TURNING BACK TIME: RSL sub-branch vice-president Raymond Heath, deputy-president Don Allen, secretary Donna Camilleri, president Murray Travis and John Moffitt in front of the recently relocated Chinchilla ANZAC monument inside the Chinchilla Botanical Parklands.
TURNING BACK TIME: RSL sub-branch vice-president Raymond Heath, deputy-president Don Allen, secretary Donna Camilleri, president Murray Travis and John Moffitt in front of the recently relocated Chinchilla ANZAC monument inside the Chinchilla Botanical Parklands. Kate McCormack

Sub-branch are seeking funds to give the cenotaph a soldier

IT APPEARS history has a tendency to repeat itself and the Chinchilla RSL sub- branch couldn't been more excited by the prospect.

100 years ago Chinchilla residents raised an impressive 300 pounds to commission a stone soldier to be placed atop of the town's Anzac cenotaph, which originally stood on the Chinchilla St side of the Heeney St overpass.

The cenotaph now resides in the recently completed Chinchilla Botanical Parklands but the Chinchilla RSL sub-branch believe it's missing a crucial element.

President Murray Travis said it's high time the cenotaph was reunited with a new soldier statue to stand guard over the 240-plus names of those who served the community.

The sub-branch wants to replicate the original monument without using the original statue, which has since been heritage listed.

Mr Travis said the goal was to have the new soldier installed in time for the 100th anniversary of the sub-branch this year.

The problem? You need a lot more than 300 pounds to purchase a sandstone soldier these days.

"We have launched a community appeal to help us raise the $30,000 needed to have the soldier made, transported from Brisbane and installed on top of the cenotaph,” Mr Travis said.

"We hope to have this project completed in time to unveil it to the public on October 19, in time for the centenary of our wonderful sub-branch,” he said.

With the original stone soldier resting peacefully in front of the RSL, it's time for a new face to stand guard.

Mr Travis said they had received several donations since the community appeal launched but said they still had a long way to go.

A Western Downs Regional Council spokeswoman said the council was in full support of the project.

"We strongly encourage the sub-branch to apply for grants to assist with this wonderful cause,” a spokeswoman said.

Donations can be made to the sub-branch, on Heeney St, in person on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am-noon or via an online transaction to the sub-branch's Westpac bank account.

The Bank State Branch number is 034 171.

The account number is 231 810.


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