Today Friday, 14 April, an unveiling and dedication service was held at Bli Bli’s Avenue of Honour to officially open the region’s new Cenotaph and quiet reflection space.
The 3.4 metre Cenotaph will open just in time for ANZAC Day and will provide the community with a focal point for commemorating those who have served their country in war, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Among those in attendance will be RSL Queensland Sunshine Coast and Regional District President Ian Hall, RSL Queensland CEO Robert Skoda, Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien MP, Division 9 Councillor Maria Suarez and Halcyon Veterans Group.
RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District President Ian Hall OAM said it was a significant occasion to officially open the new Cenotaph in the region.
“We’re very grateful for the support we’ve received from government as well as the local community towards establishing a memorial within the community’s Avenue of Honour,” Mr Hall said.
“This monument will be a meaningful and timely reminder for the community, placing an emphasis on the importance of commemorating veterans who have served past and present.”
RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District received funding last year for the Cenotaph, including $109,680 from the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program and an additional $59,000 in Capital Works Funding from the Sunshine Coast Council.
Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien MP who helped secure Federal funding for the new Cenotaph expressed his delight with the project.
“The Cenotaph is a wonderful addition to the Avenue of Honour and provides a new focal point for the local community to remember those who have served, and who continue to serve our great nation,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Our nation owes a debt to the men and women who have been prepared to serve and sacrifice for our freedom and this monument will be a lasting reminder for the people of Bli Bli and beyond.”
Sunshine Coast Council Division 9 Councillor Maria Suarez said Council was pleased to partner with RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District to deliver this meaningful project.
“It’s great to see the completion of the new cenotaph which complements the Avenue of Honour – commemorating the historical conflicts and peacekeeping events in which Australian Servicemen and Servicewomen participated,” Cr Suarez said.
“Twenty-six fig trees with bronze plaques now line the avenue serving as a ‘living memorial’.
“Not only is it a place people can commemorate our fallen soldiers, but it’s also now a place which connects two communities from Bli Bli and Parklakes where they can come together for ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.”
Local architect and sculptor Cam Crossley was engaged to design and build the Cenotaph.