Members of the Cobar Masonic Lodge No 97 last week carried out much needed repairs to the sign at the Cobar Memorial Children’s Hostel in Barton Street.
The hostel has been the location for Cobar’s ANZAC Day dawn services for many years and is an important part of the town’s history.
Built in 1951 and dedicated to the memory of local men who served in WWI and WWII, in recent years the function of the building has gone from housing children from the bush attending school during the week to being leased by a private company to house mining contractors.
Current Master of the Cobar Masonic Lodge, David Snelson, said members had commented on the deteriorating state of the signage at the hostel.
“The main hostel sign above the front entrance to the building had faded to a stage where it was almost unreadable and recent research had shown that the words ‘Lest We Forget’ (which had originally been painted onto the concrete plinth in front of the flag pole) had disappeared entirely,” Mr Snelson said.
As an ‘iron ringer’ (someone who was born and lived their whole life in Cobar) Mr Snelson was keen to see the signs restored to their original condition to perpetuate the memory of those who served in the wars and did not return.
Funds raised in the community by lodge members were used to meet the $1,000 cost to replace the sign and to also install a ‘Lest We Forget’ brass plaque with members carrying out the job at a working bee last Thursday.
“For many years the Masonic Lodge has been seen by some as a secret society but in fact is really a society with some secrets who are keen to do good in the local community,” Mr Snelson said.
“Lodge members are pleased that they have been able to meet an important community need restoring the signage so that the Cobar Memorial Children’s Hostel will continue to remind visitors and passers-by of the sacrifice made in war by local residents.”