The National Servicemen’s Association NSW – Midstate Branch has received an $8,000 grant from the Australian Government to honour the 194 National Servicemen who lost their lives during the Vietnam and Borneo Wars.
The grant was awarded under the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program and will go towards installation of 194 pavers which will be placed next to the war memorial at the Bathurst Cemetery, which was previously dedicated by the Midstate Branch.
Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee MP saluted the members of the Midstate Branch for their continued dedication in preserving the memories and interests of servicemen and women across the Central West.
“Nashos were Australian’s citizen soldiers,” Mr Gee said.
“They served, because our country asked them to and 194 made the ultimate sacrifice. We must never forget what they did for Australia.
“This project will help ensure their memory will live on and also provide a place where their friends and relatives can come and reflect on their extraordinary and selfless service.
“This is also the first grant to have been awarded to the National Servicemen’s Association Australia-wide which is a tremendous achievement.
“I commend President of the NSW Midstate Branch, James Dietrich and all the members for their hard work and commitment in representing and honouring our local service personnel,” Mr Gee said.
Mr Dietrich said: “This grant is the only one of its kind across the country.”
“We are proud to be able to honour the 193 servicemen who were killed in the Vietnam War, four of whom were from Bathurst, and the digger who fell at Borneo,” Mr Dietrich said.
The Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program is designed to preserve Australia’s wartime heritage; involve people around the nation in a wide range of projects and activities that highlight the service and sacrifice of Australia’s service personnel in wars, conflicts and peace operations; and promote appreciation and understanding of the experiences of service and the roles that those who served have played in shaping the nation.