Thefts prompt security boost

Bassendean Mayor John Gangell and RSL Eastern Regional Sub Branch president Ashley Vince.
Bassendean Mayor John Gangell and RSL Eastern Regional Sub Branch president Ashley Vince.

As reported on www.inmycommunity.com.au last week, they were stolen from the current site after Anzac Day commemorations.

The war memorial has drawn much discussion from residents with many still unhappy with the decision to relocate it to BIC Reserve in time for centenary celebrations.

In April 2011, resident Val Dreyer co-ordinated a petition with 521 signatures opposing the move and last year, several public meetings and a special meeting of electors was held objecting to the relocation.

However, Bassendean Mayor John Gangell said excavation and site works had begun despite the resistance.

He added it would be a welcome addition to the Town after last week’s incident and while the relocation was already in motion, the Town would look at taking extra measures for future commemorations.

‘The works for the War Memorial and Civic Gardens are scheduled to be completed by December this year, with the relocation component taking place in July this year,’ he said.

‘The Town has a portable video surveillance unit that will be in operation at the War Memorial next year.

‘It is appalling that surveillance is now required after a commemorative service; there were no plans for surveillance prior to this.’

Returned Service League’s Eastern Regional Sub Branch president Ashley Vince said he hoped the new site, which was visible from Guildford Road, would stop people vandalising and make people more aware.

He added the new site, which includes a reflection pond, civic gardens and an avenue of honour, would help with the growing attendances.

‘Crowds are getting bigger and the old one can’t cope with it anymore so next year it will be better,’ he said.

‘It will be in a nice new spot where everyone will be able to enjoy it.’

He also thanked the Eastern Reporter for its coverage.

Thousands of former service members, children and community members attended the service and laid wreaths. Last week Eastern Reporter editor Karen Valenti found what is believed to be one of the 34 wreaths stolen, laid by the Bassendean Volunteer Fire Brigade, near a primary school in Bassendean.