Some great news received from our very own Keith Adams, one of the RAR Regtl Assn Executive, following a recent and heartwarming email I received regarding the RNR-RAR Memorial that we proudly unveiled at the National Memorial & Arboretum in Staffordshire on the 19th July, 2015.
Whilst there was dissent from some quarters in how this memorial to our fallen RAR Brethren should have looked, our EXCO went with the design that we now have. For one, I was deeply moved when I saw the memorial but, and more importantly, a group of distinguished former RAR A.S. Senior NCO’s and Officers (who had flown from Zimbabwe for the occasion) were all very proud and touched by what they saw. Add to this the significant number of former Rhodesian Defence Force personnel from all arms and services who attended the unveiling and dedication ceremony who all echoed these sentiments. That’s all that is important and personal preferences are not what the Memorial represents; it symbolises, for perpetuity, our recognition of their (and their families) enormous personal sacrifice.
It is a sombre but respectful place for quiet reflection where we may pay tribute to and honour our RNR & RAR Brothers who fell in our name. Nothing else matters or is more important.
The following is the email, copied and pasted verbatim, as I and others received the following news from Keith:
“Jane and I attended a short informal ceremony today hosted by the Dry Stone Walling Association , in the grounds of Blenheim Palace , at the Country File Live event where they presented our Association with a certificate of merit.
In a nutshell the building team, led by Chris Inglis, who constructed our monument , being members of the DSWA , entered their project ( our monument) for appraisal by the DSWA panel of judges. The judges having not only taken the quality of their work into consideration but also the meaning and significance of the Memorial also awarded certificates to Rob Cross ( The Clerk of Works) and to our Regimental Association.
The Chairman of the DSWA after a short address presented the certificates to Chris, Rob and myself. We all responded with a short word of thanks and gratitude for the efforts of all who took part and to the NMA for approving our request to erect our Monument.
The event was very low key and personal to the DSWA so I’m afraid if you tune into “Country File ” on Sunday you may be disappointed. The Country File event is a seething mass of humanity ( thousands of retail customers) frequenting numerous fast food outlets and designer clothes stores and we did not see or hear of any of the Country File team anywhere near us. However we did have the opportunity of catching up with Rob Cross and his wife and the Chris and his builders and had a most enjoyable day in Oxfordshire”.
RHF Comment: An outstanding bit of recognition that is entirely fitting and appropriate. Those who have visited our Memorial can attest to the stonemasons craftsmanship and their skill is borne out by this recognition and it reaffirms the decision that our EXCO made to go with this design and with this team. If I may, and on behalf of all of our members and our Regtl Assn, let me simply express how terribly proud we are and grateful to those extraordinary good folk who donated towards its construction and, by extension, those who have bought copies of “Chibaya Moyo”, “Masodja” and the “RNR-RAR Book of Remembrance”. What good folk we have walking in our midst.