The story behind Bangalow's new bronze bust
LEARNING to seek peace, rather than conflict.
This was the message when members of the RSL Bangalow Sub-Branch came together on September 28 to celebrate the unveiling of a bronze bust dedicated to those who served in World War 1, 1914-1919.
Bangalow Sub-branch secretary, Col Draper, said the bronze bust was created by a very skilled local artist Susan Kaden, on a basalt columnar rock excavated from Tregeagle, thanks to a Commonwealth grant.
He said Ms Kaden based her "typical solider” using images of celebrated solider Paddy Bugden VC, to represent "a typical digger.”
"Our MC was Gary Lovell and speakers at the ceremony were RSL Bangalow President Col Mann, Lismore Deacon/Chaplain Major Graeme Davis (rtd) OAM CSM PHF, Justine Elliot MP member for Richmond.
"The official party included Major Warren Walsh 41st Battalion, Pastor Phil Dokmanovic, Uniting Church Bangalow, our next-door neighbour and a genuinely talented bugler who played at the ceremony and sculptor Susan Kaden.”
Mr Draper said it was a moving ceremony.
"Graeme Davis spoke gently and sensitively about the symbolism behind the bust and recognising what people have done for us,” he said.
"Around 100 people attended and the Bangalow Red Cross did a magnificent job catering.”
Mr Draper said a timber Honour Roll was researched, designed, built and written locally.
"It took us three years of meticulous research to complete the honour roll which lists 180 names of those from Bangalow, Clunes, Corndale, Newrybar and Tintentbar, all died in the Great War, 1914 until 1919,” he said
"Stuart Pratley from Polish created beautiful timber honour roll which will be installed into the RSL hall.”
Mr Draper said many brave men are represented.
"Matthew Dawson, aged 18, 5th Light Horse, drowned in the Sea of Galilee 27 January 1919 while grooming his horse and Captain Chaplain David Hunter 55th Battalion, killed by an exploding shell at the front line, Polygon Wood, the same day that Paddy Bugden VC was killed at Polygon Wood,” he said.
"Rev Hunter was 41, Paddy Bugden was just 20, John Kirkaldy and Bert Auliff, both aged 35 when they were killed in 1917, were both farmers who had also volunteered in the Boer War in South Africa 16 years before.
"The roll tells lots of stories, the majority being about volunteers who were boys when they stepped forward.”
Mr Draper said the sub-branch's next projects will be presenting a new District Roll, naming those WW1 volunteers who gave their lives, from Bangalow, Clunes, Newrybar and district.