A new Metro station at Pitt Street is set to be named after Captain Reginald Saunders, the first indigenous Australian to serve as a commissioned army officer in Korea and WWII.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that the name decision comes after NSW Transport Minister, David Elliott, personally intervened in a departmental push to use the name ‘Gadigal Railway Station’ instead.
Mr Elliott moved to overturn the proposed name in a bid to honour Captain Saunders, who is considered a local ‘hero.’
Captain Saunders has a strong connection to the Greek island of Crete during WWII. He was supported by the Tzangarakis family from the village of Labini in Rethymno prefecture. He evaded capture on Crete for almost one year until he finally escaped to Egypt.
On May 2016, the 42nd Street Memorial plaque was unveiled in Chania, Crete, to commemorate the Battle of 42nd Street, which Captain Reginald Saunders fought in alongside the Maori Battalion.
Minister Elliott believes the new station should include a plaque of this life story, as well as images of the Captain.
Transport for NSW formally proposed the alternative name to ‘Gadigal Railway Station’ on February 21. If it is approved by the Geographical Names Board, it will be advertised for public comment.
Source: The Daily Telegraph.