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Items of interest to Ordnance Field Park members, and Vietnam Veterans in general, will be posted here. If you have any item/s for our Notice Board please
contact us with the details.

Bob Nash (WebMaster)

07 June 2008

Dedication of Unit Plaque at AWM

In 2000 the Director of the Australian War Memorial (AWM), Major General Steve Gower AO, introduced a scheme whereby units, squadrons and ships which had seen active service could dedicate a plaque to be placed in the AWM's Western Courtyard to recognise the sacrifice and service of their members. So far over 130 plaques have been dedicated and there are more on the waiting list. Eventually the entire Western Courtyard will be surrounded by these plaques and they are already attracting visits from thousands of pilgrims and visitors.

This program has become very popular, with associations across Australia applying to have their active service commemorated by a simple cast bronze plaque being installed in the gardens. A high level of interest in the plaque dedication program, which aims to provide a lasting tribute in the grounds for those units who have seen active service, has continued. The high standard of organisation by the AWM staff of all public events adds significantly to their importance and prestige in the eyes of the public.

Les Wilkinson (1 OFP 1968), on behalf of all who served in the OFP in the Vietnam War, undertook to investigate this scheme and arrange for an appropriate plaque. The design and manufacture of the plaque is in the process of being completed and now we invite all OFP Vietnam Veterans, and their guests, to the Dedication Ceremony to be held on the 14th October 2008 at 10am, in the Western Courtyard, AWM.

The Dedication Ceremony is currently in the planning process by specialised staff at the Australian War Memorial, and it will follow the following standard format.
14 Oct 2008
– Gather in the Western Courtyard, Australian War Memorial (AWM), Canberra
10.00am – Dedication Ceremony commences which will last approx 30 minutes. Complete details of this ceremony will be advised, in due course, to those attending.
10.30am - After the service morning tea will be served in the Courtyard Gallery. Following this the AWM will provide official guides to conduct tours of the Memorial for members attending the service. This will be an excellent opportunity to view the new ‘Conflicts 1945 to Today’ gallery opened in February 2008.

This is an important occasion for everyone who served with the OFP in Vietnam. Because we were a small unit, our service in Vietnam has gone largely unrecognised. The installation of a Unit Plaque at the Australian War Memorial, dedicated to the OFP, will ensure that our service will forever be recognised long after we’re gone. If nothing else, we will not be forgotten by future generations.

The purpose of this posting is to:-
 Let you know about the Commemorative Plaque and what it means
 Give you as much notice as we can so that you can plan to be in Canberra on 14 October 2008
Stress on you that this will be a family affair and we would strongly urge you, if possible, to include as many family members, friends etc as they will be most welcome. If we can get 100 plus to attend the ceremony, the AWM will include some extra special features for us during the ceremony. So those of you who live in Canberra, or close by, please keep this in mind.

The next step in the planning process is to get an indication of how many will be attending the Dedication Ceremony. An invitation has been mailed out to all OFP Members, whose address we have, requesting they return a form to Bob Nash regarding their attendance/numbers etc so that we can get things moving along.

Once we’ve got an indication of the numbers attending we will be able to finalize arrangement with the staff at the AWM. Those who have indicated that they will be attending the Dedication Ceremony will be sent a letter outlining final arrangement etc by the end of August 2008.
We look forward to getting as many of you, as possible, to this special ceremony.
If there are any family members or friends of the OFP out there who haven't received an invitation, and would like to join us at this dedication ceremony, could they please contact us by Email at :- administration@ofpvietnam.asn.au .
You are most welcome to attend.


Les Wilkinson said...

C'mon you blokes this is your plaque . Get a move on and get the family involved and get your forms in to say you'll be attending. You need to take ownership of it as this is a permanent reminder of our stay in Vietnam.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as we can at the dedication ceremony.


Bob Nash (WebMaster) said...

Thanks to everyone who responded to our mailout.

Indications, so far, are that we will have approx 130 people attending the Dedication Ceremony.

It's not too late to let us know if you wish to attend. Just get in touch with Bob or Les.

An update of details on the Ceremony will go out to everyone who will be attending, by the end of August 2008.

Bob Nash (WebMaster) said...

Thanks to everyone who attended.

Our Unit Plaque was unvieled and dedicated at the AWM on Tuesday 14 October 2008.

Check out our website for a report and photos.

Click on 'Reunions' - then click on '2008 - Unit Plaque AWM'