World War I mortars on display at Lara Aged Care thanks to Lions Club

Two German weapons captured in World War I have a new home at Dungog's Lara Aged Care following a restoration project by the local Lions club.

The Mittlerer Minenwerfers (trench mortars) were captured in France in 1918 at or near the town of Framerville in the Somme, during a campaign that would eventually lead to the end of the first world war.

As part of a nationwide war trophy program the mortars were allocated to Dungog in the 1920s in recognition of the contribution the men of the area made to the war effort.

For many years they were on display at the Dungog Memorial RSL Club, then moved to Lions Park before finding a home near the Hollywood sign in Lioness Park. They were subsequently removed and put in to storage after being vandalised.

Dungog Lions Club saw the opportunity for rehabilitation and so began a two year project. The mortars were officially welcomed to their new home on Friday, April 12 with a special ceremony at Lara followed by a morning tea. Lions club treasurer Kim Wright and Lara Aged Care Facility Manager Jodeane Taylor unveiled the plaques.

"We are delighted that RSL Life Care has agreed that they may be placed on exhibition in the garden at Lara where their significance can be appreciated with quiet reflection," said Mr Wright.

"Indeed, an aged care home seems more than a little appropriate for these senior citizens of Dungog."

Mr Wright said the displays had some non original features. The wheels on the 17cm Minenwerfer are new additions but were of a similar size, style and age as the originals. The stands for the smaller Minenwerfer were added to enhance the display.

Pivotal in the project were members of the Lions Club of Dungog, in particular Doug Boorer, Ron Kennedy, Dave White and Kim Wright; Tim Johns from Seaham who provided the sand blasting and priming, Burns Earthmoving, Dungog Ready Mixed Concrete and RSL Life Care.