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Honouring veterans across Grafton region

Ben Walters, Boy Captain of Westlawn Public School collecting a soil sample while the Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliot and Clarence MP look on. Image: Contributed
Soldiers from across the Grafton region who answered the call to fight in the Great War will be honoured as part of a moving artwork in the Anzac Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park. Soil samples from more than 1,600 sites across NSW where young soldiers enlisted to fight are being collected as part of the Anzac Memorial Centenary Soil Collection project. All soil samples will be placed in the renovated Hall of Service with the name of the town next to them. Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts, Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis today took a soil sample from Grafton Cenotaph, Memorial Park. “Many Australian soldiers who enlisted to serve our country in World War I came from all over regional NSW and we want to make sure we are commemorating their contribution to the Anzac legacy,” Mr Roberts said. Mr Elliott said collecting the soil from the broad range of sites across the state is a reminder of the great sacrifices made by men across all of our communities in the Great War. “A century on, we honour these men by taking a sample of soil and placing it in the Hall of Service at the refurbished Anzac Memorial so that it can be appreciated and commemorated by generations to come” he said. Mr Gulaptis said: “It is important to have the Ministers here to take part in the Grafton soil collection, recognising the sacrifice and service of Regional Australians in the Great War.” The Anzac Memorial Centenary Project Soil Collection is part of the NSW Government’s upgrade of the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park during the Centenary of Anzac. The Anzac Memorial upgrade will be complete in late 2018.