This is an attempt to put together the history of events that led to the existence of our Pro Patria Memorial in Barberton
- After a rededication parade of the SA Irish regiment at the garden of Remembrance, the discussions of a massive parade of Moth and the old Regiments with historical ties to Barberton, as our Moth 75th Anniversary came about.
- One thing led to another and the idea of a Border boy parade was on the cards
- The garden of remembrance in Barberton is on the site of the old Military Training camp that was used during WW2 before the regiments were sent North. Many of the Regiments have their Unit Badges made up as plaques, some of these are still the original plaques as built at the time. The Garden of Remembrance also has a Boer war Memorial. Today the Garden is a Heritage site and is included in the tourist area of Barberton.
- The Moth of the Lowveld then came up with the idea of constructing a memorial with a Moth badge as there is no such plaque in the Garden.
- The Memorial then expanded into having a connection to the Border Boys as in many cases the memorials and cenotaphs are either for boer war, WW1 or WW2 battles, hence the Pro Patria Memorial was born. This joint memorial of the Moth and Pro Patria was then on the design boards.
- The proposed parade was tabled at the Moth Transvaal AGM in Ermelo September 2001, the idea was accepted and it was now time to put money and action where the mouth is.
- The other question that was raised at the AGM was whether there was any suitable laid down date that would be applicable for such a border boy parade?
- Later in the year the date of using February as the date came about due to the fact the hostilities in RSA came to an end in Feb. 1990 as a result of Pres. FW de Klerk’s change in policy.
- February 2002 was to close so it was then decided to aim for mid year.
- At this stage early 2002 the members of Lone Tree Shellhole had progressed with the design, getting approval for construction and assisted by District and the local shellholes funds were arranged, construction started and over seen by Old Bill Glen Du Preez and Moth Charly Marlowe of Lone Tree the memorial took shape.
- The District Old Bill Butch James started making contact with as many of the old regiments that were camped in Barberton during WW2 , it was surprising how many of these Regiments are still active but sadly they are losing members and the new SANDF seems not to be interested in the history of these regiments, and they will disappear.
- The Dedication parade took place on 3rd August 2002, a cold and very windy Saturday afternoon, but a great parade well attended by many Moth from out of the area as well representatives from some of the regiments and associations.
- The Pro Patria Memorial part of the memorial is pyramid shaped with a replica of the Pro Patria Medal mounted on the front. The Pro Patria is our attempt to have a memorial that is a little more close to the hearts of the younger generation of ex servicemen of all ranks and all forces
- The name Pro Patria, Vir Ons Land , and also in local African language is inscribed on the pyramid after all we were all there
- We like to think that the memorial will be accepted by ex servicemen, and those presently on duty ( for our country)
- Now that we have built the memorial in has been decided that we wish to establish a annual Pro Patria parade on the second Saturday of February.
- We the Lowveld Moth believe this is the only specific memorial of is kind in the country and hope to make it a parade to be remembered
District Old Bill- Lowveld District
4th February 2003