Re: “History at an End – Noelene Lyons, Sentinel-Times January 12, 2021”

I read with disappointment that Noelene Lyons will no longer submit articles of local historical interest to the Sentinel-Times. Many of her articles stem from the dedicated and professional survey that she and her supporting volunteers carried out of the Wonthaggi Cemetery over four years to sort out its confusing, wrong and incomplete burial records.

This work was not just a matter of sorting through a few record books, but involved continuous, detailed, on the ground, survey work supported by meticulous research. The Wonthaggi RSL is a recipient of part of the results of this survey in the form of detailed burial and military records of some 560 veterans so far identified as interred in the Wonthaggi Cemetery, and the Wonthaggi RSL sincerely expresses its thanks for her public-spirited work.

I see in her letter that Mrs Lyons will continue to complete the cemetery survey in accordance with the original agreement made with the Bass Coast Shire.

You would expect nothing less from this person. She does so with the support of this subbranch as an RSL volunteer. Keep in mind here that the shire in 2015 requested Mrs Lyons to undertake this work because of her recognised experience with cemeteries.
Also keep in mind that this work of many hundreds of hours has been carried out by people who are volunteers and seniors to boot. There seems to be little or no appreciation of that fact within the current Bass Coast Shire governance, and among some previous Bass Coast Shire councillors.

It is now hoped that the new councillors will take the time to look at this valuable work which, after all, benefits this shire, and provide a suitable acknowledgement of the work done. Certainly the current Bass Shire senior administration has failed to recognise the efforts, nor supported the people undertaking the survey, and appears to be disrespectful of “seniors” volunteers who carried out the work, as mentioned in Mrs Lyons’ letter.

Rod Gallagher, Secretary, Wonthaggi RSL