The role of the Deputy Warden and the Sub-Wardens is to provide an Honour Guard during Remembrance Services at the State War Memorial or the Flame of Remembrance

Highgate would appreciate any historical information that you or your family may hold in relation to those who performed the Deputy Warden’s or Sub-Wardens’ duties in earlier times. Please contact the Website Administrator at

Roll of Deputy Wardens

1964 Henry Douglas Dargie (Honour Guard 1952-1964, Warden 1976)
1976 Ronald Nathan Stone AM JP
2004 Phillip Graeme Skelton AM
2011 Geoffrey Pierce Simpson OAM RFD

Roll of Sub-Wardens (in alphabetic order)

Richard Adams (H)

Ernst Baints (Retired) (H)
Bill Beasley (Retired) (H)
Hector Binks ED (Retired) (H)
Ken Birks (Retired) (H)
Ken Bladen AM (Past State President RSL) (H)
Don Blair OAM RFD ED (President Highgate 2002-3, Hon Life Member RSL) (H)
Russ Bradbury (early 1950s)
Kenneth Broadhurst (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden, President Highgate 1965) (H)
Bill Brockwell (early 1950s)
Chris Brooks (1990s) (H)
Jim Burnham (early 1950s)

Robin Cameron (early 1950s) (H)
Robert Campbell RFD ED ((Retired) 2010) (H)
Roley Cantwell (1970s) (H)
Lawrence Connolly (Retired) (H)
Mick Coyle OAM (H)
Morrie Crewe (President Highgate 1967) (Retired) (H)

Doug Dargie (early 1950s, President Highgate 1957, Warden 1976) (H)
Vern Dawe MBE (early 1950s, President Highgate 1969) (H)
Bob Dawson (1970s) (H)
Ralph Doig (early 1950s)
Allan Downs OAM (H)

Barry Eather (Retired)
Jim Eayres (Retired) (H)
Bob Elliott (Retired by 2006, Highgate President 1994) (H)

Doug Farmer (H)
Thomas Ferrero (Retired by 2006, Highgate President 1991) (H)
Vic Ferry DFC (Retired) (H)
Roger Fitzhardine (early 1950s, Highgate Foundation Member 1947) (H)
John B Fitzhardinge AO MBE ED (Retired by 2006, Highgate Foundation Member 1947, President 1953) (H)

Wojciech Gorski OAM (Retired 2011) (H)
Kevin Graham (H)
Leon Griffiths (President Highgate 2013)

John Harper-Nelson (Retired) (H)
Margot Harness
John Hately (Retired by 2006) (H)
Bill Hawkins (early 1950s)
Simon Holman (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden) (H)
Richard Hooper (H)
Tom Horton (Retired by 2006, Highgate President 1998) (H)
Keith Howard RFD ED (1990s) (H)
Peter Hummerston RFD (Warden 2004) (H)
Mick Hungerford (early 1950s, Highgate President 1955) (H)
Arthur Hutchison

Phil Kennedy AO (1970s) (H)
Fred King (early 1950s) (H)
Bish Kwiecinski OAM (1970s) (H)

John Lancaster AM (Retired) (H)
Bert Lane OAM (2011-15) (H)
Phillip Loffman OAM ED RL (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden, President Highgate 1964) (H)
Bill Lonne (early 1950s)

Ray Mawson RFD ED (H)
Ean McDonald VRD (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden, President Highgate 1971) (H)
Pat Mehan (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden, President Highgate 1976) (H)
Bob Mercer AM RFD ED (Retired 2007) (H)
Don Meredith (1970s, Highgate President 1997) (H)
Michael (Mick) Michael (H)
Ian Miller (1970s) (H)
Howard Montagu (H)
Shirly Mooney OAM
John Morriss (Retired) (H)
Bill Munro (President Highgate 1976) (H)
Bill Musson GM (1970s, Warden 1997) (H)

Bob Norris (Retired 2008) (H)

Alf Pearson (Retired)
Percy Pearson CMG OBE (Retired, Highgate President 1959) (H)
Otto Pelczar RFD RD CD (Retired) (H)
Fred Pennell (Retired) (H)
Brian Prangnell OAM

Don Rae AM RFD ED (1970s) (H)
Cam Redenbach (early 1950s, Highgate President 1960) (H)
Mike Ruffin (Retired) (H)

Peter Salmon (Retired) (H)
Alan Saville (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden, President Highgate 1999) (H)
David Scott (Bugler)
Allan Shellabear (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden)
Bert Shellabear (early 1950s) (H)
Geoff Simpson OAM RFD (H)
Phillip Skelton AM FRMIT (H)
Les Slade (early 1950s) (H)
Gordon Smith (early 1950s)
Warren Smith (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden, 1947 Highgate Foundation Member) (H)
Ann Spiro (Retired)
Basil Sprenger (Retired by 2006) (H)
Barry Standen (Retired) (H)
Les Stewart (1970s, Highgate President 1995) (H)
Ralph Stoddart (early 1950s) (H)
Ron Stone AM (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as the Deputy or Sub-Warden, President Highgate 1962) (H)
Jack Suriano RFD ((Retired) 2017)
John Surridge (Retired by 2006, more than 30 years service as a Sub-Warden, Highgate President 1962) (H)

Ted Townsend (early 1950s)

Wally Walters (Retired) (H)
Percy White DCM (Retired) (H)
Greg Wilson RFD (H)
William Wilson MBE (RSL Life Member) (H)

(H) Brief Service History recorded in the Highgate Hall of Honour

Speech by Phillip Skelton AM, Deputy Warden, on the Occasion of the Presentation of Medallions to Retired Sub-Wardens on 17 July 2006.

