Stolen rifle restored to glory

Military historian Tony Kent returning the restored rifle to Alan Bowers, who originally donated it to the RSL. Photo: Ashley Bolt
Military historian Tony Kent returning the restored rifle to Alan Bowers, who originally donated it to the RSL. Photo: Ashley Bolt

Collie-Cardiff RSL member Alan Bowers never thought he’d see the .303 Lee-Enfield rifle he donated to the club back in all its glory.

The rifle was stolen during a burglary in January and was returned to the club last month with serious damage to its stock and its barrel. 

“When I first saw it I was really dismayed at what some people could do,” Mr Bowers said.

But now the rifle will be returned to its rightful place on display at the club after it was restored by local military historian Tony Kent.

Mr Kent handed the rifle back to the club on Friday, June 29 after replacing the damaged stock.

In a sign of gratitude, the RSL gifted Mr Kent with a pen created from the rifle’s damaged stock, which was crafted by Ron White.

“I’m that bloody happy to see it back in this prestige position,” Mr Bowers said.

Collie-Cardiff RSL president Gary Benton said the rifle would be returned to its plaque and put back on display in the club.

“We’ll never lock things away,” he said.

“We want people to be able to see these things, like the rifle and the tank out the front.

“We haven’t got it for us, we’ve got it for Collie. People have got to be able to see it.”

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