Avenue of Honour
May 16, 2012
Avenue of Honour
at Darlington Retirement Community
Kim Stokes of RSL Care has spent many tireless hours, weeks and months over the past four years collating images, newspaper articles and other paraphernalia to create an amazing collection of wartime information as a tribute to all Australian Veterans.
Meander through corridors at Darlington Retirement Community and you will be in awe of the stories reflected back. Aptly named the ‘Avenue of Honour’, you will find information on all conflicts where Anzacs and British have served; WWI, WWII, Boer, Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars. Also included is Indonesian confrontation, Sudan, China, Malaysian Emergency, Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Somalia, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and Tobruk.
The majority of information collated has come from Darlington’s residents, their families and staff; all of whom have known or are related to service men and women.
“There are many interesting articles on service men and women, including their service records and actual photographs and memorabilia” say Ms Stokes “The residents love to see visitors engrossed in their stories and it is great to keep their stories alive”.
Currumbin RSL Veterans Support Centre (VSC) was cordially invited by Ms Stokes to view the Avenue of Honour. The Currumbin RSL VSC is made up of 26 caring individuals, many of whom volunteer their time.
Those that went along included Vietnam Veteran, Jim Dee, who has worked at the VSC for 7 years as a Pension Officer, Senior Advocate with the VSC, Tony Hornby, John Farrow VSC Pension Officer, Amanda Etheridge who, after 12 years in the Navy, joined the VSC in 2011as a Welfare Officer.
Joe Gates, who served in the Army for 12 years including two tours of duty in Vietnam, had previously spent four years in Advocacy work with (VSASA) Veterans Support and Advocacy Services Australia and is in his 10th year of service with Currumbin RSL VSC and in his 5th year as Chairman.
“I commend the staff, management, residents and in particular diversional therapist Kim Stokes for overseeing and presenting a wonderful tribute named “Avenue of Honour” said Mr Gates.
“This display depicts artefacts and pictorial service history of residents and their families as well as extensive Tri Service military history. The display evokes emotion and pride in those that served Australia so honourably. Well done.”
Also in attendance on the trip was Currumbin RSL Sub-branch secretary Gordon Armstrong, Vietnam Veteran who served in the Navy for 9 yrs. Mr Armstrong has since devoted his life’s work to the advancement of Veterans compensation entitlements and Welfare support through Currumbin RSL VSC since 1998.
The images on the left include an actual map depicting enemy trenches and copies of photographs taken of the Japanese at the signing of the Instrument of Surrender WWII.