Opposition boycotts early sitting of parliament
Grand Chief Hawkie makes light of Logohu award

Now there's plenty of action to honour the MvM

Subic_Display Bob Chester is designer of the Hellships Memorial at Subic Bay, which is a marvellous tribute to prisoners of war unfortunate enough to be incarcerated on Japanese vessels in World War II.

Bob is currently working on a Montevideo Maru display in the Hellships Museum ready for a Remembrance Day service on 11 November - which PNG Attitude understands may be attended by a senior Australian politician.

He knows it's very short notice, but Bob would greatly appreciate memorabilia that can be loaned to him for presentation in the display on Remembrance Day. If you’re able to assist, his email address is recme99@yahoo.com

And you can see something of what Bob is doing by visiting this website here.

“We did a display of Montevideo Maru with things I could put up, carvings photos, story,” says Bob. “I have a large display case that needs items.”

The local Angeles City RSL Sub Branch, using $7200 from the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs, is installing an interpretative panel at the memorial and also assisting the museum to mount the display that tells the Montevideo Maru story.

In all, this is a splendid cooperative effort in the Philippines after many years during which this terrible  tragedy – Australia’s worst disaster at sea - has been sorely neglected at home.

Subic_Plaque Also in the next couple of weeks a project is to be launched to place a memorial, with a commemorative plaque for Lark Force and the men lost on the Montevideo Maru, at Cape Bojeador off the north-western tip of Luzon, the point most adjacent to where the ship was torpedoed 110 km to the west.

This project will cost $5000 to complete, which will be privately subscribed. At some point soon we’ll be soliciting donations from readers.

The objective is to have the memorial in place by 1 July 2010, the anniversary of the sinking of the ship.

The organisers are planning a ceremony on that day in which a boat will travel to the site of the tragedy and wreaths laid on the water.

It’s great to witness such a buzz of activity around the Montevideo Maru after so many years of neglect and official indifference.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday 17 November, Kim Beazley and I will meet with Veterans’ Affairs Minister Alan Griffin in Canberra to present a submission seeking greater national recognition of the tragedy. More about this in the weeks to come.

Upper photo: Bob Chester and assistants in action at the Hellships Museum


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