Clifftop tribute no match for ‘true memorial’

HONOUR: Newcastle's Anzac Memorial Walk offers spectacular views but is it the best location for a tribute to the fallen?

HONOUR: Newcastle’s Anzac Memorial Walk offers spectacular views but is it the best location for a tribute to the fallen?

I DON’T  mean to be a spoilsport, or show disrespect, when l say the Anzac Memorial Walk, apart from a few cut out figures of servicemen with names attached, has no history nor original reference to those who served.

I suggest the Anzac tag was a clever way of gaining public approval for an expensive ego operation, one that was in response to the Lake Macquarie City Council lakeside boardwalk.

I think the money spent on this walkway, although a magnificent construction, would have been better used to repair the Old Newcastle Post Office, including replacing the honour roll and fallen soldier, which once stood out the front.

It is my understanding that this building and monument was the last place Newcastle’s embarking soldiers marched past, with an eyes right to honour those who had fallen, before lining up at Newcastle station and departing, not knowing whether they would see it again.

I believe this building has more significant memorial history that any proxy can ever claim, and to leave it in ruins says little for the true remembrance of Anzacs. It is a national disgrace.

As a child l watched many Anzac marches down Hunter Street in the early days where eyes right brought many a tear, from both marchers and onlookers .

By all means display respect at the clifftop, but not at the expense of the true memorial.

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

Saving our old beauties

REGARDING the article about the restoration of the Victoria Theatre ‘Khoury takes centre stage’ (Herald, 23/4), I would like to thank Century Venues for taking on this important project, and for having faith that Newcastle can become a vibrant city with beautiful working historic buildings.

I was wondering how we in the Hunter could throw our support behind this restoration. I would like to see an ongoing, long-term fundraising initiative.  

Perhaps a lottery, for say five years, where funds are funnelled into the restoration and maintenance of important historic buildings, such as the Victoria Theatre, the Civic Theatre, and maybe even the Post Office?

The lord mayor could be the patron, to give it some prestige.  

Envisage this: the “Newcastle Lord Mayoral Historic Buildings Lottery” with $5 (the price of a coffee) tickets sold at all Hunter businesses that support the restoration of our city.

I am not interested in hearing why an ongoing long-term fundraising initiative such as this cannot be done. 

I am interested in a discussion on how we, as a community, can actively support the restoration and maintenance of our beautiful historic buildings. 

If a Sydney-based company is willing to take a financial risk in restoring the Victoria Theatre in Newcastle, then surely we can come up with a way to support this and other restoration projects.  

Lastly, I would like to give special thanks to the former owner of the Victoria Theatre, Arthur Laundy.

I understand he virtually gave the theatre away to Century Venues in the hope they would restore the building to its former glory.

Francesca Davy, Merewether

Right moves on light rail

IF we must have light rail in Newcastle, then lets get it right.

While I still support trains to Newcastle, I’ve been reading the Review of Environmental Factors documents about the light rail proposal. I believe it is becoming increasingly clear that light rail along Hunter Street will not revitalise the city. 

I see little benefit in removing about 280 car parking spaces from Hunter Street if, according to one document, parking in the rail corridor is being considered.

I think it would make more sense to leave the parking spaces where they are and run the light rail along the rail corridor.

If the light rail is built in the rail corridor, the crossings that have been built since the line was closed can stay.

The trams, tram trains, trains or whatever form the light rail vehicles take could go faster than they will in Hunter Street and, with the correct design, they could run on existing railway lines so that people need not change at Wickham.

The light rail vehicles could then keep going along existing lines out into the suburbs.

Lets have some vision, some good sense and get it right.

Peter Sansom, Kahibah

No freedom from pain

IN response to June Porter (Letters, 21/4), while I respect those that believe in alternative medicine, I do not. 

I am a Christian but I perhaps did not make it clear enough in my letter that I had the operation, that I should have had in 1999, in 2005 and afterwards I found out that the scar tissue had wrapped itself around my nerve, which is now permanently damaged. 

No laying of hands or anything is going to remove the scar tissue. The reason the operation did not work was because the nerve was crushed for so long by a bulging disc. I would not have any nerve pain now if operation was done in 1999.

So you are lucky you only had sudden bursts of attacks. It is not a nice thought knowing that you are only 51 years of age and you are going to wake up every morning in debilitating pain for the rest of your life.  All of which could have been avoided.  

If you have back problems you are just put into the too hard basket.  I am glad, however, that your pain has eased.

Kathy Mason, Cardiff South

Reflecting on our troops

THE true spirit of Anzac Day, as I understand it, is its connection to the legend of Gallipoli. Its link to the Western Front campaigns of WWI is tenuous.

A link to WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor and other conflicts is more tenuous. The veterans of 2016 are not in perpetuity linked to the Anzac tradition.

It is time to split the narrative: lest we forget the legend of Gallipoli. We must remember the Anzacs, but the veterans of 2016 should be remembered on another day and in another way.

Many of them are facing debilitating health effects from their service. Thousands experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Many young veterans are homeless and most distressingly, taking their own lives.

What are the RSL clubs doing with their revenue? The social compact to look after veterans has been broken.

Brian Winship, Port Macquarie