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The Tooraweenah Recreation Ground was established as a memorial to the men of the district who fell in the Second World War. This dedication is inscribed upon a plaque positioned within the metal arch that forms the formal entrance to the park.
The memorial ground dates to the late 1940s to mid 1950s. A brief history of the ground is given on a plaque located on site. The ground was a local initiative and the Tooraweenah Recreation Ground Committee was appointed early in the project. Fundraising activities included rabbit drives, a swimming carnival, picnics and dances, held between 1949 and 1954.
In 1954, Gilgandra Shire Council agreed to submit plans to the Minister for Lands for the construction for a War Memorial Sports Oval at Tooraweenah, to cost between 2,000 and 2,500 pounds. Residents had promised 1,2000 pounds and there was a possibility that the government would provide an 800 pound grant. Plans and specifications were prepared by Engineer Hunter to be sent to Sydney (Gilgandra Weekly, 9 June 1954). By October 1954, a target of 1,200 pounds was set for the memorial. On 1 December 1954, the Gilgandra Weekly reported that 1,600 pounds was on hand, thanks to the proceeds from an "Ugly Man Competition" and the other fundraising work within the community.
The ground is still actively used and is a well-maintained community facility. It features play equipment, seating, and mature shade trees. There is also a large, sandstone bushrock, with three commemorative plaques attached. Next to this is a flagpole and the Tooraweenah and District First and Second World Wars Honour Roll.
This recreation ground was built by the residents of the Tooraweenah District as a memorial to the men of the district who gave their lives in the 1939–1945 world war.
Kookaburra[h] Recruiting March
On January 16, 1916 on a hot and dusty Murray Street in Tooraweenah men of the district mustered as they answered the call of a Recruiting Officer to serve for King and country. They left their trades and farms to march 380km to Bathurst recruiting in towns such as Mendooran, Dunedoo, Gulgong, Mudgee, Lue, Kandos, Capertee, Portland and Sunny Corner.
Twenty three men left Tooraweenah that day in blistering heat. Almost one month later, those men strode into Bathurst to the cheers of a waiting crowd.
"Through heavy rain, marching in perfect time with true soldierly bearing, a squad of just on 100 stalwart sons of the out-back, arrived in Bathurst at the conclusion of a route march that had been a most successful undertaking under the auspice of the State Recruiting campaign." Excerpt from the Bathurst Daily Times of February, 4, 1916.
The spirit of this historic even was re-lived when the Kookaburra Re-Enactment March, January 13 to 27, 1996 got underway.
This time 31 volunteers set a cracking pace taking 15 days to march the distance following the same route of the original World War 1 recruiting march.
Their objective was to remember the sacrifice of the original marchers, who in January 1916 marched from Tooraweenah to Bathurst to fight for a cause they believed in, to keep Australia free.
Kookaburras on the march
January 16th 1916
This plaque commemorates the voluntary recruitment for the 1914–18 war and stands in memory of those who served their country in all wars.
Unveiled by Mr. Syd Manusu 51st Light AA Regiment 2nd Australian Imperial Force on Anzac Day, April 25th, 1987
In memory of the fallen and the Unknown Australian Soldier
75th anniversary of Remembrance Day 11.11.1993
This rosemary bush planted as a symbol of remembrance by Lucie Pollak-Langford Holocaust survivor 25th April 2003