THE last stage in the Rochester RSL’s commemoration of World War I takes place on Saturday when a new Honour Roll will be dedicated in the Memorial Garden.
The Honour Roll commemorates all those men and women from the former Shire of Rochester who enlisted and served in the war.
It includes those from the surrounding hamlets that were also part of the old shire during 1914-1918, including Patho, Gunbower, Mitiamo and more.
Rochester RSL sub-branch president John Glover said his research in the past five years had identified many men from the area who had enlisted across Australia but whose names had not been recorded in the town.
“I am also very aware that as these hamlets around the former shire shrink and even disappear the names may be lost forever. We know numerous Honour Rolls have vanished without trace,’’ he said.
‘‘This Honour Roll endeavours to preserve all these names in a central location.”
The dedication service will be conducted by Right Reverend Ian Lambert, the Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defence Force (and also a former soldier). The service will start at 11.30am, with light refreshments to follow.
There will also be a short formal wreath-laying ceremony and members of the public are invited to lay personal wreaths.
Mr Glover said the RSL sub-branch is proud of the new Honour Roll and all that it represents.
“Most Honour Rolls are secluded in sheltered places, which are frequently inaccessible to the general public,’’ he said. ‘‘This Honour Roll is out in the open and will be illuminated at night so the community may pay their respects at any time.
‘‘The men and women of Rochester and district made huge sacrifices to perform their service 100 years ago.
‘‘The community supported them when they departed, gave limited support when they returned and now it is our turn to show we remember them now and into the future. Rochester has every reason to be very proud.”
The entire community is invited to attend and participate.