On Sunday, ECAJ Immediate Past President Robert Goot AM SC and Public Engagement Officer Sam Khavin were honoured to attend a ceremony at the National Jewish Memorial Centre in Canberra for the unveiling of a Cenotaph honouring all Australian Jewish military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
It is significant that the ceremony took place 100 years to the day since General Sir John Monash was knighted on the battlefield.
The Centopath was unveiled by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, in the presence of General Angus Campbell AO DSC, Chief of the Australian Defence Force. Rabbi Ralph Genende, Senior Rabbi to the Australian Defence Force, read the dedication prayer.
It is the first national Cenotaph of this kind in Australia, and the Cenotaph’s Honour Roll is inscribed with the names of 341 Jewish Australian military personnel who died on service, from the Second South African (Boer) War through WWI and WWII to the present day. The project received public donations and a Federal grant under the Saluting Their Service program of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Proceedings also included the unveiling of a portrait of General Sir John Monash, combined with a remembrance service commemorating the centenary of Monash’s knighthood.
Robert Goot recalled that he had also attended the opening of the National Jewish Centre on the same site in Canberra in 1971.