Memorial Milestone Achieved
Darrel Baldock Memorial Sod Turning Ceremony - Ground works on the memorial will commence on site next week (13th January, 2014) by award-winning Tasmanian construction company Fairbrother Pty Ltd with work expected to be completed on the project in April.
Darrel Baldock Memorial Committee
MEDIA RELEASE – 10 JANUARY 2014
MEMORIAL MILESTONE ACHIEVED
The culmination of extensive public consultation and fundraising has today resulted in building works commencing at the Latrobe Recreation Ground on the Darrel Baldock Memorial.
Darrel Baldock was one of Tasmania's sporting legends and favourite sons who passed away on February 2nd, 2011.
In the wake of Mr Baldock's State Funeral at the Latrobe Recreation Ground, attended by an estimated crowd of 3,500 people, public reaction called for Mr Baldock's legacy, in a variety of arenas, to be formally recognised.
A committee of Darrel’s friends, colleagues and key persons quickly formed and sought public comment on how this could be achieved.
From the consultation, it was clear that an appropriate memorial be developed at the Latrobe Recreation Ground on Gilbert Street which could be accessed or viewed at any time.
The road to developing such a concept and the associated fundraising to effect same commenced.
Darrel Baldock Memorial Committee Chairman, Mr Peter Freshney said that "throughout this process, the committee has been mindful of sharing the ownership of this project with the wider community.
The concept plans were very well received and fundraising has included donations by individuals of whatever they could afford, many on a regular basis, through to corporate partnerships and funding from each tier of government."
Brett Whiteley MP, representing the Commonwealth Minister for Sport, said “Darrel was one of the giants not only of the North-West but throughout Tasmania and nationally with this memorial an important recognition of both his achievements as a footballer and significant contributor to the wider community.
The group designing this memorial had a difficult task. ‘Mr Magic’ contributed to the community in so many ways, he probably needs half a dozen statues littered throughout Tasmania and Victoria: football, politics, racing, community work, even cricket.
As a youngster I was a devout Latrobe supporter as my grandmother came from Latrobe I had the tremendous opportunity to watch Darrel Baldock play regularly.
Who could forget Darrel leading St Kilda to their only VFL/AFL Premiership against Collingwood in 1966 or when he played as Captain/Coach at the Latrobe Football Club and led them to four consecutive premierships from 1969 to 1972.
Growing up on the North West coast my friends and I looked up to 'Mr Magic' as a local hero and despite all the success and the boundless opportunities he had throughout Australia he chose to return to Latrobe and serve his home community. He was a true leader and someone we as a community should seek to emulate."
The Deputy Premier Bryan Green paid tribute to Darrel Baldock the parliamentarian. Darrel was a Member of Parliament from 1972 to 1987 including the portfolio of Minister for Transport.
"Darrel was a very successful and much respected parliamentarian.
"It is wonderful to see work underway on this project to honour one of Tasmania’s great achievers and am very pleased that the State Government has been able to provide a contribution of $50,000 to the memorial," said Mr Green.
Mayor Michael Gaffney of Latrobe Council said "it has been quite a journey for a number of hardworking volunteers to raise approximately $400,000.
Latrobe Council is very pleased to have been part of this process and congratulates all who have supported this initiative, particularly the Darrel Baldock Memorial Committee's unwavering passion in seeing this project through to fruition."
Mr Freshney added that "the ongoing interest by many demonstrates the passion for this project. Today is a significant milestone to what will be a lasting and fitting memorial to an outstanding Tasmanian."
Ground works on the memorial will commence on site next week by award-winning Tasmanian construction company Fairbrother Pty Ltd with work expected to be completed on the project in April.