THE unveiling of Korumburra Primary School’s (KPS) two magnificent honour boards, handcrafted by members of Korumburra RSL, was well attended yesterday morning by proud members of the community.
Those in attendance for the school’s honour roll dedication and Anzac service included Monash MP Russell Broadbent, Gippsland South MP Danny O’Brien, South Gippsland Shire Council chief executive Kerryn Ellis and Korumburra RSL members.
The service kicked off at 9am in the school gym, with students and community representatives eager to witness the revealing of the honour boards. The event was also livestreamed.
Korumburra RSL historians Tony Moon and Andrew Moon, with assistance from Brenda Jordon of Foster, tracked down and recorded every former student who served in both world wars.
Coordinated by Tony Moon, a book was written containing all available information about the ex-student soldiers, and the two honour boards, in superbly finished blackwood, and with each of the names in 24 carat gold lettering, was prepared for the special event.
Perry Neil designed and constructed both rolls, with signwriting provided by Rohan Aspinall.
The World War One roll lists the names of 226 former students who served and highlights the 51 students who lost their lives and those decorated for bravery.
Similarly, the World War Two roll commemorates 438 former students who served in the conflict and lists 36 students and one staff member who lost their lives.
Guest speakers on the day included Korumburra RSL president David Jackson, Mr Broadbent, Ms Ellis, Mr O’Brien and Tony Moon who presented the school with his book.
Students serenaded the crowd by singing “Two Little Boys” and the service also included traditional Anzac Day ceremonies such as the laying of wreaths and Last Post.
Mr Jackson said the day was to commemorate all the former students in Korumburra who enlisted in both wars.
“Some people’s family names may be represented on either of these boards,” he said.
“As you go on your life’s journey, you will carry with you the values enshrined in your school motto.
“Hopefully, in the not too distant future, when you are grown up and have your children attending Korumburra, you will look proudly with gratitude at the boards and remember you were here when they were unveiled.”
Tony Moon said the team had been researching the identity and fate of local servicemen and women for the past eight years.
“We limited our research to the former shire of Korumburra, but within that scope we identified 363 locals who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Mr Moon said.
“In researching the hundreds of names and circumstances surrounding these losses, we’ve been fortunate enough to meet many descendants of our former servicemen.
“Each of these families expressed a certain level of satisfaction and pride in knowing the family’s loss can finally be documented and their forebear memories will be captured.”
KPS principal Nathan Pirouet thanked all those who attended and the RSL members for their dedication.
“It is a time for us to be super thankful and to those who sacrificed so much for us and our country,” Mr Pirouet said.
“It’s a time we should be proud to be an Australian and a Korumburra community member and KPS staff member and student.”