The organisers of Kurri Kurri’s Centenary of Armistice activities were hoping to recover Kurri Kurri Public School’s long-lost World War I honour roll and re-enact its dedication ceremony some time this year.
But despite their best efforts – including newspaper articles and radio interviews – they have been unable to find the honour roll, and have declared it lost for all time.
But it’s not all bad news – the Kurri Kurri Men’s Shed will be recreating the honour roll, which lists 153 former students who had served in the war.
Centenary of Armistice organising committee member John Gillam said the men’s shed was able to take up the challenge following some assistance from the committee to obtain a Saluting Their Service grant.
The new honour roll will be dedicated in a re-enactment of the original ceremony and will take pride of place in the school once again.
Mr Gillam said the committee was moved when they spoke with men’s shed member Colin James, who recalled the honour roll hanging in the school assembly hall.
“The enthusiasm of Colin and the other members present to do this for their community struck us as being so reminiscent of the people who fund raised 100 years ago to produce the original honour roll for their community,” he said.
Mr Gillam and fellow Hunter historian Yvonne Fletcher are co-authoring a book on Kurri Kurri’s record of service during World War I, called No Shirkers from Kurri.
The book was inspired from research for their 2017 book, “You Can’t Fight, You’re a Girl!”, which told the extraordinary story of Kurri Kurri girl Maud Butler, who dressed up as a boy and stowed away on a troop ship in an attempt to join the war effort.
From there, the centenary of armistice activities grew.
Other events this year will include library workshops, a mural of Maud Butler and a street parade.