Upgrade on memorial wants list

Steve Kendall | Bendigo Weekly | 22-Apr-2016

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Mayor Rod Fyffe, Peter Bull, Graeme Monaghan, RSL secretary Paul Penno, RSL president Cliff Richards and Kym Levett. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN
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THE RSL Soldiers Memorial Institute in Pall Mall is set for a major upgrade if funding can be raised.

Bendigo District RSL president Cliff Richards and City of Greater Bendigo mayor Rod Fyffe  launched a public fundraising campaign to upgrade and redevelop the institute on Wednesday.

The building is being operated by the RSL as a military museum and the purpose of the fundraising campaign is to ask residents to assist in financing this important project.

The building was opened in 1921 and was largely built out of public subscription.

“We are asking the people of Bendigo to once again to make a financial commitment to ensure the memories of those that served and died, survived and suffered, and those serving still are remembered for all time,” Cr Fyffe said.

Application for funding has been made to the federal government for $1.7 million and to the state government for $1.2m.

Council has committed $800,000 and the Bendigo RSL is committed to raising $500,000, a mix of RSL funds and public subscription.

The nominal roll on the front of the building lists more than 2000 names of Bendigo’s finest.

Their families were also major financial contributors to the building of this memorial.

“We ask those families named on the honour board to consider continuing the family’s tradition and ensure that they are a part of maintaining the memory of their loved ones,” Mr Richards said.

Federal member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters was the first local to make a donation and calls on others to consider contributing towards this cause.

 “I’m a strong advocate for this project and believe it’s vital this restoration and revitalisation of the Soldiers Memorial Institute is fully funded,” she said.

“That is why I’ve made a personal donation of $1000 towards this very worthy cause.

“I am not aware of any other building in regional and rural Australia that is so well placed to continue to tell this remarkable story.

“Whether it’s $1000 or $10, every dollar will help our local RSL achieve their fundraising goal and I would like to encourage local businesses, service clubs, families and individuals to contribute.” 

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