Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison MP was joined by Mayor Loretta Baker, representatives from the East Maitland RSL Sub-branch, Student Leaders from East Maitland Public School and Maitland Grossman High School and members of the community, to take a soil sample at the East Maitland War Memorial as part of the Anzac Centenary Project.

The soil is just one of approximately 1700 samples to be taken across NSW where young soldiers enlisted to fight. The soil will be preserved and displayed in the Memorial’s renovated Hall of Service next to the names of each town it was collected from, symbolising the ground where men and women enlisted from for the First World War.

In 2016 acclaimed artist Fiona Hall was selected through an art commission process to create an artwork for the Memorial’s new Hall of Service – a civic space that architecturally and artistically mirrors the Hall of Memory in the original building.

The Anzac Memorial Centenary Project Soil Collection is part of the NSW Government’s upgrade of the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park during the Centenary of Anzac.

Quotes attributable to Jenny Aitchison MP, Member for Maitland:

“People from all over our region who visit this art work when it’s unveiled will really appreciate the efforts our ancestors made in the war effort.”

“The soil collected today symbolises the sacrifice of Anzacs and will be included in a memorial art installation in Sydney’s Hyde Park, to mark the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018.”

“It’s vital we recognise the lives and communities of those who gave so much during such a challenging time in our history.”

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