Committee forms to investigate cannon repairs

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The AL Lane Foundation has committed $10,000 to help repair a World War I howitzer formerly on display at Cannon Hill, with Warrnambool Mayor Ben Blain urging any other individuals or groups keen to see the cannon return to public display to pledge their support.

Work to investigate the repair of the gun is progressing, with the gun moved indoors and a committee formed to determine the best way forward.

This was one of two artillery pieces removed from Cannon Hill in 2020 for repairs. Volunteers were able to repair the first gun and it was returned to Cannon Hill, however the second was deemed to need more extensive work.

“Thank you to the AL Lane Foundation for their contribution to kick-start this project,” Mayor Ben Blain said.\

“In order to know how far we can go with the repairs, we need to know the level of funding available, so if there were any groups out there that wanted to play a part in getting this cannon back on public display, please get in touch with us.

“Additionally, if there were any individuals with the skills and knowledge to lend a hand, we want to work together to try and make this cannon as good as it can be.

“It’s really positive to have a committee together of Council staff, RSL members and other enthusiasts to look at the gun and see what we can do.

“I think it’s exciting for the whole Warrnambool community. This cannon is a community asset and it’s good to be working together as a community to move forward.

“And on behalf of the Warrnambool community I’d also like to once again thank everyone who contributed to the repair of the first gun.”

Warrnambool RSL member Doug Heazlewood has joined the committee, and agreed that a collaborative approach was best.

“All the people who walked past (the guns at Cannon Hill) and didn’t do anything have to take some of the responsibility,” he said.

“I think it’s a very worthwhile cause.”

He said that the guns were used in battle by the German Empire before they were captured by Australian troops under John Monash in the closing stages of World War I.

“They have a distinct possibility in playing the role of two of the actual guns that fell silent on November 11 at 11am,” he said.

Anyone looking to find out more about the project or to offer any assistance can contact Warrnambool City Council Manager Governance James Plozza on jplozza@warrnambool.vic.gov.au or 5559 4800.