The “Dare Memorial: Cafe and Museum” was inaugurated on the 25th of April 2009. The inauguration was attended by the President of the Republic, the Prime-Minister and the President of UNESCO National Commission.
The inauguration, which took place within the launching of the Timor-Leste UNESCO National Commission, was attended by the President of the Republic, Dr. Ramos-Horta, the Prime-Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, and the main promoter of the project, President of UNESCO National Commission and Goodwill Ambassador for Education of Timor-Leste, Kirsty Sword Gusmão. Several members of diplomatic representations and East Timorese and Australian veterans who took part in World War Two were also present.
The “Dare Memorial: Cafe and Museum” celebrates the memory of the joint effort between East Timorese and Australians against the Japanese occupation of Timor, during World War Two. In February 1942, responding to the arrival of Allied troops in Timor, Japanese troops landed in Dili and Kupang. For over a year, two Australian Companies fought a guerrilla war against the occupying Japanese troops, with the support of the Timorese population and some Portuguese colonial officials. Until the end of World War Two, in August 1945, the Japanese controlled the island of Timor, and the Timorese suffered terrible reprisals for helping the enemy. An estimated 40.000 to 50.000 Timorese lost their lives during this period.
The Dare Memorial was initially inaugurated in 1969 by Australian veterans of World War Two. There it read: “To the Portuguese people, from Minho to Timor. A gift from the Australian people as proof of their gratitude for the assistance rendered to his soldiers from 1939 to 1945, and most particularly to the Timorese people, from the men of the I.C. 2/2 (Independent Company) who fought here in 1942”.
The new “Dare Memorial: Cafe and Museum” is the result of the effort and persistence of Kirsty Sword Gusmão, answering a request by the Fatunaba community to revitalize the space with the construction of a new primary school. After 7 years, and with the support of various people and public and private institutions, this space has finally become a reality.
The Cafe and Museum are open to the public every day. For more information on the work developed, visit the web page of the Archives and Museum of the Timorese Resistance.
Design and development boq | Copyright © 2009 State Secretariat for Arts and Culture