New cenotaph a place to remember
THE Last Post rang out over Pottsville on Saturday as the community came together to remember its fallen at the unveiling of a new cenotaph in the heart of the coastal village.
More than 100 people came together as the flag was lowered and wreaths laid at the impressive dark grey granite cenotaph – also known as an “empty tomb” – erected in honour of those whose remains are elsewhere.
RSL Pottsville and District sub-branch president John Hawes, himself a Vietnam veteran, said the monument was a tangible reminder of those who built Pottsville and of the locals who served and fought for Australia, many of whom had passed away.
“This is our gift to the community. It is our way of saying thank you. It’s there for the generations to come,” Mr Hawes said.
The $23,000 monument, built to replace the existing stone at Anzac Park, is the result of two years of hard fundraising by members, including weekly raffles and donations from several local businesses.
RSL state president Rod White, who flew up from Sydney for the event, said it was timely as the RSL prepared to mark the centenary of its founding.
He said it was also vital to remember those currently serving in the defence forces, as well as the 2000 returned soldiers doing it rough somewhere on the streets of Australia each night.