As all of you would be aware, I have not been well since returning from France, having picked up some bug on the way back.
What it has done though is give me time to consider the direction and efforts needed to finish the Park.
I have to apologise to you, our supporters, as I have failed in what I set out to do.
I thought that it would be easy to sell 7000 bricks Australia wide, with the attitude of the Australian people to our Fallen. Unfortunately I failed.
I wrote to
229 Federal Politicians (27 supported us),
572 State Politicians (84 supported us),
1500 RSL Sub Branches (85 supported us),
90 of the richest men and women in Australia (none supported us),
50 of the largest entertainment names in Australia (1 supported us) and
240 of the largest business in Australia (1 supported us – Suzuki Australia)
Basically, I have run out of options. I can’t get the word out to the average Australian in the street as I am a nobody (no name recognition). Even the award of the Legion of Honor (being the first couple in history to be awarded it) did not change that.
We tried to get our story on the Today Show and Sunrise, but they were not interested. Most of the stories in the papers were written without speaking to us, but using quotes and photos taken from our web and Facebook pages.
Thanks to the efforts of David Lyas in South Australia we do get a fair bit of coverage there, but all other States are a wasteland.
Today I have also written to My John Haines AM, President of RSL NSW and asked him to re-examine the decision of RSL NSW to not allow any Sub Branch to support us (that decision was made before his time as President) and I hope that he will agree and put it to the State Board for a vote.
Regardless, I will persevere until December. I am leaving on 2nd September heading for Adelaide and afterwards to Victoria to go on raising awareness and support.
For the October long weekend I will be back on the road in NSW trying to raise funds and awareness of the Men of Pozieres.
Unless there is a dramatic change in our level of support, I will then surrender to the inevitable. Von and I have decided that I am not well enough to continue doing what I am doing on the road, and we will sell our house to make up what shortfall we have at that time.
Again, I want to thank all of you who have supported us up to now, and I guarantee that the Park will be completed by the end of 2017.
I apologise for the fact that I have failed you so far.
I am embarrassed and ashamed that I have not been able to achieve the recognition and support in Australia for these Men that they have received in France, and that is down to me not being able to get the word out.
Again – many thanks to you all for the support you have given us to date, and I will keep on working as long as I can to see our dream realised.
Barry Gracey Legion of Honor
Pozières Remembrance Association