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Plains Producer, Wednesday April 10, 2013
A“My View” opinion column
by reporter Les Pearson in last
week’s Plains Producer drew an
immediate response from Balaklava
locals – and others. Les called for the re-
moval of the old “silent cop” town icon,
which raised the ire of many people.
Their opinions are printed below. We
have also heard from others who were
in favour of removing the “cop” – but
did not write to us.
The article was purely an opinion
and should not be confused with any
official plan to remove the “silent cop”.
This is not the case.
But we enjoyed the debate it
prompted. As with other town icons,
for example, the Ralli Park grandstand,
hospital and certain pine trees, it proves
people in Balaklava are passionate about
their town. There should be more of it –
and about many more local issues and
town projects. Join in or have your say!
– Editor, Terry Williams
Peckers in strife after
Integral part of
our rich history
Isincerely hope that
the article you wrote
for this week’s Plains
Producer was written
on Monday, as an April
How dare you suggest
that the “Silent Cop” be
For far too long, Bal-
aklava wore the tag of the
town that knocked down
its history, and many of
us have been working our
butts off since then to stop
the rot and try to preserve
as much local history as
we possibly can.
The Producer news-
paper dated January 21,
1926, referred to the new-
ly constructed “silent”
cop as “The Cenotaph” - a
monument or memorial.
As far as we know, there
were no monuments in
the Triangle at that time.
The article went on to
say the “silent “ cop would
have a “very beneficial
effect in regulating traf-
fic and minimising the
chance of collisions at this
very dangerous spot. It
will be very bad for the car
that runs into the column
as F. Marshall has made a
very substantial job of it.”
You might think the
“Silent Cop” is a useless
thing, but it is an integral
part of Balaklava’s rich
and diverse history, and
be assured there are many
residents who will fight to
keep it where it is.
It is, indeed, an histori-
cal site – right in the centre
of town – around which
much of the town’s busi-
AFTER the comments about Balaklava’s rounda-
bout in last week’s edition of The Producer, I thought
a few facts from reading the paper over a period from
1903 until 2013 would be of interest.
Since moving to live in Balaklava 20 years ago, I
would name the roundabout as the number one im-
provement as it has slowed down traffic, kept large
trucks away and made people obey the road rules.
The ‘Silent Cop’ was built in 1926 by the Marshall
Brothers and was referred to as “The Cenotaph”. The
first accident did not happen there until 1933. Later,
motor cycles became involved in a bingle 1952.
Then in May, 1975 it was reported in the Plains
Producer to be “scheduled for removal.”
The ‘Silent Cop’ was covered in graffiti after New
Years Eve in 1976 and in 1977, it was painted green
and gold by the Balaklava Football Club after their
The same year, an amount of $2290 was allocated
for a roundabout and a special meeting was called by
Wakefield Plains District Council, which was attended
by 60 people, mostly against the proposal.
In 1988 talk of a roundabout had many businesses
fearful of losing trade.
It was not until the late 1990s that the roundabout
was again brought forward and building took place in
2002, with Fisher Street coming into Edith Terrace and
the ‘Silent Cop’retained in the centre of the roundabout.
After completion, truckies flouted the law by run-
ning over the kerbing but delivery vehicles were still
allowed to travel in that area.
The ‘Silent Cop’ still remains an icon in the town-
ship of Balaklava, being heritage listed in 1995.
Rex Penna, Balaklava
ness has been conducted
ever since the 1870s.
Stories of long ago
incidents surface every
now and then, such as
unwitting attempts to
remove or shift it, usually
by inebriated persons suf-
fering double vision as a
result of too long leaning
on the bar. I’ve heard of
people seeing two “Silent
Cops” and trying to drive
Thankfully, now that
the “Silent Cop” is in the
centre of a large rounda-
bout, it is somewhat more
protected from these
Balaklava has already
lost too much of its his-
tory, eg. the flour mill,
butter factory, all the old
blacksmith shops etc.
We cannot afford to
lose any more.
Most of those who
were born here or who
have lived here for a
long time appreciate the
history and are helping
to preserve it. Maybe it is
time for a few history les-
sons for those who don’t,
or can’t, see the value of
preserving our history.
If you want to put up
statues, the place for them
is in the Triangle. Please
leave our “Silent Cop”
where it is.
president & promotions
No chop, chop!
