War memorial to ‘stand proud’
IT'S a commemoration for their fallen mates, so the Ulmarra RSL sub-branch Diggers are relieved their riverside cenotaph will be refurbished.
The NSW Government's Community War Memorials Fund grant program gave $5045 to the Ulmarra RSL.
The funds will be used to replace the roll of honour for 1914-1918 and re-erect the historical statement monument and names of the fallen from 1939-1945.
Ulmarra RSL president Geoff Lenz said the money was very welcome.
"The memorial is starting to get into a pretty bad state of repair.
"The refurbishment will mean the cenotaph will be virtually maintenance-free," he said.
"It will be here forever. Us fella's won't have to worry about having to do work on it anymore.
"We can hang our spurs up now."
Mr Lenz said the improvements to the Ulmarra and district war memorial would ensure the traditions of Anzac Day would continue in Ulmarra for many years to come.
"This funding tops off Clarence Valley Council's terrific work in landscaping around the memorial and putting in new footpaths," he said.
Ulmarra RSL secretary Steven Davis has been to every Anzac Day commemoration service at Ulmarra since 1974.
"It's here for our mates, so when I got word the funding had been approved I rang all the boys to tell them," Mr Davis said.
"It's taken us nine months of crossing our t's and dotting our i's to get here, but it's worth it."
Mr Davis served in The National Servicemen's Association from 1971-1973.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said it was clear the cenotaph meant a lot to the people of Ulmarra.
"The spirit you've shown in maintaining the cenotaph shows the value the community places here," Mr Gulaptis said.
"Leading into the centenary of Anzac (2014-2018), it is more important than ever that we ensure our community war memorials stand proud and strong around the state."
Minister for Citizenship, Communities and Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello was in Ulmarra on Wednesday to make the presentation.
"We owe a great debt to those who have given their lives for our country," Mr Dominello said.
"You can't repay that debt through money. You can only repay it through respect."