LANDMARK VETERANS’ MEMORIAL FOR GYMPIE
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives today announced a $1.8 million grant for the Gympie RSL to construct a landmark Remembrance Park and Veterans Memorial at Normanby Hill, Gympie.
Mr O’Brien said the memorial will recognise and honour the sacrifice made by our veterans and serving military personnel.
“The funding will be used to extend the Normanby Hill World War II memorial, constructed in 1995 to honour the 50th anniversary of WWII’s end, and recognise veterans of newer conflicts with modern displays, including an avenue of trees to provide a guard of honour for veterans.
“Attendance at the Gympie dawn service and the street parade is huge and growing each year, with more than 6000 people marching last year at Memorial Park in the CBD,” Mr O’Brien said.
“A new memorial park on a 3ha hillside would address mobility and space issues while providing dedicated grounds for the region’s estimated 50,000 veterans,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Gympie deserves a timeless memorial of world standard and national significance.”
Gympie RSL Sub-Branch President John Herlihy said the grant provided a “wonderful opportunity” to build a memorial space dedicated to personnel who had sacrificed so much to protect Australia.
“The veterans of Gympie deserve it, and the town deserves it, so I am very pleased to get it started,” Mr Herlihy said.
“I’m very thankful to Llew for pushing hard for us. It can become an icon for Gympie, great for veterans, students, and an area of peace for any who wants to visit.
“This memorial space will honour the bravery, courage and sacrifice of veterans from all wars and all campaigns. This space should respect their contribution and commemorate their efforts in defending this great nation of ours to secure our freedom.
“This will be a sanctuary for not only Veterans but for families and the wider community.”
A World War II monument already exists at the site and will remain and Memorial Park in the heart of Gympie CBD, with more than 100 years of history, will also remain.
Mr O’Brien said the Remembrance Park and Veterans Memorial would be the latest addition to a range of award-winning initiatives from the Gympie RSL Sub-Branch, including the Clubs QLD Community Health and Wellbeing Award, recognising its Veterans Service Centre catering for veterans in crisis.
The centre boasts five paid employees and a host of volunteers working hand-in-glove with other services, while the Sub-Branch also coordinated three crisis volunteer teams to help veterans in the recent floods.