Dorrigo's century-old war monument has been restored to its place of honour in the centre of town after being destroyed nine months ago in an extraordinary traffic accident.
Crowds gathered early on Wednesday to see their soldier lifted to the top of the monument where he had stood untouched since 1921.
The six metre high monument was struck at night, by an eastbound SUV that failed to navigate the intersection.
The collision felled the soldier, who ended up resting on the top of the vehicle.
Monument and marble statue have undergone delicate reconstruction and now stand in the middle of the town's impressive new roundabout.
The memorial recognises the then tiny mountain town's contribution of 450 men and women to service in World War One, where 49 locals lost their lives.
Locals, ex-service personnel, media representatives and the curious lined the streets from 7am until the soldier was officially back on duty, about 10.30am.
And one simple comment was repeated many times by Plateau residents: He's back!
Many saw the restoration as erasing the shock of finding the town's war memorial a pile of masonry with a car sitting up top.
Secretary of Dorrigo Sub Branch of the RSL, Bob Denner, said destruction of the monument was "an awful experience", especially for those who saw the damage shortly after the accident.
"The most amazing thing was that the soldier was intact and had only suffered some minor damage to his hat," Mr Denner said.
"He landed on the roof of the vehicle and was still holding his rifle like a good soldier should!
"The soldier is now restored to his original place on the monument, fulfilling his role in the Dorrigo community: remembering all those who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our country. Hopefully he will be there for the next 100 years.
"Restoration work by Bellingen Shire Council staff was programmed into the construction of the new Dorrigo roundabout which was completed late 2020 and the action to re-erect the monument commenced in January this year.
"The work that has been done is a tribute to the cooperation and communication between the Dorrigo RSL Sub branch and Bellingen Shire Council.
"The monument will appear to be slightly offset from the road alignment; this is because it now truly faces east and west.
"The restored monument will be rededicated by the Dorrigo Community on ANZAC Day 2021, 100 years since it was first raised."
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