The Restoration of the Coorabie War Memorial by Lyndon Giles
I approached the Coorabie and Districts Progress Association to see if I could coordinate refurbishing the memorial on behalf of their association and they agreed and that was in January, 2015. The reason I did that was because my mother’s father who served in WWI built that memorial and my father’s brother who served in WWII lost his life serving for his country and his name is on the memorial, so in respect both sides of my family are involved in the memorial. My parents were both born and raised in that area. I do not live in the district, I never have but my family ties are very strong, I live in Port Lincoln 600 kilometres away and I did this purely for the Coorabie District.
I worked with 24 organisations and businesses in that time, and the major funding came from the Federal and State Government’s Departments of Veteran Affairs and the Outback Communities Authority based in Port Augusta. That does not diminish the roles everyone else played as I was completely overwhelmed and amazed at the financial and vocal support that I received during this whole operation, it exceeded all of my expectations and it just blew me away. I deliberately have not mentioned them as there are too many but each and every one of those businesses have been acknowledged by a personal letter that I wrote of which I sent you a copy Bob for your reference.
The biggest challenge was the distance factor as you would appreciate, myself residing in Port Lincoln and working with businesses in Ceduna, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta and Adelaide, the coordination and timelines did take juggling and fine tuning as I virtually worked with two thirds of the state in bringing it all together, an example is the distance from Coorabie to Adelaide, which is 950 kilometres. I must mention the Coorabie and Districts Association, as this project was something that I chose to do for their community, I never did it seeking accolades or pats on the back so to speak, that was the furthest thing on my mind, and I have no regrets as now that memorial will stand for many decades and not have to be maintained or repaired. This project took 2 years and 3 months to complete.
Please Note: When the memorial was built in 1950, there was a brick with that date on it put at the entrance of the memorial gate, that was shifted to be on the North Face of the memorial facing the Coorabie Hall, the reason for that is the entrance is now level with the ground surrounding the memorial, as in the past the gate entrance was significantly higher than the ground level. The reason that I made it level was for easier access and also to be wheel chair friendly, as before you had to step over the wall to get into the memorial.
Submitted 29 May 2017
by Elsa Reuter