Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Centenary of Robe War Memorial

I am honoured to join you to commemorate the Centenary of the Robe War Memorial, in this lovely setting.

Over the past few days in the South East, I have been struck by the warmth of the community, the pride you have in your region and its contribution to our State.

And no more so than today in Robe.

This memorial was unveiled 100 years ago this very day as a mark of respect and remembrance.

Now, it is not only a symbol of the reverence in which we hold those who fought in World War I, and subsequently World War II, and the gratitude we feel towards them; it is a place to reflect, respect and honour those who have served, are serving and will serve.

It is a constant reminder of not only the price of war, but also the resilience of the community.

Sixty names of World War I and World War II soldiers are etched on its sides, which reminds us, starkly, of the impact of their service on individual families and communities within the south-east.

This is also a place where we can honour those who did not return home, forever resting in far-off lands.

Memorials are also important points of reference so each new generation can better understand how our lives today have been shaped by the fortitude and service of others.

As a diplomat I was regularly struck by the respect and appreciation that the people and leaders of many countries have for our valiant Australian service men and women.

I think particularly of school children of the Somme region, their parents, their mayors and the Prime Ministers and Presidents of France, the people of the Republic of Korea, our American and British allies and the American and British people.

It is wonderful that many of the family members of those service members who either enlisted from the Robe District or settled here after their service are here to witness the dedication of 20 new plaques.

I congratulate the RSL for its on-going support of our veterans and their families.

Because you care, because you have experienced the sacrifices made, because you know of the challenges and importance of healing the wounds that are both physical and mental.

Earlier today I visited the Robe RSL rooms and will be honoured to later meet three members who are well into their 90s - Graham Snook, Brian Nankivell and Vic Dawson who is hale and hearty at 99.

I also viewed the honour board medals and citations demonstrating the outstanding commitment of the region’s veterans.

I was also struck by how the RSL is so much more than its clubrooms.

You are an integral part of this community.

You bring together older people for morning teas, make runs to Mount Gambier for shopping or appointments, the rooms are used for childcare, the kindy is next door and you work with local schools to tell the stories of our veteran’s service.

In that way you enable veterans, their families and the wider community to be in touch with each other.

You are part of a caring community. You continue to serve.

Thank you for the honour you paid me by inviting me to be part of this ceremony.

Lest we forget.

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC


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