International exhibition The Belgians Have Not Forgotten opens in Hervey Bay

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt says it’s a great honour that Hervey Bay has been chosen as one of four locations in regional Australia to host the international exhibition The Belgians Have Not Forgotten.

It was a year ago that Mr Pitt met with His Excellency Belgian Ambassador Jean-Luc Bodsen to discuss bringing this exhibition to Hervey Bay.

“The Ambassador visited Freedom Park for the Centenary of Anzac Memorial in 2014 and was impressed with the proud returned services community in the region.

“At the ceremony he said: “We often have Australian visitors to our memorials and shrines and I assure you that Belgium doesn’t forget.”

Mr Pitt said the exhibition demonstrated that the words spoken by the Ambassador still rang true today and the strong relationship continues between the people of Belgium and Australia.

The exhibition features wartime artefacts, photographs, maps and film footage from the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 in Zonnebeke, Belgium.

Mr Pitt is encouraging residents to visit the exhibition and tell family and friends about it also.

“How often do we get the opportunity to have an exhibition of this scale here in Hervey Bay? People have already travelled from various locations to see it and have been very impressed,” he said.

“I’d like to thank everyone that has been involved in bringing this project to fruition: the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, the Zonnebeke Council, the Flemish Government, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Australia, and lastly, the Australian Government for providing a grant to transport the exhibition to regional areas,” Mr Pitt said.

In September, Australia, with the assistance of Belgian authorities, will honour the service and sacrifice of those who fought in the Third Battle of Ypres with a Dawn Service at Buttes New British Cemetery on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Polygon Wood.

The Belgians Have Not Forgotten exhibition is at the Hervey Bay RSL from now until March 17, 2017.

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