ANZAC Day in Laurieton saw the unveiling of a plaque describing a unique piece of wartime memorabilia.
The restored torpedo, which stands in the gardens outside the Laurieton United Services Club, was given a shiny plaque on which describes its role and restoration.
“The torpedo came to us from the Hurstville RSL who were renovating their club and had nowhere for the torpedo to go,” said LUSC secretary manager Robert Dwyer.
“They contacted us and the board of directors was happy to see the war memorabilia installed here to pay tribute to those who served in the navy and it has become an interest and educational piece of art.”
Mr Dwyer paid tribute to the board members and RSL sub branch members who transported the torpedo to Laurieton.
“We obtained the torpedo in 2008 and director Ken Whyte offered to travel to Sydney and bring it home on a car trailer,” Mr Dwyer said.
“At the time the APEC summit was being held in Sydney and anti-terrorist security was ridiculously tight because all the world’s leaders were in town. Ken was tempted to drive the torpedo over the Harbour Bridge, but wisely gave it a miss.”
Mr Whyte said at the time on arrival back in the Camden Haven: “As I drove through Sydney and along the freeway many drivers craned their necks to take in what they were seeing - a Holden Commodore towing a one tonne torpedo. Plenty passed comment and took photos on their mobile phones. I guess the National Security Hotline would have been busy.
“Passing drivers gave wide-eyed stares. A passenger wound down the window and said: ‘Is that a torpedo?’ I said: “Yes mate.’ Passenger (into mobile phone), ‘Yes it really is a torpedo.’
“Another driver pulled up along side on the freeway: ‘Is that a torpedo?’ I said: ‘Yes mate.’ He said: ‘APEC’s back that way.’ At a petrol station the attendant asked: ‘Is that a torpedo?’ I said: ‘Yes love.’ She said: ‘Gee, it’s amazing the things you can buy on E Bay!’”
Director Barry Lang was another driving force in seeing the torpedo put in place. He conducted the research into discovering the story behind the weapon.
RSL sub branch member Doug Browne restored the piece with a gleaming blue and silver paint job. In preparing the torpedo for painting Mr Browne said he got many strange looks as he drove to Wauchope to have it sandblasted.
The piece is a wire-guided anti surface, anti submarine torpedo used by the Navy in ships and submarines. The first prototype was used in 1955. For more information, check out the information plaque on site in Seymour Street Laurieton.