Busselton RSL prepares to unveil new war memorial in time for Anzac dawn service

Craig DuncanBusselton Dunsborough Times
Steve Mott and Lourie Berryman at the new Busselton War Memorial.
Camera IconSteve Mott and Lourie Berryman at the new Busselton War Memorial. Credit: Craig Duncan

At the tip of a sword sits several sandstone slabs, guarding the names of those who have fallen while serving their country.

The City of Busselton’s new war memorial will be open to the public on April 22, just in time for Anzac Day, and the Busselton RSL is thrilled with the new development.

The old memorial, in Victoria Square on the corner of Albert and Queen streets, has several issues, according to Busselton RSL president Steve Mott.

The new memorial has seven large sandstone plinths.
Camera IconThe new memorial has seven large sandstone plinths. Credit: Craig Duncan

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He said the monument was damaged, contained incorrect names and numbers, and its location made it less than ideal for veterans to pay their respects and reflect on the past.

“It’s not a place you can have any type of service without interruption, or veterans can’t just be there and reflect because it’s on the busiest intersection in town,” he said.

The new location, in Rotary Park directly across from town hall, offers a quiet waterfront area for everyone to pay their respects to the fallen.

Mr Mott said the new park would be second to none in the region.

“It will easily be the best memorial in the South West,” he said.

With plans dating back to 2018, the new memorial is purpose built, Mr Mott said.

Sandstone plinths taken from a Busselton quarry stand tall along a path built to resemble a sword, with a brazier for a flame sitting before the largest of the collection.

Along the path will be the names of 176 Busselton soldiers from World War I. Mr Mott said this was unique for a memorial as the names are not just those who died at war.

The largest plinth will be consecrated by a priest on April 22 at 10am.
Camera IconThe largest plinth will be consecrated by a priest on April 22 at 10am. Credit: Craig Duncan

“Everyone who came back from World War I put their name on the memorial,” he said.

The 37 men who did not return home will be honoured twice on the grounds of the new memorial.

The grounds will also have the names of the 33 soldiers who died in World War 2, and one solider form the Vietnam War.

RSL member and Vietnam veteran Lourie Berryman has two uncles whose names will be etched into the sandstone.

Mr Berryman said he was keen for the memorial to open. “From what I have seen it looks bloody fantastic,” he said.

The stone will be consecrated at 10am on April 22 at a ceremony open to the public.

The consecration and completion of the park comes just in time for Anzac Day, with the new grounds set to host this years dawn service.

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