FAIRFAX COMMEMORATES THE FALLEN

FAIRFAX COMMEMORATES THE FALLEN - Ted O'Brien MP

The Sunshine Coast has new Armistice Day memorials to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 on November 11. 

Ted O’Brien’s Fairfax electorate secured $50,000 in Federal funding under the Armistice Centenary Grants Program for community groups to mark the centenary.

The Maroochy RSL received $36,500 towards commissioning an Eternal Flame to shine at Cotton Tree Cenotaph while the Maroochydore Men’s Shed was granted $7000 to erect a commemorative plaque in Quad Park.

Legacy Sunshine Coast also received $5500 to host a nostalgic concert of old-time singing, dancing and music for war widows and the public.

Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien MP said Australia paid a heavy price for its involvement in the First World War and its impact on our country was still felt today.

“More than 60,000 Australians were killed and 156,000 were wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Armistice Centenary Grants projects are being completed in time for Armistice Day and will ensure the memories of those who gave so much in defence of our values and freedom live on.”

Mr O’Brien said $5000 funding under the Veteran and Community Grants had also been issued to the Australian War Widows (Queensland) Maroochydore Sub Branch to conduct bus excursions for widows so they could enjoy a day out with company.

“These ladies hop on a bus together to visit places like the Buderim Ginger Factory, Bribie Island and Maleny which helps reduce social isolation,” said Mr O’Brien.

While he was in Canberra Mr O’Brien viewed some of the thousands of knitted, crocheted and felted poppies arranged at the Great Hall and on the Parliament House Forecourt  to commemorate the Centenary of the end of the First World War.

Maroochy RSL president Michael Liddelow said the Eternal Flame at Cotton Tree would be an LED light that would shine all day and night in intense burning colours.

“There are not a lot of Eternal Flames in Australia and the Sunshine Coast is a green and progressive community so we elected to use LED instead of gas,” said Mr Liddelow.

“A lot of the design and wording is still under wraps but it will be something powerful for the whole community.”

Maroochydore Men’s Shed secretary Otto Alder said the group was installing a polished concrete plaque in a garden at Quad Park, Maroochydore.

“It will be a quiet, contemplative place where people can go and think back on those days,” said Mr Alder.

Sunshine Coast Legacy group chairman Allan Farquhar said the group’s concert on November 10 would be nostalgic as well as entertaining.

“The music will be a mix of First World War numbers like Vera Lynn and Glenn Miller, Vietnam songs, classical and swing and we’ll also have Fiona Simpson MP doing a vocal number,” he said.

“We host the concert every year but this year we can jazz it up a bit because of the grant.”

Australian War Widows (Queensland) Maroochydore Sub Branch president Judy Smith said the guild conducted nine bus trips a year for war widows and attracted up to 30 participants per trip.

The $5000 grant would help cover the costs of chartering the bus.

“These trips encourage friendships and social involvement and take the ladies to places they might normally not go,” she said.