The Stanwell Tops War Memorial Park consists of an anchor feature, a garden and an obelisk situated in a triangular block of ground, directly opposite the Princess Marina Track.
The obelisk is over 15 metres high and is made of local stone. In the fashion of the bow of a ship, a flag pole and a bronze bollard sits on top. It existed prior to the construction of the war memorial park, possibly originally built by the first landowner of the surrounding estate.
The construction of the war memorial was a project by the Lions Club of Helensburgh, established because at the time there was no memorial in either Helensburgh or the surrounding local area. The Office of the Lord Mayor of Wollongong, then-Councillor Frank Arkell, was approached for consideration of granting the Lions Club suitable land, and the Wollongong City Council offered an area that was conveniently between all areas of the community.
The site was dedicated and consecrated on Saturday 17 April 1982 by chaplins from the Defence Force and by local ministers of religion, representing both the Army and the family of Warrant Officer Kevin “Dasher” Wheatley. Mrs Wheatley and her family was in attendance on the day to lay a tribute to her husband, and she planted the first white cross in the field.
The addition of the anchor was proposed by then Naval Warrant Officer Dennis J Weatherall to his then Rear Admiral Sir David Martin, with the intention of adding a nautical object as a place of pride in the memorial park. The anchor was originally from the HMAS Sydney II and was collected from storage at the Naval Supply Depot. The Lions Club intends to upgrade the site in 2019, including the addition of memorabilia from both the Army and RAAF and another plaque for those who served in wars post–1982.
The Stanwell Tops War Memorial Park is a much-used memorial, with surrounding communities holding services at the memorial on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day each year since its construction.
TO THE FALLEN
WW1. 112. KOREA. MALAYA. BORNEO. VIETNAM.
Lest We Forget
17th APRIL 1982
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