$70,000 To Remember Sandakan Pows

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16th December 2008, 08:02am - Views: 693

Government Government Minister For Veterans' Affairs 1 image

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2602 

Telephone 02 6277 7820  Facsimile 02 6273 4140

The Hon Alan Griffin MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs


16 December 2008


The Kundasang Memorial Gardens in Sabah Malaysia will receive $70,000 to support its work

honouring the prisoners of war (POWs) who died on the Sandakan to Ranau death marches in

1945, and the local people who were killed for offering help. 

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, announced the funding during his visit to the

Gardens.  Mr Griffin also laid a wreath to remember the more than 2,400 POWs who died and

the people of Sabah who tried to assist them.

“During my visit I have been particularly moved by the stories of the many locals who helped the

Allies, often at great personal risk.  At least 50 Malaysians were arrested by the Japanese, and

eight executed, as punishment for assisting Australian POWs.

“This $70,000 will help the Gardens preserve interpretive material and display it in the

Australian Memorial Hall - a gallery and audio visual centre,” Mr Griffin said.

“The Gardens are visited by locals and by the many tourists who visit Kota Kinabalu and Mt

Kinabalu in Sabah each year.  They are located at the Ranau end of the death march route, and

complement the official Australian memorial at site of the Sandakan POW camp.

The  Gardens are made up of the Australia Garden, the English Garden, the Borneo Garden

and the Contemplation Garden and Pool.

The memorial was established in 1962 by New Zealander, Major Toby Carter, but had run down

until restoration by Mr Sevee Charuruks began in 2004.

The individual POWs from Sandakan who died in Sabah are officially commemorated at the

Labuan Memorial and War Cemetery.  Mr Griffin visited the cemetery on Friday 12 December

with Second World War veterans.  The veterans and Mr Griffin are in the region for the

dedication of the Brunei-Australia Memorial on Saturday 13 December at Muara Beach, Brunei


Media inquiries: 

Laura Ryan 0437 863 109 

The VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a

week on 1800 011 046.

To receive the Minister’s media releases automatically by email subscribe at minister.dva.gov.au/subscribe.htm

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