Memorial Rose Garden.

Mayne Street (New England Highway) Murrurundi

 

 

The opening of the Murrurundi War and Services Honour Roll was the culmination of nearly a decade of community fundraising, meetings, designing, earthworks, construction and planting the rose garden.

 

It honours over a century in sacrifice in service and during conflicts from as early as the Boer War.

 

Speakers included Steve Mahoney, Ray Shoobert, Reverend Barbara Morgan, Father Peter Thoai, Upper Hunter Shire Council mayor Michael Johnsen and former Murrurundi mayor Earl Kelaher.

 

Six members of the Murrurundi Light Horse Brigade, a cataphault party of five from Newcastle,  councillors Kiwa Fisher and Wayne Bedggood,  and over 100 members of the public and ex-servicemen attended the ceremony.

 

“I know most of the names on this memorial,” Mr Kelaher told the crowd who told the story of one name – Arthur Gimbert – known as Slim.

 

Mr Gimbert survived the Changhi prisoner of war camp to return to Murrurundi and died only a few months ago.

 

Murrurundi schools went  to greet him at the train station only weeks after his being freed from Changhi in 1945.  He was a big man when he went. He returned skin and bones.

Brian Hunt who was in grade 5 was there that day, and was at the opening of the  honour garden Saturday.

 

Mr Gimbert’s name is included on the obelisk which was built in 2005.

 

Saturday marked the completion of the memorial with surrounding plaques and garden.

One hundred and eight roses were planted and all survived.

It is as Cr Johnsen told the crowd “a living memorial”.

“It’s been something that’s been really worthwhile to work for,” the committee president Ray Shoobert said.

“The people of Murrurundi and the travelling public have something as a remembrance to the people who served from the Murrurundi area.”