Newcastle’s eternal flame to be unveiled in Civic Park Remembrance Day service on November 11

Newcastle’s first eternal flame will be unveiled in Civic Park on Sunday as part of the city’s Remembrance Day commemorations.

The memorial will form part of the City of Newcastle RSL Sub-Branch’s Remembrance Day service, which will mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

“Flame represents so much,” RSL sub-branch president Ken Fayle previously said about the memorial.

“I think people right the world over recognise the eternal flame as something that is there for memory and generally represents sacrifice of somebody for a good deed.

“When you think about all the men and women who volunteered to put their hand up in conflicts past and ones we’re still in, it’s just that memory point.”

The stone monument, housed in a stone plinth and built of the same granite as the adjacent WWII cenotaph, is a joint project by the City of Newcastle and the Australian Government following a successful Lord Mayoral Minute and grant application through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon, left, City of Newcastle RSL's Stephen Finney and Ken Fayle and lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes at the launch for the eternal flame project in September 2018. The flame will be unveiled on November 11. Picture: Marina Neil

Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon, left, City of Newcastle RSL's Stephen Finney and Ken Fayle and lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes at the launch for the eternal flame project in September 2018. The flame will be unveiled on November 11. Picture: Marina Neil

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The flame is made of water. It will be behind glass inside a black granite pillar, formed by LED lights shining on water vapour.

The project has been funded by more than $100,000 from the council and a $45,500 grant from the veterans department.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the flame, which will be ignited for the first time during Sunday’s service, would honour all war veterans – past, present and future.

It will be surrounded by new paving etched with the solemn words of the Ode of Remembrance and four new nine-metre flagpoles, from which the Australian, Aboriginal, British and the City of Newcastle flags will fly.

“It will be a great honour to unveil this amazing tribute on Sunday,” Cr Nelmes said.

“We are a city steeped in war history, and it’s important for us to continue to pass the stories and memories down to future generations through important public ceremonies and memorials.

“We have been working closely with the Newcastle veterans community and the Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon MP to deliver this significant and lasting tribute to Novocastrians who have served our country in times of war.

“To see it come to fruition on this milestone day in war history is a true testament to the respect and admiration we hold for our past and present war heroes.”

Armistice Day, commonly known in Australia as Remembrance Day, closed the chapter on four years of continuous fighting along the Western Front.

Sunday will mark 100 years since the ceasefire between the allies and the German army.

The public is invited to gather at Civic Park from 10.15am on November 11 before the official ceremony at 10.30am.

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