HELPED BUILD A TOWN: Red Cliffs’ famous Big Lizzie at work and (below) in Barclay Square today.

RED CLIFFS has started its final countdown to centenary celebrations planned for Melbourne Cup weekend 2021.

A small team of 10 volunteers is co-ordinating the collection of old photographs and recording of memories over the first 10 decades of the town.

Committee chair Glenn Milne says Red Cliffs was regarded as the most successful soldier settlement town in Australia.

“And as a soldier settlement, Red Cliffs is unique because the returning soldiers taking up land were not all necessarily Australians. There were Greeks and Italians too,” he said.

Glenn said the community committee was building interest to the centenary milestone by highlighting key events in the final journey to formal establishment of the town.

“It may have been the planning of the town layout and buildings, the turning of a first sod or clearing of land,” he said.

“And we will be celebrating the people, the identities of Red Cliffs. There are several who will turn 100 next year and have lived all their life in Red Cliffs.”

Glenn said next year’s centenary celebration plans already included a street parade, market, gala night, arts and photography exhibitions and a special centenary walk with history information installations between Jacaranda Village and Nursery Ridge.

“We’ll be running through and highlighting something from each decade as part of the celebrations,” he said.

And he says the iconic Big Lizzie tractor will be part of the centenary weekend festivities, recognising her role in helping pioneers create the township of Red Cliffs.

The organising committee encourages current and former residents to share old photographs that will be copied for use in exhibitions and returned to owners. The call is also out for film footage.

Glenn says the current committee is growing in number and with relaxation of COVID restrictions, more regular meetings and greater community involvement would be possible.