This is a day of celebration!  We focus on a special group of people.  We celebrate the dedicated long service of 16 of our members who served as Sub-Wardens of the State War Memorial.  These are members who have now retired from that duty, but who had attended most of the wreath-laying services at the State War Memorial each year for at least Ten Years.

Indeed, many of those whom we recognise today served regularly for over Thirty Years.  Quite a remarkable offering of their time and effort that we celebrate today.

Many of the photos in the slide show that you see throughout this celebration were taken at just one wreath laying service – the combined Z Special Force and Defence Reserves service this time last year.  And there are a few from other services.  They were taken by a keenly interested civilian, Tim Bendawald, who came to observe these services.  It has prompted me to ensure that we obtain a photographic record of each of the typically 30 wreath laying services each year – hopefully we will have a more varied slide show for you next year!

The Sub-Wardens perform an important duty that is greatly appreciated by the approximately thirty different organisations, that each year conduct a wreath-laying service on a day close to the anniversary of a day with special meaning for them.  The silent dignity with which the Sub-Wardens carry out their duty adds significantly to creating the atmosphere of quiet reflection and remembrance that is the purpose of each service.

Perhaps even more importantly, the silent service of the Sub-Wardens gives the clear message to members of the public looking on, especially young people, that if those men consider it so important to turn out in the way they do, then there really must be something important on which to reflect and remember.  Participation by the Sub-Wardens contributes to passing the message on to the next generations – the message that the sacrifice by those before them has made possible the wonderful open, free, democratic way of life we enjoy today; and that we must remain eternally vigilant to keep it that way.

We encourage young people to attend and participate in wreath-laying services.  You see in the slide show an honour guard of Cadets.  In other slides you will see the group of wonderful young people that through their essays and speeches on military topics won the privilege of attending an overseas battlefield tour.  You have seen Scouts attend services at the State War Memorial, including conducting an overnight vigil prior to the Dawn Service.  And two services each year, one near ANZAC Day and one near Remembrance Day, are conducted by school students.  And in all cases they quietly soak up the message clearly given by the silent dignity with which the Sub-Wardens carry out their duty.

Highgate Sub-Branch was formed in 1947.  Two people we honour here today were foundation members – Warren Smith and John Fitzhardinge.

Very soon after the Sub-Branch was formed, the State Branch invited the Highgate Sub-Branch to provide an honour guard at the State War Memorial.  This we have proudly done ever since.  Over the years since 1947, some services have required only six Sub-Wardens while other special occasions needed up to 40.  I’ve seen a photo with 30 Sub-Wardens and another with 28.  Typically there are between 8 and 16.  There were 12 at our most recent service last week.

Ron Stone has attended well over 1,000 wreath-laying services, including his service as Deputy Warden for some 30 years.  Additionally, until he invited the staff at Kings Park to take over the duty, for very many years he DAILY raised the flags each morning and took them in each evening.  An outstanding level of service.

Amongst the 16 Sub-Wardens we honour today, nine others also served regularly for over 30 years.

It seemed to me that people giving such service should not be allowed to just fade away when they were no longer able to participate.  So your Highgate Committee agreed to make a presentation of lasting value to each Sub-Warden that had attended most services each year for at least 10 years.  Our research was a challenge as no written records had been kept, however we are fairly confident in the list of 16 recipients today.  If we have missed any eligible person they will be honoured this time next year, together with any current Sub-Wardens with eligible service that retire by then.

The presentation item is a pewter medallion that can be displayed in their home, and you can see one of them on the head table after lunch. There is a photo in the slide show.

Money raised by the RSL is intended primarily for the welfare of ex-service men and women.  So we had to find a source of funds to pay for the medallions.  I am delighted to report that we found two enthusiastic benefactors:

  • Defence Service Homes Insurance donated $1,000.  Please acknowledge State Manager Ian Douglas
  • Buckingham Pewter donated the expensive parts of the manufacturing process: the artwork and making the mould, and also the engraving of names on these first 16 medallions.  Please acknowledge Managing Director Ann Bradford.

So we now have some 40 medallions, which should be enough for many years to come.

I now invite all of the recipients to come forward as I call your name.  When you are all here at the front I will ask Ian Douglas to present half of you with your medallion and Ann Bradford to present to the other half.

Medallions Presented to Sub Wardens

Basil Sprenger
John Fitzhardinge
Allan Shellabear
Simon Holman
Tom Ferrero
Bob Elliot
Warren Smith
John Hately
John Surridge
Ron Stone
Philip Loffman
Ean McDonald
Pat Mehan
Kenneth Broadhurst
Tom Horton
Alan Saville

Keith Howard
John Morriss
Peter Salmon
Les Stewart

Ken Birks
Robert Campbell
Mick Michael
Bob Dawson (Posthumous)

Wojciech Gorski

Ken Bladen
Otto Pelczar
Bill Wilson

Richard Adams
Doug Farmer
Phillip Skelton

Ray Mawson