Dis­play con­nects lo­cals with fallen

Great Southern Herald - - News - Shan­non Smith

Katan­ning’s Farmer fam­ily fea­tures in a mov­ing new ex­hi­bi­tion hon­our­ing Great South­ern sol­diers who were killed in WWI.

The names of 187 men and women who died in the Great War are the fo­cus of a new ex­hi­bi­tion Hon­our­ing Al­bany’s Own at the Bar­racks Main Gallery in Al­bany.

Part of Al­bany’s Armistice cel­e­bra­tions, the ex­hi­bi­tion opened yes­ter­day and co­in­cides with the Field of Light: Av­enue of Hon­our.

The names be­long to those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice for Aus­tralia, and the ex­hi­bi­tion has a per­sonal trib­ute plaque for each of the men and women who were con­nected to Al­bany in some way.

Katan­ning’s John Farmer rep­re­sented two of his grand­fa­ther’s broth­ers who fea­ture in the ex­hi­bi­tion, and his daugh­ter who wrote a poem which also fea­tures.

Mr Farmer said it was a huge hon­our to have the mem­bers of his fam­ily recog­nised.

“It is a great way to have their me­mory pre­served,” he said.

“My daugh­ter couldn’t be here to­day but her poem fea­tures here and it is a great re­flec­tion.”

Cu­ra­tor David Theodore said the sto­ries had been col­lated over the past nine months.

“What you see here isn’t the end of it, it is just the start,” he said.

“We have the Av­enue of Hon­our but we have never gone into each in­di­vid­ual story be­fore so the idea of peo­ple be­ing able to ac­tu­ally go and see where they are buried and the story be­hind them.

“War was un­for­tu­nately the end of their life, they had a life be­fore then.”

Mayor Den­nis Welling­ton said the ex­hi­bi­tion marked Al­bany tak­ing its po­si­tion in the An­zac story.

“It is very very im­por­tant to us: find­ing where the story started from, where it is go­ing to con­tinue from — it’s our her­itage — and mak­ing sure we look af­ter it,” Mr Welling­ton said.

“As you go around you will see a lot of them we don’t know where they are buried, we just know that they died so that we can live the life­style that we do live.”

Fam­ily rep­re­sen­ta­tives were in at­ten­dance for the cer­e­mony, many of whom con­trib­uted in­for­ma­tion to the col­lec­tion.

Pho­tos of 100 of the men and women have been found and fea­ture in the ex­hi­bi­tion, with the City ask­ing any­one who has pho­tos of the 87 oth­ers to pro­vide them to the ex­hi­bi­tion.

The orig­i­nal Av­enue of Hon­our stood on Mid­dle­ton Road.

Hon­our­ing Al­bany’s Own will be on dis­play un­til April 28 2019 at the Princess Royal Fortress.

What you see here isn’t the end of it, it is just the start. War was un­for­tu­nately the end of their life, they had a life be­fore then.

David Theodore

John Farmer looks at a plaque hon­our­ing his grand­fa­ther’s brother.

Pic­tures: Lau­rie Ben­son

City of Al­bany Mayor Den­nis Welling­ton.

Cu­ra­tor David Theodore at the Hon­our­ing Al­bany's Own dis­play at the Princess Royal Fortress.

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