Hunter to commemorate Centenary of Armistice in style

Plans for a number of unique, community-based projects and events to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day in the Hunter electorate have been given a boost thanks to an injection of Federal Government funding through the Armistice Centenary Grants Program (ACGP).

ACGP is a one-off grants program providing funding for local community-based projects and activities that commemorate the end of the First World War.

Cessnock RSL Sub-Branch will hold an Armistice vigil ‘Waiting for Cease Fire’ on Sunday 11 November. The project, which was awarded $6,500, will involve a series of events marking the timeline of the 1918 cease fire at six locations across the Hunter.

“This creative project is a special way to engage the community and will bring Armistice Day commemorations to life,” Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.

Cessnock City Council has also been granted $20,950 of funds to fly specially designed Armistice Centenary banners on newly installed banner poles in the local government area.

The Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music was successful in receiving a grant of $11,364 which will go towards hosting small scale musical concerts in Muswellbrook on Armistice Day.

Cessnock City Library received $6,000 for the ‘Mapping our Memorials’ project which will see a professional photographer take quality photos of wartime memorabilia in the Hunter area. This project involves support from the public to identify as many areas as possible to include in the collection. Photos will be uploaded to www.warmemorialsregister.nsw.gov.au early next year.

Meanwhile, the Brunkerville Church celebrated its 130th Anniversary on Sunday and incorporated in its milestone event the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. The contribution of returned soldiers was a key part of the commemoration concept and as a result, an improvement to the existing memorial was made.

The war memorial upgrade project, which received $4,000, saw new flag poles, a concrete path and plaques added to the existing site.

“I congratulate those who contributed to Sunday’s moving service and the upgraded memorial. The commemorations planned by Brunkerville Church had a strong community focus and I thank those involved in this year’s plan. Their vision ensures those who served Australia and its allies in all wars and conflicts continue to be remembered,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“We are fortunate to have passionate and dedicated organisations and individuals in our community who enable us to continue to pay tribute to Australian service men and women for their sacrifices. I thank all those who applied for grants under the ACGP program in the Hunter electorate and appreciate their special contribution to keeping important memories alive.”

In Canberra on Tuesday, Mr Fitzgibbon visited the 62,000 Poppies Display at the Australian War Memorial. The display of 62,000 handcrafted, red poppies on the Memorial's grounds is the centrepiece of this year’s anniversary commemorations, symbolically representing Australian lives lost in the First World War. Volunteers from around Australia, including the Hunter, created the poppies and delivered them to the War Memorial to contribute to the special and moving display.

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