Mayor Keith Rhoades, RSL Sub-Branch president Bob Payne MM and former Sub-Branch president David Doyle hanging the honour roll at the Jetty Memorial Theatre.
Mayor Keith Rhoades, RSL Sub-Branch president Bob Payne MM and former Sub-Branch president David Doyle hanging the honour roll at the Jetty Memorial Theatre. Bruce Thomas

Jetty Theatre gets honour roll

A LONG-LOST honour roll of local World War I veterans has finally been returned to Coffs Harbour and now has pride of place at the Jetty Theatre.

The framed memorial was uncovered years ago when a volunteer at a St Vincent de Paul depot in Gosford peeled a painting out of an old frame.

“They rang me and asked if I would like to have the honour roll returned,” then RSL Sub-Branch president David Doyle said.

Mr Doyle said when he became president in 1988 he searched for the memorial but couldn’t find it.

During the following 10 years he continued the search until a lady from St Vincent de Paul rang him.

“Someone had taken it because they liked the frame,” Mr Doyle said.

The honour roll was hung in the foyer of the Jetty Theatre yesterday by Mr Doyle, current RSL Sub-Branch President Bob Payne and Coffs Harbour City Council mayor Keith Rhoades. Reverend Dr Graham Whelan blessed the Honour Roll.

“It’s come home to rest where it should be,” Mr Payne said.

“After all it is honouring the WWI guys who got the Jetty Theatre going in the first place.”

Building of the theatre began in October 1927 by the WWI veterans and it was opened in 1928 after a hard slog by the veterans to raise the necessary 2000 pounds.

Since then returned servicemen have worked on the Jetty Memorial Theatre, most recently in the early ’90s when Vietnam veterans painted the structure.

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