SPE­CIAL TRIB­UTE Lodge re­mem­bers our ‘va­cant chairs’

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Erica Mur­ree erica.mur­ree@cnbtimes.com.au

SOLEMN, re­spect­ful, real­is­tic and mov­ing were words used to de­scribe the Gayn­dah Ma­sonic Lodge’s Va­cant chair cer­e­mony on Tues­day night.

The Gayn­dah Lodge threw open its doors to in­vite its com­mu­nity to the ser­vice ded­i­cated to those who have made the supreme sac­ri­fice in all the­atres of war.

Carmel Waugh It made me think of those who had given their lives and no­body knew of them.

The “va­cant chair” rep­re­sents the empty chairs left in homes and com­mu­ni­ties when people do not re­turn from war.

The cer­e­mony dates back to 1875 when first used dur­ing the Amer­i­can Civil War and has been used since with the per­mis­sion of lodges in Amer­ica.

Guest speaker WO Class 1 RSM Lofty Wendt de­scribed the ser­vice as sombre and real­is­tic.

“It pays homage to those who went be­fore us,” he said.

SAC Peter Raf­fels said any ser­vice that honours our fallen com­rades is to be ad­mired.

Carmel Waugh said the sen­ti­ments were lovely and mov­ing.

“It made me think of those who had given their lives and no­body knew of them,” she said.

Sandy Moerland said the ser­vice was very re­spect­ful.

“It is nice people don’t for­get,” she said.


LESTWE FOR­GET: Gayn­dah Ma­sonic Lodge per­formed amov­ing but sombre cer­e­mony for its Va­cant Chair cer­e­mony to re­mem­ber fallen soldiers. Cpl Kevin Mur­ree, Leading Sea­men Craig Fothergill and Se­nior Air­crafts­man Peter Raf­fels were in­volved in the cer­e­mony while Kay Whar­ton (In­ner Wheel) and Sandy Moerland (Legacy) lay wreaths.

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