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Remembrance society seeks new members

2-22-lark-force THE RABAUL and Montevideo Maru Society is seeking more members as it moves to construct a memorial to commemorate the loss of life following the Japanese invasion of the New Guinea Islands in January 1942.

The Australian War Memorial has granted in principle approval for a Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial to be established in its grounds, and the Society aims that this be completed in 2012, to mark the seventieth anniversary of the invasion and th sinking of the Montevideo Maru.

The ship held more than 1,000 military and civilian prisoners of war who had been in Rabaul and its sinking in the South China Sea was Australia’s worst maritime disaster.

The Society is targeting an amount of $400,000 to be raised over two years, but may need as much as $500,000 for the memorial.

The Commonwealth Government has already committed $100,000 to the project and the Society is about to begin corporate fundraising.

This is a huge challenge for a small, voluntary organisation, but the Society ahs some good friends.

For example, it spends nothing on administration. In 2009 the chief executive of Jackson Wells Pty Ltd, John Wells, offered to adopt the Society as a pro bono client, and Jackson Wells provides substantial support as a result of this commitment.

Now the Society is opening its doors to people who wish to participate in ensuring the continuing commemoration of the tragic events associated with the Japanese invasion of the New Guinea Islands in 1942, and their aftermath.

Ordinary membership is $50, which includes a free subscription to the Society’s monthly Memorial Newsletter.

For more information contact Keith Jackson here.

Photo: Elements of the 2/22nd Battalion, most of whom died in the defence of Rabaul and sinking of the Montevideo Maru, march through Rabaul


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