Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown has unveiled a new reflection bench honouring two of the city’s founding National Servicemen.
The bench at Victoria Park in St Marys has been adorned with a plaque honouring the late Harry Morfoot and Tom Kelly, who brought the Australian National Servicemen’s Association (Nashos) to the Penrith region.
Dignitaries, various Nashos representatives and members of the Penrith sub-Branch came together for the Annual National Servicemen’s Memorial Service on Sunday for the official unveiling of the plaque.
Mayor McKeown said she was honoured to unveil the plaque and paid tribute on behalf of the City to Mr Morfoot and Mr Kelly, all Sub-branch members both past and present, as well as the men who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“Our hope in dedicating this bench is that those who sit here will reflect on the debt we owe, not just to these men, but all our National Servicemen and, in particular those who lost their lives serving in overseas conflicts,” Mayor McKeown said.
“And of course, our gratitude extends to the Sub-branch for the role it plays in our community, providing support and camaraderie to its members.
“Whether you have family members who served or are simply curious about the City’s history, I encourage residents to visit this lovely memorial and take a quiet moment to pay your respects – you may even be fortunate enough to come across a former serviceman who will share their story.”
The plaque is the final piece of a series of works completed at the St Marys site. Last year, Council added to the existing monument by installing new paving, an adjoining garden bed, adding the bench seat and with some re-turfing to freshen up the space.
Secretary of the Penrith City National Servicemen’s Association, Graham Larkham said the Nashos appreciated Council’s ongoing support.
“The idea behind the bench is for people to come and sit down, to reflect on their days and think of their comrades who have been and gone,” Mr Larkham said.
“We are gratefully indebted to the Council – from the regular gardening to the upgrade of the memorial and the new bench seat, it is all wonderful,” he said.