RSL sub-branch receives NSW Government funding for new Walcha War Memorial

Eric O'Keefe, Roy Westfold and Elizabeth Gill from the Walcha RSL with MP Kevin Anderson, Walcha mayor Eric Noakes and deputy Clint Lyon
Eric O'Keefe, Roy Westfold and Elizabeth Gill from the Walcha RSL with MP Kevin Anderson, Walcha mayor Eric Noakes and deputy Clint Lyon

In Walcha, last week Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson handed over $50,000 to fund  the redevelopment of the Walcha Memorial Cenotaph.

The money will be used for the completion of the Memorial to Soldiers who have served from Walcha in all Wars since WWII.

“This funding complements money raised by the local RSL branch towards this project,” said Walcha mayor Eric Noakes. 

“Walcha has a fantastic War Memorial Cenotaph situated on one of the best sites in town and this funding is a fitting tribute to the sacrifices that local women and men have made.  We would hope that in the future there is no need to include more conflicts, but the way the world seems headed this is a futile thought.”

Walcha based artists Stephen King and James Rogers designed the new structure, and they will oversee the construction.

“The commencement date is not known at this stage, but we have been assured that  it will be completed by next Anzac Day,” said Walcha RSL sub-branch president Roy Westfold.

“We are hoping that this money will be enough with the $27,000 we have already and the sandstone blocks.”

Members of the Walcha RSL sub-branch started their fundraising efforts back in 2012.

“It is such a relief to finally know that we will be able to recognise all those that have fought for their country,” said Mr Westfold.

“This includes the  Malayan emergency, the Korean War, Indonesian confrontation, Vietnam War, Thailand, Gulf War, Somalia, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq, ISIS and other police actions. We must thank the residents and the clubs of Walcha that have donated so generously.”

Mr Anderson said the funding was provided through the Club Grants Category 3 – NSW Government Infrastructure Program.

“The Cenotaph is a significant structure in Walcha and is situated on one of the highest points of the town, standing more than 7.6 meters high,” Mr Anderson said.

“It represents the multi-cultural history and heritage of the district’s settlers who served their country in conflicts over the past century.

“The column is made of red granite from Aberdeen, Scotland and the granite grail at the top of the column is from nearby Uralla, while the memorial tablets set in concrete on the four sides are of Swedish granite and the marble steps are from Wagga Wagga.

“This memorial to those who served and to those who did not return, is such an important part of life in the Walcha district and it is important we don’t ever let those memories wither away,” Mr Anderson concluded.