A HISTORIAN has donated a newly restored honour board painstakingly brought back to life after a chance find.
Brenda Stevens-Chambers found the battered World War One honour board in an Inglewood store several years ago.
She launched a search for images of four people missing from the board, which once hung in the iconic former Pall Mall department store The Beehive.
The board paid tribute to staff and family members who had served and, in some cases, died for their country.
Ms Stevens-Chambers calls for details to multiple media outlets helped her track down one photo. She spent countless hours searching for the others.
"We could not believe that these photos did not exist at the Bendigo Soldiers Memorial Institute, Melbourne's war memorial or even in Canberra," she said.
"I phoned as many descendants as I could, but no luck."
Then, by chance, Ms Stevens-Chambers ran into genealogist Rita Hull at the Bendigo library.
"She trotted me up to where the other genealogists are based and five minutes later we had photos of all those men," she said.
"I could have kicked myself. I should have gone to them first."
Ms Stevens-Chambers donated the newly restored honour board to the Bendigo Soldiers Memorial institute last Wednesday.
Bendigo RSL subbranch president Peter Swandale said it was an honour to receive it.
"We want it to have pride of place on a new wall in the museum. It's such a significant piece of history for Bendigo," he said.
Mr Swandale hoped the display would trigger people's memories of seeing the piece when it hung at The Beehive.
The donation came as RSLs across central Victoria prepared for Monday's Anzac Day commemorations.
Ms Stevens-Chambers paid tribute to 15 people who did the most to help her restore the board, with particular attention on Christine Skinner.
She owned the store that Ms Stevens-Chambers found the piece in.
"She has a particularly good eye for Australiana. Without people like her, so much of this stuff would be lost, truly, forever," Ms Stevens-Chambers said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.