A resident of the Aveo Camden Downs retirement village, Iain Richard-Evan is doing his bit for the local community by preserving memorial stones at the Camden Cemetery.
The memorial stones from World War I and World War II will be removed during a revamp of the site before being returned to a permanent location in a new garden. Mr Richard-Evan, the Camden RSL Sub-branch president, said 34 stones, each bearing the name of a local Digger, would be cleaned and polished and then stored while the cemetery underwent an upgrade. The stones were sitting unsecured at the base of several trees which are scattered haphazardly at the back of the cemetery. But Mr Richard-Evan said when the cemetery upgrade was completed, the stones would be permanently secured in a concrete base near the war memorial garden. “We want to give them a permanent home and make this right and do it in a dignified way,” he said. “We have to do this sympathetically because these are people who served our country.” Mr Richard-Evan said new stones would be made to replace four that historical officer, Ray Herbert had identified as missing – either misplaced or stolen over the years. Mr Herbert, who coordinated the Camden Remembers website, which records all Camden men and women who served in all wars and conflicts, said the stones dated to the early 1950s. The upgrade includes new columbarium walls, parking, landscaping and a wider entrance.