3 story building
OPENED BY SIR JOHN
To show their appreciation of the sacrifices of their young men in the war, the members of the Jewish community in New South Wales have built a handsome memorial hall at the corner of Darlinghurst-road and Green Park, at a cost of £25,000. It is pure Tuscan in architecture, and will be used as a communal hall, at which Jews who visit Sydney will be received. The building consists of three stories and a basement. Inside the portico is a large honour roll inscribed with the names of those who went to the war. The hall on the ground floor has seating accommodation for 500, and has a cinema operating chamber; while on the mezzanine floor there is a billiard-room with two tables, also rooms in which other games may be played. The top story, intended for use as a gymnasium, has a sliding roof, and will also be used for the Feast of Tabernacles. There will be plenty of room for the activities of all Jewish people, and it is expected that the building will be self-supporting.
The opening ceremony took place yesterday morning, and was performed by Lieutenant-General Sir John Monash before a large and representative gathering, including Rabbi Cohen, Rabbi Brodie, and the Rev. J. Danglon (Melbourne), the Rev. Bernstein (Adelaide), the Rev. L. A. Falk, Mr. Daniel Levy (Speaker of the Legislative Assembly). General Sir Charles Rosenthal, General Sir Granville Ryrie, General Brand, Major A. W. Hyman, Captain Alvoy Cohen, Alderman Gilpin (Lord Mayor of Sydney), Mr. Justice Isaacs, Judge Cohen, Alderman E. S. Marks, Messrs. H. Goldstein, M.L.A., A. M. Loewenthal, G. S. Keesing (the architect for the building). David Benjamin, Leslie Davis, S. S. Cohen, E. L. Davis. I. I. Moss, G. J. Cohen, Victor Cohen, Orwell Willings, John Goulston, and J. Mitchell (Inspector-General of Police, Sister Marks, and others.
Sir John Monash was received at the entrance by the president and reception committee, and while proceeding up the hall the Great Synagogue Choir chanted the hymn of welcome from the 98th psalm. "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Just before the two minutes of silence the organist played the "Dead March of a Hero," one of Mendelssohn's songs without words, and after the silence the National Anthem was sung.
Judge Cohen, in introducing Sir John Monash, said that Sir John had been responsible for the demobilisation scheme. He also said that 828 Jewish soldiers had gone from the State of New South Wales, and of these 113 had paid the supreme sacrifice. His Honor then presented Sir John Monash with a gold key, and requested him to unveil the honour roll in the vestibule, which was done from the
platform by pressing an electric button.
Sir John Monash, on rising, received an ovation which lasted for some minutes. He said that the reason he could not visit Sydney sooner was because he had been called upon to restore order in Melbourne. That had been accomplished mainly through the co-operation of his old comrades in the A.I.F. He congratulated the Jewish community on their hand-some building, and also complimented the architect, Mr. Keesing. It was a utilitarian memorial, but had also the high symbolic
memorial behind it. It had a deeper purpose than acting as a meeting hall. They looked to it to keep the Jewish people together, especially the younger generation, and prevent the regrettable drift of those who were leaving the religion of their fathers. Speaking of the names on the honour board, Sir John Monash said that he hoped it would receive the respectful homage of all those who passed by. They ought to do more than honour these men, they should emulate them, and strive to keep alive the things they stood for, fought for, and suffered for. In no country in the world were the Jews so free as in the British dominions, and he asked them to recognise that fact and give the best service that they possibly could in return.
Sir John Monash then declared the hall open, and dedicated it to the purpose for which it was built.
His Honor Judge Cohen was also presented with a gold key, and a copy of the charter, a facsimile of one presented to Sir John Monash; and Mr. S. S. Cohen, president of the Great Synagogue, was presented with a beautifully illuminated volume, containing the signature of every Jewish soldier who left the State.