THE restored Shoreham Airport Community Memorial has been officially opened and dedicated.
A large group of volunteers and supporters gathered in front of the terminal building for the ceremony last Wednesday.
Music from the Happy Jazz Trio entertained guests before Mrs Anne Bean, chairman of the memorial committee, opened the ceremony.
“The original memorial, installed and lovingly created by Mr Gerald Spicer, had become overgrown, unstable and, yes, undignified,” she explained.
“What he had started needed to be cherished.”
She said the memorial had become a dual-purpose site, with the front to mark sacrifice and the reverse for inspirational individuals, to mark their contributions to the airport.
An area for memorial services has been included, as well as a surrounding walkway to make access accessible for all.
Mrs Bean said it had been a true community project, with a lot of financial support from people in the town.
Ric Belfield, general manager at Shoreham Airport, read a message of support and pointed out there was ‘so much history and so many people involved in the airport’.
“It is splended to see the memorial in its effulgent glory,” he added.
Allan Fowler read a poem he had written, imagining someone named on the memorial and what they would say if they were visiting it.
The Rev Helen Rose lead the prayers, the act of remembrance and the blessing.
Standard bearer Michael Dixon, regional representative for the Shoreham branch of the Royal Air Force Association, dipped the standard during the act of remembrance then raised it again for the blessing.
The memorial was originally installed in 1997 to remember those who died during past conflicts.
The main centrepiece is the B26 propeller from a crashed plane, with the bend in the lower left blade left as it was found when recovered from the downed aircraft.
This has been complete overhaul and re-installed, and the memorial stone to Brian Brown, who died in 2007 when his plane crashed during the Shoreham Airshow, has been re-sited within the memorial.