News

Memorial Gates to be re-dedicated

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Almost 70 years after the Mayrung Memorial Gates were officially opened, the monument has been registered as an official war memorial.

It comes four years after being initially ‘‘recognised’’ as a memorial, thanks to the hard work of the Mayrung Village Committee and especially its secretary Phyllis Ball.

The gates — which are the entrance to the Mayrung Hall grounds — pay tribute to two Mayrung men who died during World War II.

Corporal Gordon Chesterman Campbell is believed to have died while a prisoner of war in Ambon in June 1942, after serving in New Guinea.

Private Thomas Reginald Jarratt was killed in action in January 1942 in the defence of Rabaul, having also been deployed to New Guinea.

Both men will be commemorated and the memorial gate re-dedicated at a special ceremony in Mayrung on Wednesday, November 27 — the anniversary of the gates being opened in 1949.

Mrs Ball said family members of both soldiers will be in attendance, with Cpl Campbell’s relative Brad Chalmers and Pvt Jarratt’s relative Rochelle Gooch both expected to give an address.

‘‘When we came across photos from the opening in 1949 we thought we would hold the ceremony exactly 70 years since it was opened,’’ Mrs Ball said.

‘‘Things are pretty quiet in country areas right now, so we thought it was not only a good opportunity to recognise these men who lost their lives, but also to get people together.

‘‘We’ll have both the Deniliquin and Finley RSL Sub-branches at the ceremony, who will participate in a wreath laying.

‘‘We have also invited Legacy and Deniliquin & District Historical Society president Lindsay Renwick, and Edward River Council Mayor Norm Brennan will give an address.

‘‘Sing Australia Choir will lead the National Anthem, and will also sing the Army Hymn while wreaths are being laid.

‘‘The Mayrung school community has been very supportive too, and its students are expected to help with a flag raising ceremony and form a guard of honour during the wreath laying.’’

Mrs Ball said the gates were established by the now defunct Blighty RSL Sub-branch.

She said before Windouran Council was folded into Conargo Shire in 2001, it was the only war memorial in what was known as Conargo Shire before the merger.

The November 27 ceremony is open to anyone who would like to attend, and particularly descendants of families who had soldier settlement blocks in Mayrung. It will start at 11am, at the gates, and will be followed by a lunch.