RSL wins $27K for restoration
A WORLD War I cannon will be brought back to its former glory, in the latest project commissioned by the Roma RSL sub-branch.
It will be the second restoration the RSL has taken on in recent years, and once again it has enlisted the help of local specialists, who are happily lending their tools and skills to help preserve a piece of history.
Known as Gun No.92, the cannon even has local connections through former Light Horsemen from the district.
RESTORATION work is about to begin on a piece of history at the Roma RSL sub-branch.
The club received a
$27,250 grant from the state government to bring back a World War I cannon to its former glory, something president George Mehay has wanted for many years.
“There is a lot of work to be done on the cannon; there is metal plating to be put in, a few pieces to be added on the top, and a fair bit to be cleaned up,” Mr Mehay said.
“Instead of the steel wheels which are on it now, it will come back to us with wooden wheels, similar to what it would have originally had, and will be in a much better condition.
“We can’t wait to put it on display where people can appreciate it.”
The cannon, a 75mm Schutztruppe Mountain Gun known as Gun No.29, has links to the town through members of the Light Horse.
It was gifted to the Roma Town Council in 1920 as a war trophy to thank them for the hundreds of people from the district who served.
“The cannon was taken in September 1918 by the 5th Australian Light Horse Regiment at Amman, Jordan,” Mr Mehay said.
Restoration work will be done by local businesses, led by Roma steel fabricator Laurie Sheahan.
“These kinds of restorations only come through my workshop once in a blue moon, and we enjoy doing them,” Mr Sheahan said.
“The first one we did for the RSL was a little 76mm mortar from World War I and it was a bit of a challenge but everyone was proud of the end result.
“I’m looking forward to getting a start on this one because I think it will turn out just as well.”
The RSL sub-branch is one of nine groups to receive a Queensland Veterans’ Memorial Grant, awarded this week by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Our memorials play an integral role in honouring the dedication, contribution and sacrifice of our servicemen and women and are an important part of our communities,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It is wonderful to see this funding going to some worthy initiatives.”
PRESERVING HISTORY: Roma RSL sub-branch president George Mehay and Laurie Sheahan, who will restore the club cannon.