Centenary of Armistice Memorial opens in Dover

Centenary of Armistice Memorial opens in Dover

The Federal Member for Franklin Julie Collins MP officially opened a new memorial commemorating the Centenary of Armistice in Dover last Saturday.

The new memorial was funded by a grant Ms Collins secured to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

The Department of Veteran's Affairs offered the Armistice Centenary Grant Programme to each Federal electorate, with $50,000 available to support organisations in the commemoration of the end of the First World War.

The newly constructed memorial wall does not replace the Dover Cenotaph where the Far South commemorate their fallen, but provides an educational platform for local students as well as a place to sit in peace and reflect on the contribution of the many Australians who have contributed to the campaign for a just and secure peace since Federation.

The wall displays Navy, Australian Imperial Force and Air Force Emblems, as well as a plaque commemorating the centenary of the Armistice.

Existing memorial plaques recognising past conflicts and peacekeeping, as well as all 14 Tasmanian Victoria Cross recipients, also feature on the new wall.

Ms Collins said she was very happy to recommend the Esperance RSL Sub-Branch receive $11,695 to construct the dedicated memorial to the Armistice.

The official opening ceremony was hosted by Esperance RSL Sub-Branch president Bill Morley and attended by around 70 guests, including Ms Collins, Huon Valley Mayor Bec Enders, Deputy Mayor Sally Doyle and World War II veterans, Dr Dick Geeves of Geeveston and George Smith of Strathblane.

The Esperance RSL Sub-Branch thanked all those who had contributed to the memorial, including corporate sponsors, project officer David Crosby, Dover RSL, the Dover Men's Shed and Dover District School.

Dover District School volunteer and historian Kaye Coulson said that while it is important to thank those who gave their lives during conflict, it is also important to remember the thousands upon thousands of others who returned home as very different people from those who sailed away.

"Imagine you could go back 100 years to witness our soldiers and nurses returning to this beautiful setting that you see in front of you," said Ms Coulson. "Compare that to what we now know about the horrific battles of World War 1 and perhaps you might be able to understand their turmoil and trauma on arriving home."

Ms Collins said, "The memorial provides a place for reflection to generations of people in the Far South.

"Through this grant we are able to express our gratitude to those who represented Australia through their service.

"It was a privilege and a pleasure to be able to officially open the new memorial and I congratulate the Sub-Branch on its hard work."