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August 06, 2019

Museum plants knowledge in the minds of the future

“That is such a satisfying sound!” says one student with awe. He is absorbing the touch, smell, sound and sight of a typewriter originally used in WWII by doctor DG Croll. The primary school students huddle around their teacher, trying to see the machine in action as the arms, each bearing a letter, fling skywards at the press of her fingers on the keys. Their curious minds imagine the letters it would have written, the reports of putrid water, unsanitary conditions, medical reports, letters to loved ones. They are encouraged to wonder why a doctor would keep, as his only souvenir of his war experience, the typewriter he used in service to King and Country…

The War Museum at RSL LifeCare contains treasured items from every campaign in which Australia has been involved, donated by servicemen and women who are, or have been, residents of the Village. Its contents are preserved, curated and displayed in a state-of-the-art, custom-built museum set right in the heart of the Village.

In the last 12 months the museum has welcomed roughly 2000 people through its doors, with more than 24 group visits. Open daily from 10am-4pm, the museum is run by a dedicated team of volunteers from within the Village.

That is such a satisfying sound!” says one student with awe.

Being uniquely located in a retirement village the Museum has also been able to offer groups the priceless opportunity of listening to the real-life stories of war, both sad and funny, directly from veterans themselves.

This unique opportunity is eagerly grasped by The Pittwater House School, which visits every year with a selection of its senior students to interview war veterans in preparation for their school’s ANZAC Day service. The students listen with great respect and awe to the stories of men and women, now in their 90s, who in their youthful prime sacrificed so much. Stories of heartbreaking tragedy are laced with stories of hilarious moments and heartwarming mateship.

For the veterans themselves, it’s an opportunity to impart their most heart-felt and urgent message – war is a senseless and tragic waste. It is never to be glorifies, and never to be forgotten.

For all visitors, from children as young as 10 to senior elective history students, from community groups to the casual passer-by, the War Museum is an engrossing way to get up close to our poignant history. Lest We Forget.

The War Museum
RSL ANZAC Village Narrabeen
Open Daily 10am-4pm

For enquiries and bookings please ring: 1300 232 564

 

By Helen Johnston

 

Thank-You-card-from-Collaroy-Plateau-Public-Yr-6-Students | RSL LifeCare - provide care and service to war veterans, retirement villages and accommodation, aged care services and assisted living
Senior-History-Students-interviewing-veterans-in-the-Museum | RSL LifeCare - provide care and service to war veterans, retirement villages and accommodation, aged care services and assisted living

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