Lo­cals, per­son­nel pause in re­mem­brance

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Bran­wen Smith

A small num­ber of res­i­dents joined de­fence force per­son­nel at the ceno­taph in Ex­mouth to mark the 11th hour on Re­mem­brance Day.

The flags of Aus­tralia, New Zealand and the US were flown and the na­tional an­thems of all three coun­tries played as those as­sem­bled paused to re­mem­ber those killed in war.

Shire of Ex­mouth ex­ec­u­tive man­ager com­mu­nity en­gage­ment Roge Kempe said there was a long-stand­ing tra­di­tion in Ex­mouth to in­cor­po­rate the New Zealand and US flags and an­thems into the cer­e­mony.

“This comes from the mil­i­tary and es­pe­cially the Amer­i­can history of the area, which goes back as far as the Sec­ond World War when both Amer­i­can and Aus­tralian troops were part of Op­er­a­tion Pot­shot,” he said.

The Pot­shot Sub­ma­rine Base in Ex­mouth Gulf was bombed by the Ja­panese dur­ing World War II. Dur­ing the same pe­riod, RAAF Lear­month Air Base was built nearby and still op­er­ates to­day.

Ex­mouth owes its ex­is­tence to the es­tab­lish­ment of the Harold E Holt Naval Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sta­tion by the Amer­i­can Navy in the 1960s.

The town was built to sup­port the base and spe­cial ef­fort was made to in­te­grate the Amer­i­cans with the Aus­tralian civil­ians who were among Ex­mouth’s ear­li­est res­i­dents.

By the 1970s, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion sta­tion was jointly run by the Amer­i­can Navy and the Aus­tralian Navy.

Nowa­days, Aus­tralian De­fence per­son­nel from the Pil­bara Reg­i­ment and the RAAF are based in Ex­mouth, while the Amer­i­can forces based in the town are Air Force per­son­nel At the Lear­month So­lar Ob­ser­va­tory.

Vet­eran Tom Aitken at Re­mem­brance Day ser­vice Ex­mouth. the

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