A MEMORIAL tree planting provided a poignant end ing to a weekend of commemorations in honour of Private Tim Cutcliffe.
The tree was planted in the grounds of James Sheahan Catholic High School yesterday.
Monsignor James Sheahan conducted the 21-year-old’s funeral service after he was killed in Vietnam in 1967.
School principal Mark Pauschmann told visiting Vietnam veterans and Private Cutcliffe’s family that it was an honour to be involved in the tree planting and the installation of a plaque on the school’s memorial wall.
Private Cutcliffe’s sisters Denese Wilton, Rosemary Immens and Sally Turnbull said returning to Orange for the commemorations had been cathartic for the family, who didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.
“The funeral was such a blur for us because mum and dad were just so totally devastated,” Ms Wilton said.
“It wasn’t until this weekend that we actually found out how Tim died. At the time we just received a phone call and that was it. We didn’t even have any of Tim’s effects so we could draw on his memory.”
“What has happened here this weekend and the support we have received has been amazing,” said Mrs Turnbull.
“We are just so grateful for everyone who has organised this weekend and been a part of honouring our Tim.”
“We are just overwhelmed,” said Mrs Immens.
Adelaide-based Vietnam veteran Tom Young, who was instrumental in organising the memorial weekend, presented the school with a memorial plaque and a plaque to each of Private Cutcliffe’s siblings.
“This is just a wonderful thing to have to remember Tim,” Ms Wilton said.
Some of the men from Private Cutcliffe’s unit have returned to their homes across Australia, however, many have stayed on in Orange to lead the march tomorrow morning as part of Anzac Day commemorations.