Albert Borella honoured with rest stop area

Nearly 100 years ago, Albert Borella bravely ran ahead of his men, taking out two machine-gunners and capturing the gun before leading his men against a strongly held trench. 

His efforts in July 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux, France, earned him a Victoria Cross, and almost a century later the man who settled in Albury is still being honoured. 

On Monday, plaques were unveiled at the Albert Borella Victoria Cross rest area, along the Remembrance Drive stretch of the Hume Highway. 

Albert’s son Rowan Borella said his father was not a man who sought praise or awards, but it was fantastic to know his courage and bravery were still in the forefront of people’s minds decades after the battle. 

“He never looked for recognition, he never sought it and he was a bit embarrassed at times when it came up,” Mr Borella said. 

“We all looked up to him, admired him and respected him and we’re very proud of what he achieved.”

The rest stop at Murlo near Mullengandra was opened in August but officially dedicated to the World War I and II veteran on Monday. 

“The family is really honoured and we appreciate all this that’s going on,” Mr Borella said. 

“It’s something you don’t expect but it has come up and it is a great facility and we appreciate what they’re doing.”

Parliamentary secretary for regional roads, maritime service and transport Kevin Anderson said the $6.2 million project was a part of continuous improvement along the road network. 

“It is a fitting tribute to a great Australian who not only has served our country with the highest honour and distinction but also his story is something to be told,” Mr Anderson said. 

“It was opened earlier but to be able to see it dedicated today is extraordinary.

“We need to continue to look at what we do as a part of road safety to have these roadside stops so people can stop, rest, re-energise and get back on the road again.

“It’s a continuous improvement exercise when we look at what we can do to improve our road networks not only from a pavement and safety perspective but also a rest area perspective.”

Born in Borung, Victoria in 1881 Albert Borella settled in Albury after World War II with wife Elsie, where his family remains. 

He died in 1968, aged 87. 

Panels outlining the life and military triumphs of Captain Borella feature at the rest stop. 

Albury member Greg Aplin said trees were planted by the Borella family during the dedication ceremony.

He said he was approached by the Albury sub-branch to rename the area and was pleased to see the idea become a reality. 

The rest stop caters for up to 20 B-doubles as well as six parking bays and one disabled parking bay.