Eternal Flame to be unveiled Sunday

06 Nov 2018

Novocastrians are invited to the unveiling of the City's first Eternal Flame at Civic Park this Sunday in celebration of the centenary of Armistice Day.

The new monument, housed in a stone plinth and built of the same granite as the adjacent Word War Two cenotaph, will occupy a special place in the heart of many Novocastrians, whose late and living relatives will be honoured by the permanent memorial.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the flame - which will be ignited for the first time during the ceremony - would honour all war veterans - past, present and future. It will be surrounded by new paving etched with the solemn words of the Ode of Remembrance and four new nine-metre flagpoles, from which the Australian, Aboriginal, British and the City of Newcastle flags will fly.

"It will be a great honour to unveil this amazing tribute on Sunday," the Lord Mayor said.

"We are a city steeped in war history, and it's important for us to continue to pass the stories and memories down to future generations through important public ceremonies and memorials."

Armistice Day - also known as Remembrance Day - closed the chapter on four years of continuous fighting along the Western front, after millions of men and women had lost their lives. Sunday will mark 100 years since the ceasefire between the Allies and the German Army.

“We have been working closely with the Newcastle Veterans community and the Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon MP to deliver this significant and lasting tribute to Novocastrians who have served our country in times of war,” Cr Nelmes said.

"To see it come to fruition on this milestone day in war history is a true testament to the respect and admiration we hold for our past and present war heroes."

Newcastle now stands alongside some of the great cities that have memorials with an Eternal Flame. Iconic monuments such as the Paris' Arc de Triomphe, Washington DC's Kennedy Memorial and Australia's very own War Memorial in Canberra.

The project is a joint initiative by the City of Newcastle and the Australian Government, following a successful Lord Mayoral Minute and grant application through the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).

The public is invited to gather at Civic Park from 10:15am before the official ceremony at 10:30am.