Dec 292015

The following is from the Gosford Time newspaper – Thursday 23 1933 Pg12. 1

“We Must Remember”

One of the most representative gatherings outdoors in Gosford braved the fierce heat of Sunday afternoon to assemble at Memorial Park to witness the planting by Mrs. Paul, President of the C.W.A., on behalf of that body, of the little tree which will grow up to perpetuate the memory of the late ex-A.I.F. Sister, Katherine Sumner.

That it was a solemn and impressive ceremony to those gathered was clearly evidenced in the subdued faces of the long line of returned men who stood by, and of the big gathering of citizens from all walks of life, who had come to pay one final tribute to the memory of one whose friends were legion, and whose unbounded love for human kind was reflected in a life of service and sacrifice.

Among those present were Mr. R. H. (‘ ‘ Ron ‘ ‘) Sumner, Mrs. Keith (sister), Mr. L. A. Robb, State President of the R.S.L. of N.S.W., Mr. A. Jamieson, Sec. Gosford Branch, Mr. C. G. Brandis (President), Mr. R-. Hill (President Central Coast Council Fruitgrowers’ Federation), Mr. R. C. King Kemp, Dr. J. H. Paul, Rev. L. A. Anderson, and Mr. H. G. White (Supt., Viticultural Nursery), and many other men and women prominent in the community life of the district.

Mr A. Higgs assisted at the planting. Gosford Band was in attendance. Tendering in addition to the National Anthem, the beautiful hymn. ‘Lead, Kindly Light,’ which the assemblage joined in singing, and other appropriate selections.

In front of the tree a neat little stone tablet is inscribed as follows: — ‘ ‘ Tree planted in memory of Katherine Sumner, ex-nursing sister A.A.N.S., by fellow members of the C.W. A. ‘ ‘

Mr. Robb said he was proud to be associated with this service in memory of one of our own Army and Navy sisters, and one who was a valued member of the Gosford branch of the C.W. A.

‘I want to pay my own personal tribute to her memory,’ said Mr. Robb. ‘I want to turn back to the years 1914 to 1918. It was early in 1914 that she — with two of her sisters and two brothers — answered the call of Empire, and gave up the comforts of civilisation for service amidst the dangers .and hardships of the battlefield.

‘We trace her through the first and second Australian General Hospitals at Heliopolis. Later she went to the great western front, to the Base Hospital at Rouen. Throughout those long years of bitter struggle she went among the troops like a ministering angel.

‘We find her travelling on the troop trains, in the blistering sands of Egypt, and in the mud and slush on the fields of Flanders, tending, nursing, cheering and relieving the sufferings of the soldiers, a bearer of comfort and succour.

‘She returned to Australia in 1918 and was discharged as medically unfit. The war had taken its toll of her health and strength, as it had done with so many thousands of her brothers in arms, but her term of service did not finish there. She came back to labor among the sick and suffering men of the A.I.F. at Namanula Hospital, Rabaul [Papua New Guinea]. Always the original Anzacs had first place in her affections, and there she married one of them.

‘Leaving Rabaul she came to Gosford and joined the C.W.A., that wonderful band of women who are laboring to lighten the burden of their sisters in remote parts of our country, and with the C.W.A. she worked with the same grand spirit which had marked her career through the war.

‘Now we are here to pay tribute to her memory, and this tree we are planting now will grow to tell the generations that come after us that we have paid our tribute to her who gave her service to the great British Em pire. We say now, ‘Lest we forget,’ and those who follow us will under stand and in their turn will say ‘We must remember”.’

Mrs. J. H. Paul said: ‘I am planting this tree to perpetuate the memory of a fine citizen and worker for the common good, one who was cheerful and helpful to all, and who will long be remembered. ‘ ‘

Of the late Sister Sumner’s very many fine traits of character, said Mrs Paul, none was more outstanding than her love of beauty and flowers. ‘This was in keeping with the nobility of the nature of one who should not be forgotten, but whose memory would always be cherished by those she lived and moved among with her kind and cheery atmosphere and ready helpful hand for those in trouble.

The memorial tree which is planted in the far northern angle of the Memorial Park is of the oak family, the botanical name being ‘Grievilla Banksia. ‘ ‘ In common parlance it is known as a ‘torch tree,’ and Mr. Higgs says that once it has flowered it will always be in bloom — a fitting symbol of the memory of a loved one we have lost awhile.

Return to Gosford Memorial Park – Sister Sumner Memorial page or Gosford Memorial Park – Mann St page.


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