Sub-branch’s gift to the community
East Maitland RSL sub-branch knows the value of its wider community.
That’s why, with the help of a Federal Government grant, the sub-branch has installed two commemorative plaques on the gates at the East Maitland War Memorial Centre acknowledging the battles of WWI and paying tribute to the Australians who served.
Of the 420,000 people who enlisted for WWI, 167 said that East Maitland was their place of birth. The William Street memorial contains the names of 220 people, including one woman.
“It’s an opportunity for people to take time and reflect,” President Stephen Grimmer said.
“Hopefully people will walk past, stop and read, and take a few minutes to honour the sacrifice of these men and women.”
The plaques were unveiled on Remembrance Day by former presidents Brian Boughton and Peter Hedges, and locals Mair Fullerton and Norm Burton.
Mr Burton’s uncles, Thomas, Samuel and William, served during WWI, and Ms Fullerton’s father, William Bevan, received the Military Cross for his contribution on the battlefields of Péronne.
Earlier this year the sub-branch received a $2700 grant from the Armistice Centenary Grants Program for the project, ‘finishing off’ the memorial centre’s gates, which were initially a community project.
Mr Grimmer said that making the plaques readily available to view allowed the sub-branch to show its appreciation to the public and government organisations for their continued support.
“This only started because of the goodwill of the community,” Mr Grimmer said.
“Without the community the RSL wouldn’t exist.”