We remember them
Sub-branch treasurer honoured to lead Anzac Day civic march through Childers
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.
Anzac Day in Childers.