As commemorations for the 99th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing drew to a close on ANZAC Day, veterans from the Eden RSL sub-branch made their way to where Eden’s ANZAC Centenary Walk will commence, and unveiled the walk’s foundation plaque.
Three names are recorded on the plaque: Artie Edwards, representing the Royal Australian Navy; Al Armstrong, representing the Army, and Trevor Woods, representing the RAAF.
The ocean side of the Centenary Walk will be dedicated to World War I soldiers who died in action or of war-caused wounds.
The landward side of the walk will commemorate post-WWI conflicts, and those who served.
Eden’s cenotaph records the names of 25 WWI veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Now the RSL is asking the families of those men to contact them, and contribute any information, photos and stories they may have to the memorial walkway project, which they hope will be completed in time for the centenary of ANZAC next year.
Eden RSL sub-branch secretary Steve Mahoney says the centenary walkway project would not be possible without the help of some “strategic allies”.
“ESSCI, the Eden Lioness Club and the Magnet have all been great allies in helping us,” Mr Mahoney said.
“Graham Gray (ESSCI) was the instigator for stage one and Jack Dickenson (ESSCI) for stage two.
“ESSCI is doing a wonderful job for the whole town but their commitment to the RSL has been ongoing for many years.
“They have been an integral part of ANZAC Day, managing the road closures and the centenary walk.
“It wouldn’t have happened without them.
“We also have a fairly new alliance with the Eden Lioness Club.
“It’s a symbiotic relationship; they now have a home at the RSL Hall, and in exchange for that they do the catering for ANZAC Day.
“With them, we are working on a monthly social event for the veteran community.
“Our first one is being held at the Great White Bite this Friday, May 2, with the meeting at 11.30am and lunch at 12noon.
“Anyone from the ex-service community is welcome, especially Legacy wards.
“I hope we get too many there, and we have problems catering for it!
“Our third alliance is with the Magnet: the great coverage we get and the support we receive from you is of immense benefit to the RSL.”
Mr Mahoney warned that the 100th ANZAC anniversary would be here all too soon.
“We’re already down to 11 months, and because the Eden Marine High School students are assembling all the digital data for us, we need it by the end of the school year.
“There are still a lot of families around town who have names on the cenotaph.
“We now call on them to help us, remembering we lost most of our history when the RSL Hall burnt down in the 1990s.”
Families of servicemen and women who would like to contribute to the memorial walkway project are asked to contact Mr Mahoney on 6496 1522.