RESPECT: Pamela Williams from Urraween at the cenotaph. She would like to see it moved so she doesn’t have to turn her back on the memorial during military ceremonies. Photo: Alistair Brightman
RESPECT: Pamela Williams from Urraween at the cenotaph. She would like to see it moved so she doesn’t have to turn her back on the memorial during military ceremonies. Photo: Alistair Brightman

Why there is a call to move Hervey Bay cenotaph

YOU could say Pamela Williams grew up with the military in her blood.

Her grandfather Stephen Salt served in World War 1, her father Jim Hollis served at Dunkirk and her former husband Keith Bottomley served in the Malaya campaign from 1953 to 1957.

While the Hervey Bay woman thinks the newer Anzac memorial in Freedom Park is beautiful, she did not like turning her back to the cenotaph memorialising the other wars like Malaya during the minute's silence during Remembrance Day this year.

"He's not my husband now, but he was and he is the father of my daughter, he did serve and was attached to an Australian battalion. I don't like having my back to him but not just for him, for everyone else who served as well," she said.

"I wish they would move it so I didn't have to choose who to face."

At 78, Ms Williams thinks it's up to her generation to push for the cenotaph to be put in a place of honour for future generations.

"As we disappear, the others are less likely to push this issue. I had a bunch of kids sitting in front of me and I felt like saying 'do you know anything about the Malayan campaign?'"

Fraser Coast Regional Councillor Denis Chapman said he supported the idea of moving the cenotaph to the same area as the Anzac memorial to "recognise everyone at the same time".

"It would be good to get feedback from the community about what they would like done and it's something I would like to look into in the future as I know it is heritage listed," he said.

President of the Hervey Bay RSL Sub-Branch Brian Tidyman said the permission of the Heritage Society of Queensland was needed to move it.

"We are also looking to see if it is safe to move it because of its age and whether we can get a crane big enough into that area. I would love to see it front and centre myself," he said.

"I think next time we will look at putting the tent in another spot so people don't have to have their back to it.

"We will be working on it with council as they are the custodians."



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