Sol­diers re­mem­bered

Coun­cil waives fees for head­stone plan

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - PA­TRICK GEE

HON­OUR­ING lo­cal men who fought in World War I, the Der­went Val­ley Coun­cil has waived fees for the Tas­ma­nian Head­stone Project.

The vol­un­teer ini­tia­tive plans to in­stall at least 12 head­stones to mark the graves of sol­diers ei­ther from the Der­went Val­ley or who died in the area.

Project chair­woman An- drea Ger­rard said the project — which re­lies on pub­lic do­na­tions — is an ex­tremely im­por­tant mea­sure to recog­nise the sac­ri­fice of those who en­listed in World War I.

“It’s their rest­ing place, they’re go­ing to be there for­ever — other­wise it’s a piece of dirt and no one knows,” she said.

“Part of the rea­son I do it is be­cause I’m the grand­daugh­ter of two vet­er­ans and the great niece of two oth­ers who didn’t come home.”

Ms Ger­rard said in­stalling the head­stones was a small thing the com­mu­nity can do to say thank you to the men and hon­our them.

Der­went Val­ley Mayor Mar­tyn Evans said it was a great ini­tia­tive by the group to re­spect and recog­nise those who served our coun­try.

“It’s about the ser­vice they gave to the coun­try and wheth- er they could af­ford to have the head­stone at the time,” he said.

“They served our coun­try and put their lives on the line for us so we think it’s only fit­ting for the peo­ple in our val­ley, who [Tas­ma­nian Head­stone Project] have recog­nised, that we do this project.”

Ms Ger­rard said the coun­cil de­ci­sion to waive the fees and was greatly ap­pre­ci­ated and would have been ap­pre­ci­ated by the men and their fam­i­lies. I AM writ­ing to thank the Gazette and the Der­went Val­ley com­mu­nity for their sup­port of McHappy Day in 2017 — the largest an­nual fundraiser for Ron­ald McDon­ald House Char­i­ties.

The Der­went Val­ley com­mu­nity helped us cel­e­brate 26 years of McHappy Day and raise a record-break­ing $4 mil­lion for RMHC.

These do­na­tions equate to more than 30,000 nights of ac­com­mo­da­tion at a Ron­ald McDon­ald House, en­sur­ing Aussie fam­i­lies get to stay to­gether while their sick or in­jured child un­der­goes treat­ment.

Through­out the coun­try we saw com­mu­ni­ties such as Der­went Val­ley res­i­dents help to raise vi­tal funds for RMHC. We saw lo­cal bucket brigades, Scout groups, emer­gency ser­vices as well as sport­ing and TV per­son­al­i­ties vis­it­ing McDon­ald’s res­tau­rants to help make a dif­fer­ence.

I want to per­son­ally say a big thank you to ev­ery­one in the Der­went Val­ley com­mu­nity, who got in­volved, mak­ing gen­er­ous do­na­tions that helped McHappy Day raise more money than ever be­fore.

Fundrais­ing ef­forts like this are cru­cial to help­ing RMHC con­tinue to ex­pand pro­grams and ser­vices to fam­i­lies who need them, as many of the Ron­ald McDon­ald Houses across the coun­try have wait­ing lists and are un­able to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­one who needs help.

With so many Aussie kids re­quir­ing treat­ment, ev­ery do­na­tion goes a long way to keep fam­i­lies close to­gether in their tough­est times. You can con­tinue to sup­port fam­i­lies in need by do­nat­ing to all year round.

Thank you again to for all your help on McHappy Day.

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