Former digger defends war memorial from pack of vandals
A FORMER Vietnam War digger has been forced to defend an Edmonton war memorial from a gang of about 20 youths, who in a brazenly disrespectful act, attempted to make off with the recently installed statue.
On Thursday, hours after the statue was installed Edmonton RSL Sub Branch president Nev Butterworth went to show his wife the memorial in Fuller Park on Armstrong St.
"They were trying to it out of the cement, we had it Dyna bolted in, they jumped it straight away as soon as it got there," he said.
"We went down to check on it and have a look and by 5pm they had all the Dyna bolts loose and were ripping at it and the guy told us they were swinging off it trying to rip it out of the ground, so they gave it affair old nudge."
Mr Butterworth took his wife to have a look at the statue of a modern soldier when the mob turned on them.
"There was well over 20 of them, they came out of the woodwork. We fronted about three of them and one bloke threatened to hit me with a rock," he said.
"Then we went back to the sub-branch opposite Fuller (Sports Club) and that's when they came marching over to cause more trouble."
Edmonton neighbourhood watch members have stood vigil over the sub-branch building on Armstrong St each night since Thursday.
The sub-branch president said he was appalled by the attack on a national memorial honouring those killed in service of the nation.
"Everyone I have heard of (is disgusted) our whole family has supported this country, Irish, aboriginal and Poms, so we have all been there," he said.
Mr Butterworth said the statue has been removed from the site for safe keeping until better security arrangements can be put in place.
Police attended Fuller Park on Thursday but it's unknown if any arrests have ben made.