Childers link to France on display at the local library
REMEMBRANCE Day is a day in which we remember the members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty, and as a sign of respect for our returned soldiers.
Observances across the region will assume greater significance this week with a visit by the mayor of the French town of Vignacourt.
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey said he was looking forward to welcoming Mayor Stephane Ducrotoy to the region and to discuss the linkages that exist between the French community and the wartime experiences of local First World War servicemen.
Cr Dempsey said Vignacourt, although close to the site of the infamous Battles of the Somme fought 100 years ago, had been regarded a place of refuge for soldiers either preparing for or recovering from action on the front line.
“The town was also home to a French couple who provided a photographic service for soldiers wishing to send an image or keepsake back home,” he said.
“It is quite amazing that in 2010 around 3000 images of soldiers including 800 Australians were discovered and became known as the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt.”
Cr Dempsey said Bundaberg had forged a great relationship with the community of Vignacourt with local schools at Bargara and Childers involved in a tribute program.
“Among the soldiers identified in the rediscovered images are two Childers brothers William and Thomas See and this has proven to be a powerful catalyst for the involvement of schools in Childers,” he said.
Earlier this year Childers students welcomed the history lesson linking them to France with guest speaker Michael Fiechtner from InterCultural Consulting Group.
“Remembrance Day on Friday, November 11, will certainly provide a special focus on this emotional linkage that exists between the Bundaberg Region and Vignacourt,” Cr Dempsey said.
“This is a special relationship that highlights a place and time where men from this district served their country gallantly,” he said.
“Vignacourt is not simply a faraway place or name on a map but provides a tangible relevance that we and future generations can relate to and embrace.”
Mayor Ducrotoy will also officially open an exhibition at the Childers Library titled Vignacourt Remembered.
A highlight, will be the formalisation of a Friendship Agreement, Bundaberg and Vignacourt, and the opportunities from that agreement.
Mayor Ducrotoy will travel to Canberra for an official Remembrance Day observance.
Vignacourt is not simply a faraway place or name on a map — Mayor Jack Dempsey
FILM RTIBUTE: Childers First World War soldiers Thomas and William See (centre and right) will be featured in a film about the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt.