A NATIONAL memorial to honour Australian citizens in Malaya and Singapore, who volunteered to fight in World War II, has been erected in Stirling after being refused by the State War Memorial.
A plaque to commemorate soldiers who served in defence of these countries, as well as Java and Borneo, was unveiled at the City’s Civic Gardens recently to mark the 70th anniversary of their fall to Japanese forces.
With Stirling the first place in Australia to acknowledge those who died or were taken prisoner there, the monument was built after the WA memorial in Kings Park deemed a proposal by the Malaya Borneo Veterans WA as unsuitable.
“It was the assessment… that for reasons outlined in the memorial’s policy that Kings Park and Botanic Gardens was not a suitable place for its location,” a Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority spokeswoman said.
The authority, which manages the park, suggested other locations with memorials, including Stirling and Fremantle, for the tribute.
Stirling was quick to take up the call of the war veterans group despite Fremantle being their initial choice, due to its sister-city relationship with Seberang Perai in Malaysia.
Group president Bill Adamson said Fremantle replied with interest only last week, months after the application was made.
“Stirling council was very effective in the way they dealt with it,” Mr Adamson said.
“It was very hard to get the ball moving in the beginning but we are very happy now.
“We finally got it and its unveiling caused quite a stir.”
Stirling Programs and Projects team leader Dean Stoitis said the monument had a strong alignment with the existing memorial in the gardens, which covered a range of war periods.
The temporary replica plaque will soon be replaced by a cast bronze memorial.