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Councillor Angela Vithoulkas Question on Notice

COMMEMORATING SYDNEY ANZACS (S103147)

Question

In the entrance to Town Hall, there are two plaques commemorating the Council employees who served in World War 1 and World War 2.

While family members of those listed on the boards are often seen visiting to take photographs of these important memorials, for the rest of us they remain names of strangers. It is only when we get to learn about the actual stories of the individuals that these names become more than a stranger on a list.

While the plaques at the Town Hall entrance commemorate former Council employees, many residents of the LGA signed up in both wars with tragic results.

Can the City confirm whether James Michael O’Connor commemorated on the Council Employee World War 2 plaque in the foyer of Town Hall is the same as the James Michael O’Connor NX3029, 34 years old, who died in the Battle for Greece on 26 April 1941?

He served as a private in the Australian Army Service Corps 6th Aust. Division and was the son of Michael and Elizabeth Agnes O’Connor and the husband of Ethel O’Connor of Kingsford. Upon his enlistment, James and his wife Ethel lived at Kendall Street Surry Hills and he was a lorry driver.

Answer by the Lord Mayor

The City of Sydney Archives is considered the premier local government archives collection in Australia.

The archives collection has now been accumulating for more than 170 years, and includes records from the City of Sydney, other entities absorbed by the City at different times and from local government area community groups.

The City responds to over 5,000 archive related enquires every year. Further information on the scope of the City’s archive collection (including on-line catalogue and search tools) may be found at – http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/learn/search-our-collections

The honour roll to recognise the war service of City staff during World War 2, installed at Sydney Town Hall in the late 1940s, is inscribed with the names of 13 staff members who died while on active service.

The City intends to digitise the staff cards for these 13 men, and make them available through our online catalogue. The information requested in relation to the names of the war dead inscribed on the World War 2 honour roll is being researched. A further response will be provided to Councillor Vithoulkas.

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