Ex-POW memorial reaches 10-year milestone

HUNDREDS attended at the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in Ballarat to pay their respect at a ten-year anniversary service this morning. 

Ex-POW, friends, family and Ballarat dignitaries paid their respect to the thousands of men and women held captive during the Boer War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War. 

The official ceremony started at 11.30am,  with speeches from Ballarat City Council Mayor Josh Morris, senator and minister for veteran affairs Michael Ronaldson and RSL National President Ken Doolan. 

Ballarat resident Les Kennedy, who is one of the four Ex-POW trustees, said the morning ceremony was a success. 

"The ceremony went very, very well today," Mr Kennedy said. 

"We were expecting a lot of people to show up. We had 600 chairs and every one of those chairs was occupied." 

Mr Kennedy said war veterans' names were still being added to the 36,000-strong list.  

Ballarat City Council mayor Josh Morris said it was amazing to have Ballarat locals push for something of national significance in the city. 

"(The memorial wall) is the first tribute to the men and women that gave so much," Cr Morris said during his opening address to the crowd. 

"In 2008 (the memorial wall) was given national significance." 

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