It is yet again an honour and privilege to have served as your President during 2019. There has been little progress for the Boer War Memorial Society in 2019 but a time of reflection and review on where the society is heading and how to increase its membership and presence in Western Australia. It was also the 117th year since the signing of the Peace Treaty at Vereeniging to end the Boer War.
The Western Australian Boer War memorial commemoration and reconciliation held on Sunday 2nd June 2019, on a pleasant sunny day. The service went well, and it was pleasing to see so many wreaths laid and young children in attendance. Numbers were down in 2019 but the timing of the commemoration over a long weekend is problematic with numbers attending. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers for their support, on the day, that once again saw the event operate with military precision and respect. Also thank you to MC, Duncan Warren AM RFD, ADC and John Elsegood as the keynote speaker and presentation on “Two Little Boys”. The Rev. John Dunn provided the spiritual guidance and prayers for the day, his welcome return was most appreciated. The society also thanks those invited guests in attending the commemoration and reconciliation event including the opposition leader Liza Harvey, the only politician to attend and a long-time supporter of our Society. The event could not be complete without the many volunteer and support groups such as Bob Wise and his Westralian Great War Living Association team providing the Catafalque party. The fine bugler from Churchlands Senior High, Joe Shore and the Boys Brigade lead by Capt. Andrew Twine who return each year to assist. This year all the chairs and tables were provided by the SAS Regiment, picked-up and taken away by Peter Lutley, Without them all and the attendees the reconciliation and commemoration could not continue. Special mention to our songbird, Moira Wilson, and the choir, Wembley Entertainers, who added that musical capacity on the day and our Treasurer Brendan Cook who recited the poem “On the Trek” by Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson.
All who are involved contribute in the preservation of the commemoration as a prominent fixture each year on the Western Australian calendar.
As a society we have been asked to attend several related commemorations and thank you to the committee members who were able to attend and represent the society. These events strengthen our existence in Western Australian.
The society has and maintains pressure on the Minister of Veterans Affairs, of Western Australia, to have the state government gazette the day. To date we have had no traction with the letters and meetings presented.
During 2019 our Secretary, Paul Prickett, stood down and these duties have been shared amongst the existing committee. I thank Paul for his time and effort and hope to see him back in the future as a member of the society. The secretary's role is a challenging role but most rewarding and a key element to the committee.
Today all positions are open on the societies committee, so I encourage you all to consider and apply for a position that ensures the ongoing good work of the society as we move into the next phase of its existence.
The society, being an NFP organisation, relies on funding from limited sources which is hard to come by and scarce for a society such as ours. Grants such as Anzac Day trust fund- grant application do not fit within Boer War presence. The society does recognise the valued contribution by Chevron who last year committed $1K to our society and we are trusting again in 2020 that this grant is once again generously provided to us. As a society we are seeking every opportunity to apply for grants as it is important to be able to hold the commemoration and reconciliation ceremony annually with these funds.
The grant received from Lotterywest in 2018 has been utilised to set up the Boer War Memorial Society Web Site that allows us to post articles, events and current stories. Thank you to our Treasurer, Brendan Cook, who tirelessly toiled to see this to completion and commissioning.
I insist that if you have not already visited the site you need to. The web address is
We welcome your comments, suggestions and stories associated with the Boer War that shall be considered to be included in the BWMS WA web site.
The society has continually pursued a permanent home and finally after many years in the woods we are now affiliated with the Claremont RSL Sub-branch who utilise the Claremont Bowling Club as their Headquarters. I can now declare the Claremont Bowling Club our home for the society into the future. I welcome you all to attend the Claremont RSL Sub - Branch meetings and enjoy the fellowship and comradery that is offered being affiliated with the RSL branch. This consolidation allows the BWMS society a place to meet socialise and hold our meetings. The Claremont Bowling Club provides a facility including meeting rooms with operating bar and kitchen.
My sincere thanks to the BWMS WA committee for their tiresome work and dedication in maintaining the momentum in recognizing and remembering the Boer War so it is not forgotten and upholds the significance it has in Western Australian history.
I wish all society members a Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous year in 2020 and hope to see, as many as possible at the reconciliation and commemoration service on Sunday 31st May 2020.
President Boer War Memorial Society of Western Australia.
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