Old clanger to smoking gun

By Liam Nash

Jutting out like a giant mechanical arm from Strathmerton’s public hall, the rusting Bofor’s QF 40 mm MK1 anti-aircraft gun is to be resurrected from its decaying state and restored to its former glory – but help is needed from the Strathmerton community to get it done.

Requiring a much-needed face lift, Strathmerton RSL president Eric Lee has pioneered a fundraising campaign to pay for a full refurbishment and painting of the larger than life weapon by Stanyer Engineering.

Hoping the war artefact would be looking spick and span by Anzac Day next year, Mr Lee has been the driving force behind the cause and is the main advocate for getting this historical treasure revived to its antecedent state.

“I urge the Strathmerton community to donate - we want to try and involve the local people as much as we can,’’ he said.

Straying away from government grants, Mr Lee has set up a raffle and $2 tickets will be available from the Railway Hotel and Bakery in Strathmerton. The prize, drawn on November 23, was a homemade Anzac quilt.

Although the history of the gun was a little hazy, the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company speculated it was made in the United Kingdom in 1942, possibly seeing service in the Middle East or simply supplied here in Australia.

Mr Lee believed the gun arrived from Bandiana at an undetermined date and, despite its unknown origins, acknowledged its cultural value within the Strathmerton community.

“When it is all cleaned up it will add to the look of the hall,” he said.

“It would just make that much of a difference.”