Last month’s improvements to the Corowa War Memorial were funded by Federation Council after receiving a grants application from Corowa RSL Sub-Branch.
The monument’s new door, with new plaque containing The Ode, and names of all the fallen in World War 1 from Corowa and district in gold lettering, originated from the RSL committee’s grants officer Adrienne Mitrevics of Corowa.
Adrienne’s visit to the monument last November before submitting the application made her realise an undesirable feature with monuments.
“I returned home and it just stuck in my mind there are monuments everywhere but a lot are going by the wayside and falling down and I thought, ‘it’s up to us to do something’,” she told The Free Press.
Adrienne wanted to put pen to paper and with encouragement from husband and Vietnam Veteran, Vilnis, she got to work.
“It’s a bit of prose, it is a poem but just doesn’t rhyme,” she said. How long did it take Adrienne? “About 60 minutes,” Adrienne replied.
“It’s brilliant,” 73-year-old Latvian refugee in World War 2 Vilnis said. Corowa RSL Sub-Branch Vice President Daryl Martin, who called Adrienne to centre stage at the 11.00am Anzac Day service to recite her work, agreed.
Not bad for the now 68-year-old who left school in Perth at age 14-years due to a tough home situation.
“I taught myself, read everything I could find,” Adrienne, whose poem follows, said.
We are the custodians of their Legacy
The names on the Memorial from World War 1
Their names that have been set in stone for eternity
The young men, husbands, fathers, sons and brothers who answered the call.
It was an act of bravery, daring and dash
To willingly enlist to fight an enemy
These are Australia’s ANZACS.
The Memorials now stand in every small town with the names etched into our memories.
It is now up to us, 100 years on, to make sure their sacrifice was not in vain.
On the Centenary of Armistice in 2018 take a moment to Remember our Fallen in all wars our men and women who offered their lives for our Freedom.
This freedom must be protected at all costs even today.
So next time you pass the War Memorial, take a moment to picture and to thank the men whose names are on your Memorial.
At the going down of the Sun and in the morning.
We will remember them. Lest We Forget.