We re­mem­ber them

Sub-branch trea­surer hon­oured to lead An­zac Day civic march through Childers

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

IT IS ar­guably one of Michael Sch­midt’s proud­est days.

When Town & Coun­try sits down to talk with Mr Sch­midt, he has re­tired the black suit jacket and brace of medals pinned to his left breast.

It is An­zac Day, and Mr Sch­midt is re­lax­ing with a glass full of am­ber fluid af­ter lead­ing the civic march through Childers.

The oc­ca­sion is not lost on Mr Sch­midt, who says it is the first time he has led an An­zac Day march.

“I’m proud to have been able to do that,” he said.

Proud is an un­der­state­ment.

Mr Sch­midt served in the Royal Aus­tralian Navy for 10 years, most fre­quently on bor­der op­er­a­tions out of Cairns.

The 39-year-old served about six of those years in Far North Queens­land, be­fore swap­ping uni­forms to serve as a po­lice of­fi­cer.

He has now been based at Childers for two years, hold­ing the rank of constable in his day job.

In his spare time he serves as Isis RSL Sub-Branch trea­surer, and played a key role in plan­ning the lo­cal com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 100th an­niver­sary of the Gal­lipoli land­ing.

Record crowds greeted Mr Sch­midt and a large num­ber of vet­er­ans and rel­a­tives as they marched be­hind Light Horse Me­mo­rial Trooper Chris Iseppi down Churchill St.

“It’s a priv­i­lege to have led the pa­rade,” Mr Sch­midt said.

“There has been a lot of plan­ning – be­fore work, af­ter work and some­times dur­ing. A lot of peo­ple put a lot of time into plan­ning to­day.

“We’ve been pre­par­ing for a few months now. The last few weeks were pretty hec­tic.

“But see­ing all the peo­ple out there was fan­tas­tic. It makes you very proud.”

An­zac Day marks a time for Aus­tralians to re­mem­ber the sac­ri­fice and courage of Dig­gers in years past, but for Isis res­i­dents, this year’s com­mem­o­ra­tion held much more mean­ing.

Sixty-one Isis men were killed in ac­tion dur­ing the First World War, which left the re­gion with one of the high­est losses in the coun­try.

Some of the names in Childers’ Sol­diers’ Room live on to­day, with sev­eral prom­i­nent iden­ti­ties like Hin­kler MP Keith Pitt and for­mer Isis Shire mayor Bill Trevor descen­dants of men killed in the Great War.

While the sac­ri­fice of all 61 men were high­lighted dur­ing ser­vices in both Childers and Woodgate, the ef­forts of de­fence per­son­nel in re­cent con­flicts were also re­mem­bered.

For Mr Sch­midt, An­zac Day is an oc­ca­sion to re­flect on the decade he spent in the navy. “It’s not only about the sac­ri­fice sol­diers made but it’s re­mem­ber­ing mates and other peo­ple I’ve served with,” he said.

RIS­ING SUN: The sun rises over Woodgate Beach af­ter the An­zac Day dawn ser­vice.

RE­MEM­BER­ING THE FALLEN: Isis RSL Sub-Branch treasel Sch­midt leads the An­zac Day march in Childers.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

An­zac Day in Childers.

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