On Saturday 23rd November 1918, 12 days after the Armistice ending World War 1 was signed, the Glenorie Community unveiled a sandstone obelisk topped with a stone carved cannon. 30 names were etched forever in the stone in memory of those community members who had willingly volunteered and deployed to far off lands and fight in The Great War. Sadly 7 men from the region did not return.
Fast forward to 1985 and our Memorial Cenotaph was renovated, plaques were added with the names of those who served in World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, Malay and Borneo. Unfortunately, the plaques covered several of the etched names. This renovation was dedicated on ANZAC Day, 25th April 1985.
In December 2019, as the Covid Pandemic started spreading, the single flagpole succumbed to weathering. Hornsby Shire Council effected immediate safety repairs, and in April 2020, a pair of new flagpoles were erected in time for the Covid restricted ANZAC Day. Discussions commenced between the Glenorie RSL sub-Branch and Hornsby Council in regard to an up-grade of the Memorial. The main intention was to re-position the plaques so that the etched names were once again fully exposed.
An application was submitted for funding through the Community War Memorials Fund Grants which was successful. Historical research was conducted by Joy Singh Heritage Pty Ltd, Katie Leung (Hornsby Shire Council) was appointed Project Manager and Karl Van Middeldyk (Aussie Stonemasons) was engaged to apply his skills in effecting the up-grade/renovation, with Glenorie RSL sub- Branch financing replacement plaques and an additional plaque dedicated to those who served and have no known grave site.
During the winter and spring months of 2022, Karl laboured away, removing the old plaques, cleaning and patch repairing the Memorial, adding 5 new plinths adjacent to the Obelisk for the new plaques, laying a new base surround. Work was completed on the 22nd November 2022.
104 years after the Memorial was first dedicated, a re-dedication service was held at 6:30pm on 23rd November 2022, officiated by Rev Bill Rosier OAM (Principal Chaplin RAN retd) and attended by Robyn Preston MP, Ray James President RSL NSW, Hornsby and Hills District council representatives and members of the Glenorie RSL sub-Branch and Glenorie Community.
As President of Glenorie RSL sub-Branch, I take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this project, especially Katie Leung and Karl Van Middeldyk. The Glenorie Memorial Cenotaph stands as an enduring epitaph to those who gave their lives in the name of their country, a symbol of remembrance, and a reminder of how lucky we are to live freely. Lest we Forget
– Andy Pellizzer, President Glenorie RSL sub-Branch