‘Why not bloody Lismore?’ Veteran’s shock sparks action
Mr Jolley this week joined other veterans at the obelisk, on the corner of Bridge St and Alexander Pde in North Lismore, which honours the 145 Lismore district men who sacrificed their lives during WWI.
The veterans were proud to learn the obelisk was now showcased in the National ANZAC Centre's multimedia experience in Albany, Western Australia.
A Life Member of the RSL City of Lismore (NSW) Sub-Branch, Mr Jolley said he visited Albany last October for an Army reunion, saw all the memorials at the National ANZAC Centre and wondered, "why not bloody Lismore?".
At the ceremony a descendant of South Gundurimba's Paddy Brugden VC, Chris McKee, 34, said this showed what one person could do when they believed in something significant.
"Today is about the recognition of Ken Jolley's efforts, not just about what it means to me and my family, but also for all the other 144 men and their families," he said.
"It was quite emotional, it was very significant, especially with the presence of former veterans including Ken."
Mr Jolley said he approached Lismore MP Janelle Saffin for assistance in late 2019 so the memorial could be part of the centre in Albany, saying it was fitting because it was the port where servicemen and women disembarked on ships bound for Gallipoli and other battlefields during WWI.
Mr Jolley thanked Ms Saffin and her staffer Ronny Susanto for seeing the project through.
"It's the icing on the cake; I've been working for the past three years to restore the memorial and the fact that North Lismore now sits between two New Zealand memorials, Kaitaia and Wellington, is marvellous recognition for our fallen diggers and for the City of Lismore," he said.
"The obelisk was first erected in 1926 and, in 2017, returned 'home' to its original site after two previous moves around town," Ms Saffin said.
"It's proximity to the Lismore Showground is fitting because it was the site of a transit camp for newly-enlisted men."