The Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR) War Memorial Foundation is incorporated as an association for the purpose of establishing a War Memorial to commemorate the service and sacrifice of servicemen and women of the Commonwealth FESR and in particular those who served with the Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police from 1948 to 1971.
The FESR War Memorial Foundation will undertake to raise funds through government, corporate and public donations, organised functions and sponsorships by the general community throughout Australia and beyond.
Formation of the Foundation
In 2003 as National President of the NMBVAA, Ian Davenport floated the idea of a Memorial on Anzac Parade with the then Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. The response was supportive but required the proposal to show that the project could be brought to fruition. A similar supportive statement was also received from the then Chief of the Defence Force General Peter Cosgrove.
The scale of the project was daunting and remained on the back-burner lacking a dedicated team to develop it further.
The FESR Memorial moves first started under Mr Gary (Joe) Linaker in December 2008 with Anzac Parade still on the wish list. With a costing in the vicinity of $3m for such a Memorial an organising Committee was formed in August 2009 with Joe Linaker as President, Les Bailey as VP, Ian Davenport as Secretary, John Best Treasurer and Committee Members being Reg Poole, Richard Orr, Don Hay and Mick George. This makeup ensured all Services were represented on the Committee.
The Foundation was Incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory on 13th of October 2009.
Progress continued very slowly with small obstacles and great hurdles being overcome or skirted along the way.
In 2012 John Best resigned as Treasurer due to ill health and Richard Orr took over that function.
A decision was made to accept the fact that an Anzac Parade Memorial was out of our reach so discussions with the Australian War Memorial commenced in June 2013 with a proposal for a Memorial in the AWM precinct .
Approval for this was reached on 20 November 2014 and the Secretary met with the AWM on 21 January 2015 to develop processes required by the AWM and the way forward.
The results of this meeting were conveyed to the Committee and further pleasing developments ensued only days before the passing of President Joe Linaker in late August 2015.
Fund raising for the initial $50000 commenced to the best of the ability of the Foundation Committee primarily via ex service organisations. Slowly we edged within striking distance of this target and in 2019 we had reached $45,000 at which time we asked the AWM to grant us a lower requirement to get the design stage under way as we were well aware that an image would be easier to promote than an idea. At this point we were advised by the AWM that in fact the $50000 required had now increased to $60000.
Shortly following this Ms Vicki Tiegs appeared on the scene and has guided the Committee through a process to develop a promotional pack to assist fundraising. This was launched on 31 August 2019 after many weeks of development and approval through the AWM.
Dog handler Pte Douglas Fieldhouse and his coverman Pte Peter Lamb, are on the move with Goldie the tracker dog during a jungle patrol in North Borneo. The tracker team are attached to 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) and conduct regular patrols along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border.