Statue to mark Rutherglen RSL Centenary

February 15, 2017

This statue of a WWI soldier will be unveiled in the Rutherglen Memorial Gardens on February 18. Photo by Simon Ginns.

The statue to be unveiled was installed by Pickles Cranes and Memorials in Stone. Photo by Simon Ginns.

A statue of a WWI soldier is to be unveiled in the Rutherglen Memorial Gardens at 11am on Saturday and the RSL is inviting the wider community be a part of the celebration.
The addition of the statue forms part of the celebration of the Centenary of the Rutherglen RSL Sub Branch and the Centenary of ANZAC commemorations.
The Director of the National War Memorial Dr Brendan Nelson AO will perform the unveiling of the memorial.
Special guest Keith Payne VC will also attend. Mr Payne received his Victoria Cross in Vietnam for his actions under fire to rescue 40 injured soldiers.
His is the last VC awarded in the imperial tradition -it was bestowed by the Queen aboard the royal yacht Britannia.
The statue is a tribute to the 3000 volunteers from Rutherglen and surrounding districts who enlisted to serve in the 1914 to 1918 war.
Some paid the supreme sacrifice with their lives. Many who survived lived out their lives suffering from illness, severe physical and emotional disabilities.
To underline the importance of the memorial, Defence Force personnel will provide a catafalque party and firing party.
A catafalque party consists of four members of an armed guard who stand, heads bowed and their weapons reversed, in a symbolic demonstration of respect for the fallen.
The statue to be installed in Rutherglen is 1.8 metres tall and weighs more than 700 kilograms. It was carved from a single slab of grey granite.
Secretary of Rutherglen RSL Sub-Branch David Martin described the significance of the statue and its location.
“He stands gazing at the Cenotaph before him where the names of Rutherglen men who died are etched,” he said.
“His silence is a message to us all to remember with pride the ideals of the brave men who died for something that they firmly believe in.”
Funding for the project was made available by the Commonwealth Government, personal donations from the local community and a grant from Indigo Shire.
“Without the incredible support of local businesses and individuals we would never have been able to see the project through” Mr Martin said.
Following the service on Saturday, the public is invited to a free barbecue in the Rutherglen Memorial Hall.

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