade.
“Over the years it had gotten concrete cancer and it was really an eyesore,” Mr Hicks said.
“Rotary thought the council was looking after it, council thought Rotary was looking after it, so nobody was looking after it.”
The original monument was set up in 1966 to celebrate Griffith’s 50th birthday and stood as a testament to the achievements of the town’s pioneers until it was demolished in 2004.
Its replacement has been built to stand the test of time this time, having been built from the toughest granite and the sturdiest stainless steel.
Mr Hicks said he was “astounded” by the quality of the end product, which was lovingly crafted by sculptor Luke Zwolsman with the help of local tradesmen and experts.
“It’s amazing to see the technical expertise of our light engineering industry in Griffith,” Mr Hicks said.
“Not just the technical expertise - we’ve received so much support and donations from the community that made this all possible.”
The monument will have a plaque depicting the seed cone of the white cypress Murray pine, a tough tree that symbolises the unwavering perseverance of the town’s founders.
Rotary member Allan Smith said he was deeply moved to hear the stories from his pioneering parents, who were among the founders who turned a dry and desolate area into a thriving town.
His parents had a truly humble beginning living in a tin shack without electricity, but they managed to set up a life for themselves as well as a General Motors dealership on the main road.
“The strength of the people in the rural community blows your mind away,” Mr Smith said.
He said the monument would stand as a proud memento to other men and women who built Griffith from the ground up.
The monument will be officially unveiled at 2pm on Saturday at the nature strip opposite Woolworths on Banna Avenue.