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L-R Fred Norris (president of the South Grafton RSL sub branch), Bob McFarlane (vice president of the Clarence Valley Vietnam Veterans), Flo Clark, Geoff Lenz (president Ulmarra RSL sub branch) and Brian Bultitude OAM (president of Grafton RSL sub branch) at the handing over of a cheque to reimburse Mrs Clark for the three veterans plaques which are to be added to the memorial at Lower Southgate. Pic: Lynne Mowbray

RSL repays Flo’s kindness

L-R Fred Norris (president of the South Grafton RSL sub branch), Bob McFarlane (vice president of the Clarence Valley Vietnam Veterans), Flo Clark, Geoff Lenz (president Ulmarra RSL sub branch) and Brian Bultitude OAM (president of Grafton RSL sub branch) at the handing over of a cheque to reimburse Mrs Clark for the three veterans plaques which are to be added to the memorial at Lower Southgate. Pic: Lynne Mowbray
L-R Fred Norris (president of the South Grafton RSL sub branch), Bob McFarlane (vice president of the Clarence Valley Vietnam Veterans), Flo Clark, Geoff Lenz (president Ulmarra RSL sub branch) and Brian Bultitude OAM (president of Grafton RSL sub branch) at the handing over of a cheque to reimburse Mrs Clark for the three veterans plaques which are to be added to the memorial at Lower Southgate. Pic: Lynne Mowbray

 

Flo Clark of Lawrence (Lower Southgate) has long been known within the local community as a wealth of knowledge when it comes to local history.
In the lead up to the Centenary of Anzac, Mrs Clark along with another local man Doug Short applied to the Department of Veteran Affairs for funds to have the oldest memorial in the Clarence Valley (which is located in Doust Park “Kelsalls Hill”, Lower Southgate), restored.
When Mrs Clark (who is 83) realised that there were three local men whose names had not been acknowledged on the memorial, she took it upon herself to contact the appropriate authorities to ensure that these men: A E Green RAAF, H J Ensbey TRANG and B McInnes Vietnam, were included.
The money for the restoration work did not cover the cost of the plaques for the three men and so Mrs Clark paid for them out of her own pocket.
Geoff Lenz (president of Ulmarra RSL sub branch) said that when the news of Mrs Clark’s kind act reached him; he contacted the other local RSL clubs and “passed the hat around” to reimburse Mrs Clark.
“We are all guardians of these memorials/monuments and it shouldn’t be up to just one person to look after them,” he said.
“We decided that it was only befitting that we reimburse Mrs Clark, for her kindness.”
A cheque presentation was held on Wednesday, November 25, at the memorial site.
In a short speech given by Mr Lenz he thanked Mrs Clark and Doug Short and their families for what they had done to prevent the memorial from falling into disrepair.
“We, the members of the ex service organisations within the valley, would especially like to thank and bring to public attention what Flo has done by having name plaques made (and paying for them herself) for the three ex servicemen from this immediate area,” he said.
“So for this reason Flo we would ask that you accept this cheque for what you have unselfishly outlaid so that these service men’s names can be shown on the memorial.”
The plaques are to be fitted by council and the other restoration work is to be carried out under a special grant overseen by council and the historical society.

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