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Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Unveiling of The Grieving Mother memorial statue in Ballarat - The latest commemorative sculpture from Peter Corlett OAM

The Garden of the Grieving Mother with the Arch of Victory in the left background. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Yesterday members of our Committee joined with over 200 others in attending the unveiling of Peter Corlett's latest commemorative sculpture - his Grieving Mother memorial statue.Myself, along with Committee Vice-President Christina Despoteris, Committee members George Petrou and John Salpigtidis, along with our Committee Patron Lambis Englezos, made the early journey to Ballarat for this major new commemorative work's unveiling.
George, Christina and John. Photo Jim Claven 2017
George, John and myself. Photo Christina Despoteris 2017
The unveiling was organised by Ballarat's Avenue of Honour Committee, with the assistance of the City of Ballarat and both the State and Federal Governments.
The keynote speaker was the Governor General of Australia, His Excellency the Hon General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK MC (Ret.).
Photo Jim Claven 2017

Photo Jim Claven 2017
The statue stands as the center-piece of a memorial garden - named the Garden of the Grieving Mother.
Garry Snowden OAM, Cr Samantha McIntosh. the Governor General and Peter Corlett after the unveiling. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Peter Corlett talked of his inspiration in conceiving of the memorial in his reading of a letter from a distraught mother held the service files of a digger killed in WW1. The letter had been shown to him by our Patron Lambis Englezos. From this inspiration Peter created a small statue, as a gift for Lambis. Lambis was so moved that he lobbied for the creation of a full-scale memorial to all mothers who have had to suffer the sacrifice of a child in war. Lambis then discussed the idea with Mr Garry Snowden OAM of the Ballarat Avenue of Honour Committee and soon the Grieving mother Sub-Committee was formed. And so the Ballarat Garden of the Grieving Mother was created.
Mr Garry Snowden (left) and Lambis (right). Photo Jim Claven 2017
Peter Cosgrove with John Salpigtidis. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Peter Cosgrove talked of the importance of remembering loss in war and of the fact that there is no greater love than that between a mother and child. While one will always have pride for those who served for their nation in war, this is mixed with great sadness and grief at the loss of a life not fully lived.
The Hon Dan Tehan, MP, Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs, and Ms Sharon Knight, MLA, representing the Victorian Minister for Veterans, and Cr Samantha McIntosh, Mayor of Ballarat were amongst those who addressed the assembled crowd.
Dan Tehan with John Salpigtidis. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Committee member John Salpigtidis took the opportunity to discuss the proposed new George Treloar Memorial for Ballarat with both the Federal Minister (above) and the Governor General. Well done John!
The statue is unveiled. Photo Jim Claven 2017
The memorial statue was unveiled by the Governor-General, assisted by Ms Kaye Baird, the mother of Corporal Cameron Baird VC, who was killed during his service in Afghanistan on 22nd June 2013.
Photo Jim Claven 2017
The event included performances by Ballarat's Sing Australia Choir (above) , Ballarat-born tenor Mr David Hobson who sang "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables and Piper Ms Sue Brant (below), who played the Scottish lament "Flowers of the Forest."
Photo Jim Claven 2017
Below are some photos I took of the event. The event booklet is reproduced below:
The Garden is still being completed. If you would like to make a donation to the project, please find the donation leaflet below:
On behalf of our Committee, a big thank you to Peter Corlett for this moving sculpture, to Lambis Englezos for his drive in promoting the concept and all in Ballarat for their support in creating this new national memorial.
Thanks to George Petrou for driving us up to Ballarat.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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