Memorabilia Display a Tribute to our Armed Forces

30 July, 2012
Author: Charles Hodgson

The memorabilia display at Tewantin-Noosa RSL is widely regarded as the best on the Sunshine Coast and the newly refurbished display cases in the foyer of the RSL are a testament to the efforts of the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces.
When you walk into the foyer there are a bank of stately floor to ceiling wooden and glass cabinets housing the memorabilia and the display is eye catching to say the least. Each cabinet covers a different era with World War I, World War II, Asia, Modern Conflicts and Weapons all having their own place in the collection. And there are many other pieces of memorabilia dotted throughout the club such as photos and framed medal collections.
One of the things that is so impressive about this collection is that it includes items from all conflicts from World War I right through to the modern conflicts like Afghanistan. It also has items from all three armed services – Navy, Air Force and Army. The collection also has great variety with so many different items including medals, firearms, photos, uniforms, trench art and equipment all being on display.
There are some real treasures to be found in the priceless collection with some of the prized pieces in the collection including Bruce Ruxton’s medals, a German-made gun barrel captured from the Turks in World War I of which there are only a few left in the world today and a collection from Brigadier General Grant who took the Turkish Surrender and led part of the famous charge of the Light Horse at Beersheba in 1917. Brigadier-General Grant’s memorabilia includes his medal set, dog tags and a framed sketch which link to other items held by the Australian War Memorial and National Library.
But perhaps the most valuable aspect of the collection is the actual stories behind the items. For example, there is a wonderful sketch of a nurse, Sister C Murie (who later married Colonel Miller) administering care to a patient in the hospital tent in Borneo in World War 2. The sketch was done by another patient in the hospital and it provides a rare glimpse into the past that evokes the imagination.
The new display was put together under the auspice of the Tewantin-Noosa RSL Sub-branch Memorabilia Officer, Rob Wareing. “The purpose of the collection is to preserve for posterity the records of the deeds and sacrifices of our veteran brothers and sisters. It is so important for us to pass the stories on through the generations and we have many comments about how wonderful it is that we have put so much effort and time into our collection. There are always people stopping at the cabinets and reading about all the different conflicts and stories.
We really have a priceless collection with over 1000 items catalogued although some of them are not on display currently. We also continue to update it particularly with pieces from the more modern conflicts. Pieces are either donated or loaned to the sub-branch and we always welcome new additions.”
It is worth a special trip to the Tewantin-Noosa RSL just to see the memorabilia display. Young and old alike will find something of interest and it will be sure to give you an appreciation of the most wonderful job our service men and women have done and continue to do.