The Blue Mountains District Anzac Memorial Hospital, just across the oval from the Shed, is the only hospital in Australia with ‘Anzac’ in its name. Tucked behind the Hospital is the Anzac Memorial Garden, where there are at least 121 plaques commemorating Australian men and women who have served their country in the Armed Forces. I say ‘at least’ because that’s how many we have found so far – the Garden is suffering from a bit of neglect and is overgrown in places. There may be more plaques under the mess. The posts on which the memorial plaques are mounted have rotted over the years, the reflective pool is choked with weeds and the benches have collapsed. It doesn’t seem like a respectful way to honour the service of those Australians.
The Shed undertook to build and install new mounts for the memorial plaques.
With the Centenary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I approaching November 2018, the Katoomba RSL Sub-Branch was leading a project to restore the Memorial Garden. The project was being undertaken as a joint venture between the Sub-Branch, the Hospital and a number of community organisations including, I am pleased to say, the Katoomba Men’s Shed.
The Shed’s contribution was to construct new mounts for the memorial plaques. The new mounts were made from H4 treated pine posts and H3 treated dressed pine planks, and stainless steel screws, which should together give many years of rot-free service.
The cost of the timber and hardware is being donated by the Leura Gardens Festival Committee. The Festival has donated over $2 million to the Hospital in its 50 plus year history, made possible by a few good citizens of Leura opening their gardens to the public for a week in spring each year.
There was plenty of cutting, screwing and painting done at the Shed. Once the mounts were ready, teams of Shedders worked their way methodically through the garden, carefully replacing each post before transferring the plaques to the new mount. Great care was taken to make sure that the plaques remeined exactly in the same place.
One of the plaques on a rotted post.
Joe and Jim checking the work.
Painters at work.
Project coordinator David with a nwely constructed post in hand.