Parquetry of Honour
Title: Parquetry of Honour
Artist: Ali Griffin
Location: The Memo, 235 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC 3777
Coordinates: Latitude: -37.653503 Longitude: 145.517639
Parquetry of Honour is a contemporary installation honouring Healesville’s fallen and returned soldiers.
The Healesville’s Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, also known as The Memo, opened on the 24th of April, 1924.
It was built in in memory of local servicemen and women who had fallen during World War 1 (1914-18).
To raise funds for it, the local community held a carnival, picture shows, entertainment at the Palais and ‘a mile of pennies’. There were also many individual donations.
During a renovation of the Memo auditorium in 2018, the parquetry floor tiles were removed. The history symbolised by this recycled material, and the feet that walked on them over the years, inspired the artist to repurpose them to honour the Memo’s origins.
The work features a number of reclaimed wooden parquetry floor tiles hung from the ceiling in the foyer of the Memo. Some tiles have been engraved with a soldier’s name. Each tile is hung on a transparent wire to provoke subtle movement and a gentle sound.
Horizontal tiles represent those who died while serving in World War 1. The engraved vertical tiles represent those who returned home.
The installation is backed by a neon sign referring to a speech during the ‘laying of the first brick’ ceremony on 13th of April, 1923. Major Hutchinson, Returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League of Australia (Healesville Branch), said:
“Australia has not the fields of little wooden crosses, row on row, and it is meet, therefore, to erect memorials throughout the length and breadth of the land to remind the people of future generations of the great sacrifice made… In the name of the returned soldiers and the citizens of Healesville, I lay this brick to commence a structure to perpetuate the memory of our fallen comrades.
In the freshness of the morning shall they be in our thoughts; at the fullness of noonday they shall be remembered; and in the peace of eventide they shall not be forgotten.”
Parquetry of Honour is located in the foyer at The Memo, Healesville.
Free entry. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 4pm, and Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:45pm till late. Closed public holidays.
This artwork and acknowledgement were proudly supported by Yarra Ranges Council, in collaboration with Healesville RSL and Healesville and District Historical Society in 2018.