Students attend ACT memorial garden

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Two Albany students have returned from Canberra after being invited to attend the opening of the Flanders Memorial Garden at the Australian War Memorial.

Zac Benson and Locke Rowland made the trip to Canberra earlier this month to be part of the historic moment.

The new garden is a project involving the collection of soil from significant sites across Australia combined with soil from Flanders in Belgium, along with poppies to honour fallen servicemen and women. Albany was among three sites in WA chosen by RSL WA, along with Fremantle and Blackboy Hill.

Considered the birthplace of the Anzac dawn service, Albany holds a strong significance in Australia’s war history as the final departure point for tens of thousands of soldiers during World War I.

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Locke said he was privileged to be a part of the project.

“I felt honoured to be part of a significant project and attending the ceremony, watching the soil we collected from Mt Clarence, Albany, being placed into the Flanders Memorial garden together with soil from Flanders at the war Memorial in Canberra,” he said.

“It was an experience I will always remember, meeting the Governor General and wearing my family medals.”

Albany RSL secretary Belinda Rowland highlighted the importance of the memorial garden.

“The soil links us all, united together as one,” she said.

“It’s the land and country that is fought for and leaves a legacy that will be there for many generations to visit and reflect on the sacrifices made and to remember them.”

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