The City of Newcastle will begin work tomorrow building Newcastle's first Eternal Flame honouring all ex-servicemen and women.
The flame will be installed in front of the World War Two Monument in Civic Park and be officially unveiled during a ceremony on 11 November to mark the 100th
anniversary of Armistice Day.
The stone monument, built of the same granite as the Word War Two monument and to sit adjacent, is a joint project by the City of Newcastle and the Australian Government, following a successful Lord Mayoral Minute and grant application through the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the City of Newcastle had contributed more than $100,000 toward the project, including detailed design work, concept testing and construction, as well as surrounding public domain works.
"This flame will be unique to Newcastle in that it will honour all servicemen and women - past, present and future,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Our team has completed a significant body of detailed concept and design work to bring this project to construction by our skilled Civil Construction team.
“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.”
MP Claydon provided $45,500 through a grant from the Department of Veterans' Affairs towards the project.
Ms Claydon said the local veteran community had long called for construction of an Eternal Flame to pay tribute to Australia's ex-servicemen and women.
“I’m very pleased that through this project we will now have our very own, unique Eternal Flame to commemorate the sacrifice made by Newcastle," she said.
“The Centenary of Armistice is a significant moment in the history of our nation and recognising the contribution Novocastrians made protecting our nation is a fitting way to mark 100 year since the guns fell silent at the end of World War One.”
Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon, Newcastle RSL Sub-Branch Vice-President Stephen Finney, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Newcastle Sub-Branch RSL President Ken Fayle with a render of the monument.
Newcastle RSL President Ken Fayle said that the Eternal Flame completes the Commemorative precinct within Civic Park.
"Cutting-edge technology coupled with the black granite formed in ages past encompasses all that has gone before and looks into the future reminding us that regardless of when conflict arises, we should always be grateful for the sacrifice of others on our behalf."
The project includes:
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- Demolition and removal of the existing concrete ground surfaces and flagpoles
- Provision of new concrete hardstand around the existing WWII Memorial with commemorative text etchings (Ode of Remembrance)
- Supply and installation of a new granite monolith to house the Eternal Flame
- Installation of four new nine-metre flagpoles