Veterans gift service medals to rugby star

NAVY veterans Christopher Rigg and Paul Banks did not personally know Myron Webcke.

But that didn't make the experience of passing on his service medals any less special.

The two men joined Warwick veteran Mark Russell at Kings Theatre on Saturday night to present rugby league star Shane Webcke with his father's service medals.

Now based at the Kogan Creek Power Station near Chinchilla, Mr Rigg and Mr Banks had both served on the HMAS Brisbane, the same ship Shane's father 'Tom' Webcke had served on.

"We had the same job as him on the ship, and though we never met him the navy sticks together," Mr Rigg said.

"We had seen the event advertised and saw Shane and we wanted to come, and we thought it would be a good chance to see a bit of the country.

"We also were able to pass on some memorabilia from the ship like photos, badges and the tally bands."

 

Mr Webcke was the guest of honour at the Warwick Memorial Dais Dinner.

He told the crowd how special it was to be receiving his father's medals at a night dedicated to fellow servicemen.

"I'm not comfortable talking about this sort of stuff not being a veteran myself," he said.

"But I am happy to be part of a fundraiser for the wonderful people who have made a sacrifice for our country.

"If I have been good at anything it's because I have had my mother and my father that I've got - I have a streak of iron in me that comes from them." 

Navy veterans Paul Banks, Bernie Botham and Christopher Rigg presenting rugby league star Shane Webcke with his father, Myron 'Tom' Webcke's, naval service medals at the Memorial Dais Fundraiser Dinner at Kings Theatre.
Navy veterans Paul Banks, Bernie Botham and Christopher Rigg presenting rugby league star Shane Webcke with his father, Myron 'Tom' Webcke's, naval service medals at the Memorial Dais Fundraiser Dinner at Kings Theatre. Sophie Lester

Event co-ordinator and Warwick veteran John Felton said the night was a spectacular success for the Memorial Dais fundraising committee, who are hoping to construct the wall in time for next Anzac Day.

"We made about $10,000 from the evening with the auction," Mr Felton said.

"One of Norma O'Hara Murphy's CDs sold for $200 and she sang us a bit of a song to lift our spirits.

"Tommy (Potts) the auctioneer even sold his gavel by the end of the evening.

"Everyone was very kind to attend and dig deep and we're so grateful."

Mr Felton said the committee had raised close to $20,000.

"We are hoping for a Community Gambling Benefit Fund grant to come through," he said.

"Once we've secured that we should be right to start the build at the end of November."

The memorial dais will stand in Leslie Park in addition to the Cenotaph and memorial gates.



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