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Timely unveiling of the new Memorial Arch

Above: The Memorial Arch being prepared for Anzac Day celebrations

The scaffold has been taken away from the Memorial Arch at Lithgow Public School and now we can all see the fantastic results of the recent renovations. A fitting reward for the hard work of the school’s P&C.

The Memorial Arch has had quite the facelift, with the work being completed just in time for ANZAC Day. Water damage to the rendering and brick work has been repaired, along with significant changes to a once ill-fitting plaque at the top of the Arch. The results look amazing.

Sarah Michell, from the P&C and Colleen Brownlow, the General Assistant at the school, spoke to the Village Voice on Wednesday, while other school volunteers were busy with their preparations to decorate the renovated Memorial arch with flowers and wreaths. The march for the Lithgow ANZAC celebrations will begin at the Arch, and it seems a good choice. The Arch looks very proud and majestic on this sunny afternoon.

The renovation of the Arch has been on the agenda for the school for a few years now, but it received a big push last year with funding injections provided by Angus Place, Springvale and Clarence Collieries. By accessing their ‘Community Charity Funds’, the businesses were able to donate monies to assist in the renovations. The school also received a $20,000 grant from the NSW Government ‘Community and War Memorials’ fund.

Sarah also wanted to extend a really big thank you to Endeavour Energy. According to Sarah, ‘Endeavour Energy has gone above and beyond in the work they have done; getting the lighting perfect.’

The plaque that adorns the top of the Arch was renovated by Stone Mason & Artist, a local company based in Hartley. Father and son team, Rick and Marino worked tirelessly to hand carve the two new ‘Remembrance Poppies’ that are on either side of the original plaque.

The Arch has a long history, and an important one. During the Second World War, from 1938 to 1945, the school was used as a billet for soldiers on the 2/13th battalion of the AIF, when they marched from their basic training camp at Ingleburn, near Campbelltown to their field training camp in Bathurst. Over 360 men were housed at the school, with the majority using the upstairs rooms on the East Block. Colleen said that the Arch represents ‘the history of our school and the may uses the grounds have had.’

Today, the Memorial Arch is a testament to the hard work of our community and the renovations will ensure that it’s there to be enjoyed for many more years to come.

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