New war memorial location noted at re-dedication as more comfortable for war veterans

Solemn occasion: Returned service men at the Port Macquarie war memorial re-dedication ceremony, 1969. Photo supplied by Port Macquarie Museum

Solemn occasion: Returned service men at the Port Macquarie war memorial re-dedication ceremony, 1969. Photo supplied by Port Macquarie Museum

Memorial re-dedication

Without exception, those attending the re-dedication of Port Macquarie's war memorial on Friday afternoon last praised the new site on the waterfront green as "beautiful and ideal".

Peaceful away from motor traffic that frequently marred ceremonies in the main street and far more comfortable for the ageing war veterans, the park-like waterfront lent dignity as well as beauty to Friday's ceremony.

Heavy rain at 3.30pm, and an announcement that the ceremony had been postponed, no doubt lessened the numbers attending. However, about 250 soldiers and citizens gathered to hear three chaplains re-dedicate the memorial, and appropriately, returned men of the 1914-18 war, led by the Hastings District Pipe Band, marched from the RSL Club to the scene.

When they had lined up in front of the memorial, RSL Sub-branch president Jack Steep directed his opening address to the boys and girls - "the thinkers and the doers" of years not far away.

"When they have nothing to forget, how can boys and girls remember those things that happened so long ago?" he said.

Mr. Steep said it is the duty of teachers and parents to tell children who it is that "we so often stand before this monument and remember". It was erected "to commemorate the great war," words chosen because 1914-18 had been the war that would surely end all wars.

With the thought that wars were ended, monuments were erected to the men who had achieved this. Here in Port Macquarie this monument was erected and the names there-on included 51 dead.

"I ask you all to preserve our monuments for those we remember so dearly, and to honour the principles for which so many gave so much," Mr. Steep said.

A neat and simple plaque has been unobtrusively added to the memorial, worded "To the memory of those who served Australia in the armed forces". The honour of unveiling of this plaque was given to the mayor of Port Macquarie, Ald C.C. Adams.

"My council appreciates," said the mayor, "that without the co-operation of the RSL Sub-branch this re-siting and ceremony would not have taken place.

"About 48 years ago the citizens of Port Macquarie and the surrounding areas, expressed their desire to place on record in a permanent manner, a memorial as a tribute to the immortal memory of the sons of this district who gave their lives in World War 1 so that those of us who stand here today, and those who follow us, should have the right to live our lives as free and unfettered citizens in security and comfort", he said.

"I would like to assure all present that only after considerable deliberation was given to the matter that a decision was made to re-dedicate this memorial in its present position."

Our photograph (above left) shows P.W. Harrison, 9th Battalion, 1st AIF and Ken Morris, recently returned from active service in Vietnam, after placing a wreath of remembrance following the re-dedication ceremony of the Port Macquarie war memorial, 1969.

The war memorial stands tall, in the photograph above right, in its new location by the shore of the Hastings River on the Town Green. It was moved in September, 1969,

First stop sign for Lord Street

After twelve months of investigations of traffic conditions at an intersection in Lord Street, by the Police Traffic Branch, stop signs - the first in Port Macquarie - were installed by the municipal council at the intersection of Bridge and Lord Streets early last week, as directed by the Police Traffic Branch.

This story War memorial dedication first appeared on Port Macquarie News.