I WISH to formal-
ly register my protest
against any suggestion in
regard to the removal or
change to the ‘Silent Cop’
People say that the
central sentinel is ‘old-
I would say, however,
it is unique and sets Bal-
aklava apart from other
towns. By all means, plant
a garden that would be a
show year-round, or lay
lawn on it, but please,
let’s not contemplate its
Yes, a flag pole!
I LIKE the suggestion
of the flag pole. It (the
‘Silent Cop’ really is an
Glen Ince, Adelaide
I AM sorry but I think
your ideas for removing
the ‘Silent Cop’ are stu-
pid. It has always been
part of Balaklava.
It’s how you can give
people directions and
them not be on the wrong
roundabout. I am a local
and will be very upset
and angry if this is to be
taken down. Please think
about what it means to the
town not just to try and
get a story.
Heritage would go
I LIKE this town.
Small, quiet, friendly, the
typical small Australian
country town. Removing
the ‘Silent Cop’ would
be like removing a piece
of the town, a little bit of
heritage, or even a big toe.
I don’t think building
some big monument or
having signage there
would be of any benefit,
except directing people’s
attention away from what
they’re meant to be do-
ing, and that’s giving
way to other traffic. The
only thing needed is for
the council to help with
money on up grading and
maintaining the garden.
NEW people, new
ideas, which is fine but
why can’t it stay? Why
does everything have to
change? Is it hurting you
if it stays?
Why does it have to
change? While many
have GPS in their cars, if
people coming into the
town are looking for a
street, many use the ‘Si-
lent Cop’ as a landmark.
Many farmers use this.
REGARDING Les Pearson’s story on the ‘Silent
Cop.’ I have had my mind on the centre roundabout
for a couple of months now, since moving to town.
I am absolutely appalled at you wanting to remove
a wonderful piece of history.
You used awful words to let us know: “ugly
thorn, rendered completely useless, no functionality,
white, uninspiring, defunct piece of infrastructure,
and futile eyesore.”
How terrible and ridiculous! Les, your story was
uninspiring. Also, if this is a defunct piece of infra-
structure, why shouldn’t we restore it and keep our
history? So, for you it’s out with the old, in with new?
It’s a piece of significant heritage for the town,
don’t you think? What about the focus on the vegeta-
tion and plants?
Habitat and the environment? I am glad you men-
tioned it briefly. This needs to be the focus, including
the lovely historical piece.
I am an avid gardener and currently studying
horticulture at TAFE. I have a passion for ‘greening
Australia’ and love seeing natives grown.
The plants around the ‘Silent cop’ are dead, scarce
and there’s no imagination in the design.
I would personally love to get some funding and
rejuvenate the garden around this wonderful piece
of history, so the whole roundabout is ‘colourful,
pretty, historic and inspiring’.
Emma Woodroofe, Balaklava
THIS picture at left shows what happened to the
‘Silent Cop’ following Balaklava’s 1977 A grade
premiership win over Hummocks.
The traffic diverter was painted in the Peckers’
green and gold following a premiership presentation
evening at the town hall.
Current Balaklava Football Club treasurer and ulti-
mately sensible resident, Brenton Read, who supplied
the photo, confessed to being part of the mischievous
group who defaced the ‘Silent Cop’.
Brenton regrettably provided the paint and was on
watch for cars with Gary Wilson while (un-named)
teammates did the painting about 2.30 in the morning.
The reaction from much of the townsfolk was less
than supportive, condemning the act of graffiti on the
town’s structural centrepiece.
As a result, those responsible were forced to contrib-
ute towards its repainting. The ‘Silent Cop’ remained
green and gold for little more than a week, before
returning to its white colour, which it remains today.
Two years later, the Peckers won a reserves pre-
miership. Following threats from club secretary – and
respected former local police officer, Murray Thorne
should the players decide to again paint the ‘Cop’,
Colin “Stitch” Jenner manufactured a green and gold
sleeve out of canvas, which slipped over the top of
The sleeve was removed and confiscated by trans-
port department workers not long after and never
Thanks for the passionate response
Started as a ‘Cenotaph’
Rejuvenate the garden
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Phone: 8862 0000
Fax: 8862 0080
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Phone: 8862 0065
Fax: 8862 0080
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