The Dave Sands memorial is to be refurbished

RESTORATION PROJECT: Dungog Shire Council will work with Dungog Rotary Club to restore the Dave Sands memorial on Chichester Road.
RESTORATION PROJECT: Dungog Shire Council will work with Dungog Rotary Club to restore the Dave Sands memorial on Chichester Road.

A memorial for a famous Indigenous boxer in a state of disrepair will finally be restored - thanks to a partnership between Dungog Rotary Club and Dungog Shire Council.

The memorial is for Indigenous boxer Dave Sands, who was involved in a fatal vehicle accident near the site at Chichester Dam Road in 1952.

But the campaign to restore the derelict memorial all started in 2019.

Dungog Rotary Club member Bev Irwin was driving past the Chichester Road site and noticed its despairing state.

"I was driving up their to help Bandon Grove Hall when they were doing a function up there," Bev said.

"I saw its terrible condition with graffiti and basically falling down. So I took it to the Rotary Club.

"We don't really have an Aboriginal site like that around here. I thought it was a worthwhile project to do."

Now years later, Dungog Shire Council have endorsed the restoration project and will provide a $10,000 in-kind contribution toward the Dungog Rotary Club initiative.

Council reports said the project would include consultation with Dave Sands' family and the community.

"The monument is currently in a state of disrepair and council will work together with the Dungog Rotary Club, along with family and community consultation, to ensure cultural heritage and family input is provided in the design and construction of a new memorial," the papers read.

"We have to do it with the council because it's a public area and now they are on board so hopefully it will be started soon," Ms Irwin added.

At the time of his death, Dave Sands was just 26 years old and had fought 104 bouts, winning 60 by knockout and 33 on points. He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998 and later became the 2009 Inductee for the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame Veterans category.

The memorial was erected by Apex in memory of Dave Sands, widely regarded as one of the best boxers never to win a world title.

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