The Rats of Tobruk Association House located in Albert Park has been vandalised with graffiti for the fourth time in the past three months, as the facade of the building represents a white canvas for taggers.
The veterans gained recognition because they held out a siege during eight months by Irwin Rommel, a German general and his Afrika Corps. The Rats of Tobruk, mainly Australian, along with British and Indian troops, managed to win the first land battle in the Libyan city against German troops, which at the end lead to the complete defeat of the Afrika Corps.
The association has been holding meetings in their Alber Park location for more than 60 years now. Around 10 years ago, they were fairly close to having to sell their headquarters, but they were able to keep the building when a kind businessman brought the place for $1.73 million and let the veterans keep the place for as long as they wanted. The bid exceeded the amount that developers were set to pay to construct residential developments.
So apparently the vandalism to the place seems to be another battle than the Rats have to win. The remaining members, who are aged in their 90s, felt devastated by the fourth assault to their property, because they consider the tagging as a disrespect to their sacred place and to what they have done in the past and what they continue to do in the present.
The fourth attack to their white facade is especially appalling because the graffiti had to be taken down before Christmas, and now again the tags appeared overnight. At the time of the third attack, Port Phillip Council was in charge to remove the graffiti and once again are expected to send their crews to do the removal again. A committee member of the association expressed their intentions to install CCTV cameras in order to stop with the offences. Offensive graffiti such as this has to be removed as soon as possible because it can easily bring similar attacks by other vandals, additionally properties like the Rats’ headquarters could prevent further attacks with protective coatings.