PLANNING has begun to determine how people in the Manning, Gloucester and Port Macquarie communities will commemorate the Anzac centenary.
During the next four years, events to mark 100 years since Australia's involvement in World War I will be hosted at various times and in various locations.
This week Lyne MP David Gillespie gathered together a group of men at Club Taree to start planning how our community will mark the milestone.
The budget is $125,000 and will be drawn from the Anzac Centenary Public Fund.
Mr Gillespie is charged with the task of forming and working with a committee to decide how the money will be spent and this week he met with representatives of ex-servicemen organisations and the Port Macquarie and Hastings Municipal Band for the first time.
The RSL sub-branch members who attended the meeting were Bob Coombes and Darcy Ellbourne (Taree); Colin Clark, Greg Laird and Kevin Lakey (Port Macquarie); Mike McClelland (Laurieton); Joe Richards (Harrington); Bob Murray and Max Poole (Gloucester); Lance Gainey (Kendall); Roy Meguyer (Old Bar); Bob Metcalfe (State branch); Des Hancock and Darren Hooper (Wauchope) and Greg Cook from the Port Macquarie and Hastings Municipal Band.
Mr Gillespie described the inaugural meeting as very interesting and said the committee had the opportunity to consider some submissions.
He said the role of the committee was to ensure the submissions met the funding criteria as set by the department of veterans' affairs and reflected the objective of commemorating the Anzac centenary.
He said some of the ideas presented to the committee included an essay writing competition, rejuvenation of a World War I memorial, student medals and re-enactments of World War I events.
He said community groups could still submit applications for funding from the fund but added that "the sooner, the better" should be the timeline that people needed to work to when preparing a submission.
Mr Gillespie said the committee had to submit its application to the department of veterans' affairs by May 31.
The next meeting of the committee is set for March 30.
For further information about the Anzac centenary grants program contact Mr Gillespie's office on 6583 2077 or visit www.anzaccentenary.gov.au