Sydney (Press Release); Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello today launched United We Stand a NSW Government initiative which encourages local sports clubs to engage in Centenary of Anzac activities.
“Our sports clubs, through members past and present, hold an enduring connection to the stories of our Diggers. United We Stand is about thinking of ways to uncover those personal stories and honouring the legacy of those who served,” Mr Dominello said.
Mr Dominello said that a ‘How to Guide’ would be distributed to sporting peak bodies and made available on the NSW Government’s Centenary of Anzac website.
Minister for Sport and Recreation, Gabrielle Upton, said, “Whether it’s a perpetual plaque, upgrading an honour board, publishing the club’s service history in a newsletter or dedicating a game during the Centenary to a local veterans’ cause – there are many simple ways that sports clubs can commemorate our Diggers,” Ms Upton said.
Member for North Shore Jillian Skinner joined her fellow Ministers, Mosman Mayor Councillor Peter Abelson and renowned military author Peter FitzSimons AM at Allan Border Oval, Mosman to launch the initiative.
“I am pleased Mosman Cricket Club has chosen to become the first United We Stand participant. Founded in 1908, the club has a proud record of honouring the overseas military service of its members and local residents,” Mrs Skinner said.
52 Mosman Cricket Club (MCC) members served during the First World War. Their names are recorded on an honour board in the club’s pavilion, while a special plaque commemorates the six men who died at war.
MCC President, Andrew Frank said the Centenary of Anzac would serve as a timely reminder to all Mosman cricketers not to take for granted the freedoms and values enjoyed by Australians today, including the freedom to choose to play cricket.
“We have a number of initiatives planned for the Centenary of Anzac and are pleased to work with the NSW Government, Mosman Council, Mosman RSL Sub-Branch and the local community to promote them,” Mr Frank said.
MCC plans to dedicate its match nearest Remembrance Day from 2014 to 2018 to club members who served in the First World War, with the names of the fallen read out during a ceremony.
Mosman Mayor Cr Peter Abelson said that Council had established an online project, Doing our bit: Mosman 1914-1918, to collect and display information about the wartime experiences of local service people.
“The website, funded by a Library Council of NSW grant, allows us to link names, official sources and community-contributed material.
“We believe it will serve as a keeper of stories and traditions for decades to come. I hope sports club members who participate in United We Stand will be inspired to contribute their research to our online project,” Cr Abelson said.
Mosman Library is seeking help from people to identify local residents named on plaques and honour boards. They have set up a register enabling to them to share material.
Local resident Peter FitzSimons said sports clubs were ideal local ambassadors for the Centenary of Anzac.
“Through their honour boards, history books and archives, every local sports club has a unique story to tell during the Centenary of Anzac.
“I hope this initiative sparks renewed curiosity about the service history of current and past players, local residents and family members,” Mr FitzSimons said.
Information about United We Stand and other Centenary of Anzac initiatives in NSW can be found at: http://veterans.nsw.gov.au/centenary/.