Beaudesert turns up to mark 100th birthday of war memorial

Beaudesert residents, veterans and history buffs turned up to celebrate the 100th birthday of the cenotaph at Central Place.

Mark Plunkett from the Beaudesert Historical Society joined RSL Sub-Branch president Carol Castles to host a commemoration service in honour of the township that raised the funds to install the cenotaph on September 28, 1921.

Also present were descendants of the original committee who undertook the task of establishing the war memorial.

Opening proceedings at 6.30pm Mr Plunkett gave a brief history of the edifice and introduced Rod Walker, descendant of Mr Tutin Walker, a respected businessman in Beaudesert at the time the cenotaph was being planned.

The idea for the memorial was first put forward on November 19, 1951 by the Beaudesert Times.

A proposal to uproot a tree previously planted in honour of Mr Walker at the site where the memorial was eventually built met with some contention amongst locals but Mr Tutin did not oppose the decision.

By the time the cenotaph was unveiled a century ago, there was still money owing on it. The hat was passed around on the day and managed to get the project out of the red with a bit left over for a maintenance fund.

Mrs Castles took to the lecturn to speak about the fund raising flag presented to Beaudesert with the purchase of war bonds.

The town went above and beyond to support soldiers and nurses serving overseas, earning additions to the flag that reflected efforts, with Beaudesert Times editor John Adamson Walker promoting the cause, which raised the equivalent of $4.5 million.

Mrs Castles said the flag was unfurled 103 years ago, also on September 28.

It was put on display at the Beaudesert Historical Society museum where it remained today.

Members of A'Choired Taste read out letters and diary entries from local servicemen during WWI, some who came home and others lost on the battlefield.

Captain Alexandra Doyle from the Australian Army Cadetsspoke about local war veteran Charles Burgess and A'Choired taste entertained the crowd with a compilation of wartime songs.

The event was attended by Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause, Deputy Mayor Michael Enright and members of the Jimboomba Cadets and the Beaudesert Australian Army Cadets who formed the catafalque party.

Pastor Josh Cocks led the prayers and the last post was played by bugler Freddie Fenton.

A screen was set up at Central Place showing photographs of the town in times gone by as people reminisced, learned about the town's history and paid their respects to those who rallied to overcome obstacles and show respect for servicemen during difficult times.

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