This is an important year in New South Wales, not only does Sydney host the Invictus Games in October, but also three of the smaller towns are commemorating the memory of three hundred and thirty men from there who fought in World War I which concluded a century ago this November. In fact, the organisers of the Branxton-Greta Memorial Cycleway have sent an official invitation to Buckingham Palace via the States Governor, David Hurley to see if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would do them the honour of attending a sod-turning ceremony whilst they are in Australia for the Games.
The 4.5-kilometre cycleway will link the twin town’s World War I rotundas and help to give them the status which they have lost through the years. All along the route, there will be lone pine trees, brass plaques and reflection points. Whilst they wait for a response to their invitation, they will be hosting the Governor and his wife, Linda at Braxton on September 10th. They will attend morning tea at the community centre where they will meet invited community members. This will be followed by a fund-raising luncheon at the Dalwood Estate which it is hoped will contribute to the memorial aspect of the project – about A$1.2million.
Brett Wild, Chairman of Branxton-Greta Memorial Cycleway Limited, said the total project would cost around A$4 million including construction memorial aspects and perpetual maintenance. As to the invitation to the newly-weds, he said that the project with its desire to commemorate what was nearly half of the twin-towns male population at that time, ticked many boxes with the reasons behind the Invictus Games themselves – which are for wounded, ill or injured armed forces personnel or veterans. He said, “It would be an amazing boost for our small country town – it would be huge for the entire Hunter Valley, and there is nothing to be lost by sending an invitation.”
The Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Agency are apparently working with Destination NSW and the State Government regarding a general invitation to visit Hunter Valley during their stay, and I guess we shouldn’t forget that Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Harry’s grandmother will soon be joining the ranks of wine producers so maybe a little visit to Hunter Valley and its wine producers may be mutually beneficial.