SATURDAY saw the unveiling of an impressive tribute to volunteers set to rival landmarks like the Big Banana and the Big Pineapple.
The four metre high statue was installed in a prominent position on the corner of William and Anna Streets near the RSL club car park.
Residents, local dignitaries and visitors gathered at 10am as the statue was unveiled and dedicated by former Australian Defence Force chief surgeon and renowned Brisbane paediatrician Major General Professor John Pearn.
The monument, made by local company Rockpress, will form part of a larger tribute garden, as a reminder of the millions of hours donated by volunteers around Australia.
Beaudesert RSL Sub Branch President Errol Guilfoyle said volunteers kept our country moving.
“Volunteers come from all walks of life and make such a valuable contribution to our communities – this monument is just a small gesture in recognition of their hard work and dedication,” Mr Guilfoyle said.
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RSL Sub Branch administration manager Joanne Crocker said the tribute was the brainchild of long-time sub branch member Robert Maher.
“The idea is to honour our volunteers of the past 100 years, since this year is the 100th birthday of the RSL Sub Branch in Beaudesert,” Ms Crocker said.
“The memorial will acknowledge volunteers in the area and will display the badges of community volunteers including Lions, Rotary, CWA and the rural firies.”
Mr Maher said the memorial would have national significance.
“There is nothing like it in Australia or the world,” he said.
“It may not be important now in the minds of some people but it is a tribute to the enormous contribution to not only to society but to government.
“The work of volunteers has an impact on the economy measured in billions of dollars.”
Mr Maher said the memorial would display the badges of volunteer-based organisations from anywhere in Australia and would hold more meaning than many of the other giant monuments in the country.
‘I think it is more meaningful than a big banana or a big prawn,” he said.