The Port Pirie Women's Soldiers Memorial

Posted on 15 September 2019

A meeting of women from Port Pirie and District was first convened in the Port Pirie Town Hall by the Mayoress Mrs. M.E. Goode in 1919 to propose a Women's Memorial to the Soldiers of Port Pirie and District who had fallen in the Great War. Two alternative designs were tabled; a rough stone cross or some piece or group of statuary bronze.

With that object in view it was agreed to raise the sum of not less than £500. Committee officers were elected and it was decided to invite women to contribute 1/ per week each for a period of 10 weeks. The town was divided into sections and collectors were appointed for each section, by which means it was hoped everyone would be reached.

By April 1922, the fund amounted to £162 5/7 and it had now been agreed that the memorial should take the form of an obelisk, and that it be enclosed by a chain fence and white pillars. The Mayor kindly undertook to procure an estimate of the cost which was expected to run into £200.

Lady Bridges opened the memorial on 14th October 1924 by stating "You women of Port Pirie, I appreciate the great honour you have bestowed upon me in asking me to unveil your Memorial. Some of you have had great privilege of knowing these men - these gallant men, who fought with such courage, and who gave their lives and it is again your privilege to have possession of their memory; a possession which no one can take from you. All you can now do is to show that fine spirit of courage, devotion and self sacrifice that they showed."

"I quote you these words - 'And they transfigured, came back, Secure from change in their high hearted way; Beautiful evermore with the rays of morn on their white shields of expectation.

An impressive unveiling ceremony included renditions of "England's Battle Hymn" and "Beyond the Sunset", an invocatory prayer, with proceedings closing with the Benediction.