News / Featured / 21st December 2023
At peace: Howlett memorial unveiled
This past Saturday, 16 December, witnessed a remarkable gathering of community members for a unique and heartfelt re-dedication service honouring the memory of World War I digger, Thomas Barwin Howlett.
The service was attended by Thomas Howlett’s nieces Daphne Howlett and Pauline Johnson, and nephew, John Howlett, as well as Warrumbungle Shire mayor, Cr Ambrose Doolan, Mick Estens - who spearheaded the project, Coonabarabran RSL Sub- Branch president, Kevin Barrington, and members of the community.
Also in attendance were members of the Orbital Swing Band and Coonabarabran Celtic Club member, Robert Noakes, who played in tribute to the late WWI veteran.
There was also a display from James Downey, a member of the 18th Battalion re-enactment group, who travelled from Sydney for the occasion.
The re-dedication was funded by a grant from the NSW State Government under Premier Chris Minns, and saw the construction of a new monument and plaque.
John Howlett said it was a great honour to see the re-dedication service come to fruition.
“My dad and my uncle would be very proud that this is being done for Thomas,” Mr Howlett said.
“I’d like to thank Ambrose Doolan, who found the funds, and Premier Chris Minns, for sticking to his word when he said he would fund it.”
Mr Howlett also extended his thanks to Steve and Alison Walton for their contribution to the memorial and Kevin Barrington from the Coonabarabran RSL Sub-Branch.
Daphne Howlett also gave a speech on behalf of the Howlett family, thanking the time and efforts of all who volunteered to make the day possible.
“A very special thanks to Mick Estens who coordinated everything and spent many hours of his time making sure everything was as it should be to honour this very deserving WWI digger, Thomas Barwin Howlett, who fought for our country so we could have a better life.”