A replica World War II gun, built with the help of community fundraising, is now proudly on display at Point Peron.
The 1.8t gun is a replica of the 155mm M1917-1918 GPFs used to protect shipping area in World War II and was handed over by the Rotary Club of Palm Beach to the Point Peron Restoration Committee.
The project began about two years after efforts to buy an authentic, long-range Howitzer gun proved unfruitful, and local Rotarian Ken Gray suggested a replica be built.
Rotarian Laurie Smith, then chairman of Palm Beach Rotary’s community, arts and innovation committee, and Point Peron Restoration Committee chairman Phil Edman, led the fundraising efforts, which saw $26,830 raised between local councils, the Palm Beach Rotary Club and businesses.
One donor contributed the gun’s massive axle for just “a carton of beer”, and WesTrac donated the wheels, valued at $8000.
At the October 31 presentation, Mr Edman said the replica and signs would educate community members about “the 3000 Australians who died on our soil and waters”.
“This gun and the interpretive signage throughout the park will educate people on how close Australia was nearly invaded by Japan and a reminder that if we don’t protect ourselves, it could happen again,” he said.
The gun is now on display at the Point Peron Gun Battery.