His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley, Governor of NSW, paid a visit to Kurri on Monday to see how things were progressing with the town’s Centenary of Armistice projects.
Governor Hurley was treated to an afternoon tea at St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall which also saw performances from the Kurri Public School choir and a stirring retelling of the story of unsung WWI hero Maude Butler by Medowie 5-year-old Elizabeth Kilday.
Governer Hurley said that he was impressed with the work being done in the area for the Centennary of Armistice.
“All of our small communities have looked inside the history and rediscovered a lot that was hidden away,” he said. “People are searching their homes and researching relatives and I think it takes away from the large figures we talk about and brings it down to a personal level.
He added that it was heartening to see so many young faces in attendance.
“It’s important that there’s a renewing of the legacy and perhaps a reinterpretation of the legacy so the youngsters have some meaning to take away from this,” Governor Hurley said.
Kurri’s Centennary of Armistice events include the recent repatriation to Kurri Public School of Private William Kelly’s medals, a mural to heroine Maud Butler, and a recreation by Kurri Kurri Men’s Shed of the lost, original school honour roll which was dedicated in 1918.
During his visit, Mr Hurley and wife Linda also attended a fundraising lunch for the Greta-Branxton Memorial Cycleway at Crowne Plaza as well as a remembrance ceremony at Kearsley Community Hall.
Organised by the Kearsley Dawn Service Committee, the service was to honour 20 Diggers from the region who fought during WWI but received no public recognition.
Earlier this year, the committee uncovered the identities of the men who had lived and worked in Kearsley, Edenville and Abernethy, before enlisting and travelling to Gallipoli and the Western Front.
During the ceremony, Governor Hurley unveiled 20 memorial plaques to commemorate the service and sacrifice of each of the recovered soldiers, which will be located in the Kearsley Remembrance Garden that has been established by the committee to honour local service personnel.
“The Governor’s attendance and participation in the ceremony was an incredible mark of respect to each of these men who served our community and country with pride and courage,” committee chair Jordan Fallon said.
“These memorial plaques are now in perpetuity – they will never be forgotten again.”