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Farm pioneers remembered

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January 25, 2018

Lasting tribute... A panel describing the Soldier Settlement and Closer Settlement allocations at Girgarre.

A tribute to the early pioneers of the Girgarre district will be unveiled in the town in February.

Panels describing the soldier settlement scheme have been produced by the local community.

Around the time of Federation, the Australian Government purchased large rural holdings and created smaller properties to encourage settlement for farming families.

These early Closer Settlement schemes mostly proved to be unsuccessful, however despite their failures, the schemes continued during and following World War I with the aim to meaningfully provide an existence for the returning soldiers.

Many of the soldier settlers were accepted into the scheme despite having physical disabilities and no experience of the land.

Many struggled to make a living and walked off the properties after enduring long years of battling to survive.

However, the Closer Settlement and Soldier Settlement farmers who succeeded generally had things in common — a great capacity for hard work, genuine farming experience and sufficient capital.

Girgarre RSL will unveil the information panels in Station St, Girgarre on Sunday, February 25 at 1.30pm.

After the ceremony refreshments will be provided in the Girgarre Memorial Hall.

■For more information, phone Girgarre RSL secretary John Crilly on 0437438077 or email girgarrersl@gmail.com

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