Heroes honoured again

April 04, 2018

The unveiling of the memorial: (form left) Mrs Wendy Murphy, Mr Michael Gilsenan, Mr Geoff Bailey and Mr Rob Brown (president of Cobram Barooga RSL Sub-Branch).

Mr Stephen Brooks, grandson of LCpl Paul Bell, presents the names and details of those honoured on the memorial plaques.

Family members gathering for the rededication service at Hay Avenue.

More than 150 people gathered at Cobram’s Hay Ave Memorial on March 24 for the rededication of the site’s plaques.

Families of those honoured gathered with descendants of Harold D. Hay, who donated to Cobram’s original Hay Ave Memorial.

The crowd was boosted by members of the community, including students from Cobram Primary School, where the houses Goodman, Jordan, Rose and Shadforth are named after men named on the memorial.

The rededication service was preceded by a four-plane flyover, especially appreciated by those families whose loved ones had served in the RAAF.

The clergy from the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting churches participated in the service, which also included a reading of the 1944 Requiem, which had been part of the original 1949 dedication service.

Cobram-Barooga RSL secretary Glenda Mann said a poignant part of the service was the presentation of the details of those honoured on the plaques.

‘‘This event reminded us of the supreme sacrifice that was made during World War II and the people who cut short their lives at a young age,’’ she said.

‘‘The ceremonial unveiling of the memorial was performed by Geoff Bailey, a grandson of Mr H. D. Hay, accompanied by Wendy Murphy, representing the family of Private Kenneth Rose, and Michael Gilsenan, representing the family of Steward Dudley Gilsenan.

‘‘A wreath was laid by (Cobram-Barooga RSL president Rob Brown) on behalf of the RSL and wider community, while a second wreath was laid on behalf of the families by Nell Snow (sister of Corporal Parker Goodman) and Peter Shepard (nephew of Private Jack Shepard).’’

At the end of the service, the crowd was invited to collect a poppy to place in the remembrance bowl or beside a memorial cross created to honour their loved ones.

Guests then went to Cobram Barooga Golf Club for refreshments.

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