Over a century ago, the Nepean region answered the call to war and today their sacrifice continues to be honoured.
On behalf of the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs, Mulgoa State MP Tanya Davies led a respectful ceremony at Luddenham Progress Hall for the ANZAC Memorial Centenary Project.
A sample of soil was collected from the area that will be displayed alongside the place name at the ANZAC Memorial to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
“This is a really significant day… representing this magnificent region of western Sydney here, to take a piece of soil from this region of Luddenham for the ANZAC Memorial,” Ms Davies said.
“It’s to represent the fact that there was a serviceman that went to the Great War that came from this very suburb, this very locality of which many of us have a strong connection with.
“It’s an incredible honour to be able to lead this ceremony, to take this soil to secure in perpetuity the connection between the incredible tragic history in our global story, but also to link it so personally and so realistically to this region here.”
Penrith Mayor John Thain said the project is a touching way to locally honour those who served.
“It’s a great way to keep alive the memory and the sacrifice that those young men made from our local area,” he said.
“On August 4, 1914, many locals from Penrith answered the call with naivety and enthusiastic support.”
Representatives from the St Marys and Penrith RSL sub-Branches, and Penrith and Liverpool Councils were in attendance to pay their respects.
“It’s something that goes into an area that’s going to last forever, and another area that people can go to look and reflect,” Mick McConnell, President of the Penrith RSL sub-Branch said.
Luddenham resident Wayne Willmington attended the service, proud of the region’s heritage and history.
“I think today is a very important day in the history of Luddenham, where Luddenham is recognised and the people of Luddenham that went down to do the right thing for their country,” he said.
Close to 1,700 plaques will be displayed around the walls of the Hall of Service.
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.