ETERNAL FLAME: (from left) Brian Watts, Jo Thomas, Wagga City Council strategic asset planner for parks and recreation Ben Creighton and Kevin Kerr at the memorial arch in the Victory Memorial Gardens where work has started on upgrading the eternal flame (in background). Picture: Les SmithWAGGA is keeping its pledge to remember men and women who died in military service by creating a new eternal flame in the Victory Memorial Gardens.
Last refurbished in 1983, the memorial is undergoing a $120,000 rejuvenation.
The project is being equally funded by Wagga City Council, the RSL Club and the Wagga sub-branch of the RSL.
Work started this week with removal of the existing eternal flame pond, overhead timber beams and planter boxes.
A new pond six metres in diameter incorporating a new eternal flame will be built.
Other elements include LED lighting and brass cover plates displaying the words Vigilance, Sacrifice and Liberty.
Sub-branch president Kevin Kerr said the new pond would be more like a reflective pool.
He said with the centenary of the Gallipoli landing next year, it was an appropriate time to upgrade the eternal flame.
The project is expected to take eight weeks to complete.
It is hoped the director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, will be part of the eternal flame’s opening ceremony on February 24.
Dr Nelson will be in Wagga the previous day as guest speaker at the Clubs NSW regional conference.
Jo Thomas, of the RSL Club, said it was imperative the eternal flame be upgraded in time for next year’s Anzac centenary celebrations.
“We are very excited about it,” she said.
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