Historic day at the Utungun Hall honours local men and women who have served the nation

Mr Paul Schadel was Master of Ceremonies at the special service at Utungun on Saturday.

ALMOST thirteen years of painstaking work by the Utungun History Group came to fruition on Saturday, 19 November when a special service was held to mark the unveiling of a lasting memorial to honour those of the Utungun community who have served the nation in times of war.

The Master of Ceremonies was Mr Paul Schadel, a long term resident of Utungun and the proud father of a son who has served with the ADF in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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On behalf of the Utungun community, Mr Schadel thanked the original members of the Memorial Committee for their vision to start this project and their determination in collecting information to bring this vision to reality.

Mr Schadel told News Of The Area, “We are grateful to many locals who have contributed to this project however Mavis and Maureen Ward rate special mention as they continue to collect information and photos to complete the photographic memorial inside the Utungun Hall.”

Mr Schadel also acknowledged the Macksville RSL sub-Branch, the Nambucca Heads RSL sub-Branch, Taylors Arm Vietnam Veterans Peacekeepers and Peace Makers Association and the Frank Partridge VC Military Museum at Bowraville for their assistance in making the day possible.

The Service was led by Rev Clyde Appleby, Senior Chaplain, Royal Australian Navy, who also blessed two plaques that were unveiled during the service.

One plaque, unveiled by the Vietnam Veterans Peacekeepers and Peace Makers Association’s Stuart Johnston of Taylors Arm, details trees that have been planted in honour of three local men, Ernest Roy Bennett, John Henry Sutton and Claude ‘Digger’ Ward, who died serving their country.

The other plaque unveiled by Colonel Gary McKay, President of the Macksville RSL sub-Branch, is dedicated to the memory of residents of Utungun who have served the nation in all theatres of war.

The singing of the National Anthem was led by well known tenor Gary Rumbel and the prayer for the nation was recited by Mavis Ward.

Mr Doug Urquhart read the Roll of Honour and Mr Gary MacKay recited the Ode.

The service, attended by Nambucca Valley Mayor Rhonda Hoban, was the culmination of years of hard work that will ensure service men and women from Utungun are never forgotten.

Lest we Forget.


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