The Arch commemorates the Allied victory in the Great War but, for a community finally emerging from four years of anxiety and grief, the word “Victory” offered some consolation and comfort that the hardship had not been in vain.
The foundation stone for the Arch was laid by General Sir William Birdwood on February 7th, 1920. A team of thirteen local bricklayers, plasterers and carpenters undertook the construction which was completed in four months and utilised 70,000 bricks donated by the local Selkirk company. The Arch stands at 17.5 metres high and 19.7 metres wide, and is topped by the emblem of the AIF – the Rising Sun.
The Arch was officially opened by HRH Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, on June 2nd, 1920. Prince Edward obviously had fond memories of his Ballarat visit as, on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Arch, the now Duke of Windsor replied to an invitation to respond from the President of the Arch of Victory / Avenue of Honour Committee, Keith Price.