With big crowds around the nation on Saturday, Canowindra was no exception with record crowds at both the Dawn Service and the 11.00 Remembrance Service at Memorial Park. Mike Harrison, President of the RSL Sub Branch Mc’d both of the services, and was extremely pleased with the large turnout.
The Dawn Service attracted over 400 people, and over 600 people attended the Remembrance Service in Memorial Park. The parade began at 10.30 from the Junction Hotel and continued down Gaskill Street to Memorial Park. It was gratifying to see all of the schools represented, as well as Fire and Rescue, Ambulance and of course family and friends of those who fought at both World Wars, including Gallipoli and other service deployments. The service at Memorial Park was led by Mike Harrison, with readings and prayers from Jill McDonald, Tracey Clements, Geoff Clements, and Robby Burn. The address was given by Lt. Jackson, who is based in Orange, and he said, ‘We remember the men and women who served our country, that died or were wounded. We remember all that served and all that serve today. We acknowledge their sacrifice of family, of their social lives, birthdays, anniversaries, and for some, the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.”
The laying of the wreaths was read by Tom Beath, President of the Services and Citizens Club. The memorial was a sea of colour at the end of the ceremony. He particularly recounted a story from when he was at Kapooka when he was a 17 year old recruit.
The story was of an Australian digger who fought long and hard. Before the battle fell silent he engaged the enemy in close combat, where he drove his bayonet into his enemy however only wounding him. He left his enemy there, dying, and the enemy soldier thought this was the end. Then a mate of the bloke who wounded him crawled up to him and instead of finishing him off, he treated his wounds and sent him on his way. It was actually the bloke who initially wounded him who had sent his mate out to save him.
Lt. Jackson said, ”it is acts like this that have helped forge our nation into what it is today. I believe that it is what sets our nation apart, so today remember the roots of this country. Not to glorify war but to remember our forefathers who rose to the occasion and stood firm for what they believed in.
Should threats develop in the future, let us pray that the Australian people have the same courage and resolve as these brave men and women to keep this great, very special nation of ours free, and that we remain committed to contributing to peace throughout the world.”
The laying of the wreaths was read by Tom Beath, President of the Services and Citizens Club. The memorial stone was a sea of colour at the end of the ceremony. At the end of the service a collection was taken up for the RSL Sub Branch during the last hymn to support the running of the Sub Branch. The final part of the service was the laying of the crosses and there were 61 crosses laid in memory of past Canowindra residents who had served in the forces and passed away overseas.
Still on Duty
2750 Australian service personnel to mark Anzac Day overseas. 700 in UAE, 400 in Afghanistan and 400 at Anzac Cove, Several hundred on land and sea on Operation Resolute Border, 12 in Israel and 25 in Egypt.
LEST WE FORGET
By Cheryl Newsom