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History Stands Tall At The New Proserpine Cenotaph

By Ray White Whitsunday

Today marked a momentous occasion as the new Proserpine Cenotaph was officially opened.  

The previous war memorial sat in the construction zone for the new Proserpine Entertainment  Centre (PEC) which needed rebuilding after Cyclone Debbie.  

Albeit through unfortunate circumstances, the demolition and reconstruction of the PEC created  the perfect opportunity to revamp the old, tired Cenotaph. 

Mayor Andrew Willcox said, “Council worked alongside the Proserpine RSL Sub-branch to create  a traditional design for the Cenotaph which would have a greater impact on the community and be  more functional for commemorative ceremonies. 

“We wanted the new Cenotaph to be a memorial that our residents would be proud of,” he said.  

“The Cenotaph represents more than names; it is a tribute to the efforts and the hardship endured  by our servicemen and women. 

“Twenty-one new names, including two indigenous soldiers, were added to the list of those who  lost their lives in battle,” Mayor Willcox said. 

The new memorial was celebrated with an Official Dedication Ceremony led by Proserpine RSL  Sub-branch President, Jason Raiteri.  

“The Cenotaph represents a headstone for all those Proserpine Servicemen who were killed  during service and lay in cemeteries across Europe and the Pacific,” said Mr Raiteri 

“It is a special place for many local families with relative’s names engraved on the Cenotaph. 

“It also provides the Proserpine community with an appropriate gathering point for commemorative  ceremonies,” he said. 

“The new Cenotaph will ensure that the names of all Proserpine’s fallen to date are forever  displayed and their sacrifice will be remembered by future generations.” 

The ceremony consisted of a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony which was led by  Aunty Agnes of the Gia people, followed by a blessing from each of the local parishes and a  wreath laying service conducted by the Proserpine RSL Sub-Branch. 

Source: Whitsunday Regional Council

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