ON Saturday, November 11, 2023, the rural community of Napoleon Reef came together to dedicate a new memorial honouring veterans who served in conflicts around the world.
The memorial, located at the Glanmire/Walang Rural Fire Brigade Station, pays tribute to veterans from the Napoleon Reef, Walang and Glanmire areas.
The rural communities of Glanmire, Napoleon Reef, and Walang have a long, proud history of military service.
As far back as World War I, young men and women enthusiastically volunteered for service, supported by farewell gatherings and gifts from the community.
The original Glanmire honour roll, which has been lost, listed 10 men who served.
Sadly, some made the ultimate sacrifice, while others returned wounded.
This new memorial pays tribute to not only these WWI veterans, but all who have served Australia in conflicts over the decades, both named and unnamed.
The project was facilitated by the Napoleon Reef, Walang and Glanmire Residents Association and made possible through a grant from the Department of Veterans' Affairs Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program.
The memorial was designed and followed through to completion by Napoleon Reef resident, Frank Colzato.
Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee and Bathurst deputy mayor Ben Fry unveiled the memorial before a crowd of more than 60 residents, veterans, and families.
Following the unveiling, Reverend Clare Percival led a dedication ceremony, inviting members of the public to join her in reciting the Anzac prayer.
The Bathurst City and RSL Band provided accompaniment for the ceremony.
"This memorial ensures that the sacrifices of our local veterans will never be forgotten," resident Jan Page said during her opening remarks.
"We will remember them."
The memorial features materials symbolic of the area's landscape - timber, corten steel, and printed alloy plates.
It also includes the Ode of Remembrance and imagery of the Australian Defence Force tri-services logo.
The ceremony was attended by honoured guests Sam Farraway MLC, Chifley/Lithgow Rural Fire Service district manager Superintendent John Bennett, and Chifley/Lithgow Group Four Captain Geoff Porter and his wife Kathy.
Also in attendance were Bruce Irvine OAM and his wife Elizabeth, residents Jan Page OAM and her husband Max, and Jim and Elizabeth Inwood - whose home was once the Glanmire Post Office, which housed the lost honour board.
Descendants of war veterans including, the Harris family and the Colzato family, were at the service to honour their past relatives.
These attendances made the memorial dedication particularly poignant.
Wreaths were laid by local organisations and families in honour of ancestors who served, and The Last Post rang out before a minute of silence.
An afternoon tea supplied by the community followed the dedication ceremony.