COMMUNITY members are outraged after vandals targeted a Gunnedah war memorial on South Street over the weekend.
Police say the damage which included stone tiles being smashed off the wall happened between 1pm on Friday and 2pm on Saturday.
Gunnedah RSL sub-branch president Peter Kannengiesser said the damage was “very upsetting”.
“Things like this are just really tough to understand,” Mr Kannengiesser said.
“Those people whose names are on that wall sacrificed so much to give us the freedoms we know and appreciate today.
“This memorial was made possible by donations and gifts from the local community so that future generations could remember those who served.
“To see something like this happen to something honouring those people is disgraceful.”
Oxley Police Inspector Micheal Wurth told Fairfax Media the actions were unacceptable.
“Willful damage to property is unacceptable at any time,” Inspector Wurth said.
“But the damage caused to the war memorial, a place for the community and family to remember those who served in the war and gave their lives, is abhorrent and an affront to the community of Gunnedah.”
The memorial wall was officially opened by former Gunnedah RSL sub-branch president Roy Law in 2007 and honours the service of more than 2000 Gunnedah natives during World War Two.
Mr Kannengiesser said the process of repairing the memorial was underway.
“The damage luckily wasn’t as bad as I first thought,” he said.
“As a club we will contact RSL headquarters and see about getting this fixed as soon as we can.”
Police are investigating the damage and are appealing for any witnesses.
Anyone who may have been in the area at the time or may witnessed suspicious activity or residents who may have CCTV security cameras are being urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Gunnedah Police Station on 6742 9099.
A letter to the editor from Peter Kannengiesser
Namoi Valley Independent
On Sunday morning (24.06.2018) I received a telephone call from one of our Sub-Branch member that the 1939-1945 Memorial Wall in South Street had been damaged.
On arrival I found that the western end of the wall had been vandalised with top plates removed and smashed.
I was angry and dismayed that some imbecile could do this wanton and offending thing to a memorial build for memory of the Gunnedah people who served in WW2.
This memorial was made possible by donations and gifts from the local community so that future generations could remember those who served.
I would like to point out to the person or person responsible for the desecration of any memorial is a punishable offence, and I ask that anyone who may know something about this despicable act come forward a report this to right authorities.
We, the members of the gunnedah RSL Sub-Branch are proud of what our Armed Forces are doing and what they have done in the past, especially as we are, this year, celebrating our Centenary of the Gunnedah RSL Sub-Branch and the last year of WW1 Centenary.
H. Peter Kannengiesser,
Gunnedah RSL Sub-Branch