News item 25 April 2017. Credit: Nine News The first Honour Avenue in Kings Park was dedicated to fallen soldiers in 1919. The Honour Avenues Group, through association with the Returned and Services League (RSL), have been involved in the maintenance and preservation of the plaques along Kings Park's Honour Avenues, on behalf of the Kings Park Board, since 1922.

Honour Avenue Committee

The families who dedicated the trees and plaques took an active role in the early care and maintenance of the 'Avenue of Honour', with the wider community assisting those who could not afford to and those who did not live close by. Work diaries from Kings Park's superintendent Mr John Heath demonstrate his commitment to their upkeep and his gratitude for supplies and assistance with working bees from groups such as the West Perth sub-branch of the Returned and Services League (RSL). These working bees were often held prior to Remembrance Day and Anzac Day services, which have been held annually in Kings Park since 1930 and 1931 respectively.

After World War Two (1939-1945), many new requests for trees were received and the Kings Park Board asked the RSL to assist with arrangements for dedicating 300 plaques along Lovekin Avenue. The Honour Avenue Committee formed as a result of that request in 1947 from the RSL's Public Service sub-branch (formerly the West Perth sub-branch) with Mr Lionel Parks as chairperson and representation from the Board by Kings Park Superintendent Mr John Watson.

Working closely with the Board over the ensuing years, they became a working committee with members elected through the RSL Public Service sub-branch (which merged with the Highgate sub-branch in 1976) to contribute to the physical work of plaque maintenance, the administration of requests for new plaques and the hosting of dedication services.

A testament to the success of the committee was the high standard to which the plaques were maintained and in July 2003, the Honour Avenues Committee also took responsibility for the maintenance of the Western Australian centenary plaques along Fraser Avenue on behalf of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (formerly Kings Park Board).

Online databases

After several years of painstaking research and development between members of the Honour Avenues Committee and the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority website team, the Honour Avenues database of some 1,600 plaques was launched online in time for Anzac Day 2015. At this time, a logo was developed and the Committee changed its name to the Honour Avenues Group.

Photographs of each plaque were included on the database, in addition to a location map and opportunities for further research. In recent years, the database has been further developed to include photographs and stories of the individuals and updated to incorporate new plaque details.

The Honour Avenue plaque database now holds records for over 1,800 plaques and is available on this dedicated website to be maintained by the Honour Avenues Group in the future. Also available on this website is the new WA Centenary Plaque database.

Current members

Please refer to the Role of the Honour Avenues Group article for the current membership list.

Past chairs

MANNERS Norm: Chair 2 March 2004 - 27 March 2018

HEPWORTH Ray: Chair 2 March 1999 - 2 March 2004

KWIECINSKI Bish: Chair 9 March 1992 - 2 March 1999

TODD Arthur Joseph: Chair 11 June 1980 - 9 March 1992

FYFE Wallace Vernon: Chair 6 June 1973 - 11 June 1980

TODD Arthur Joseph: Chair 10 June 1968 - 6 June 1973

PARKS Lionel John: Chair c1947 - 10 June 1968

Past members

The Highgate RSL Hall of Honour, which recognises the service and civilian histories of current and past members of the RSL Highgate sub-branch, is available on their website.