VIET­NAM WAR RE­MEM­BERED

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Ni­chols and Scott Tib­balls

VIET­NAM Vet­er­ans Day, with a fo­cus on the 50th an­niver­sary of the Bat­tle of Long Tan, was com­mem­o­rated in the shire on Au­gust 18.

The or­gan­is­ers at the Moss­man Sub-branch of the RSL were es­pe­cially pleased with what was the strong­est turn out in quite some time.

“We got a lot of peo­ple from around Syd­ney and other places in­clud­ing Bris­bane, who are up here on hol­i­days,” said branch sec­re­tary Wally Gray.

“And I think the publicity in the pa­per helped us out a lot to get a bet­ter crowd this year.

Mr Gray said the oc­ca­sion was to to “re­mem­ber what our boys did over in Viet­nam, so they’re not for­got­ten.

“It’s in­tegrity in our his­tory; they did their part and we can’t for­get about that.

“Un­for­tu­nately a lot of them came back and had post trau­matic stress dis­or­ders, which un­for­tu­nately is some­thing that can be dif­fi­cult to iden­tify and to work out with them all, but we just have to keep go­ing.”

It was a mes­sage touched on also in the ad­dress by pres­i­dent Ron Sav­age, who said “sadly we are still find­ing ex ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies who from WWII on­wards are in need of sup­port”.

And it was ef­fec­tively ex­plored in a poem by David J. De­laney, of Cairns, whose thoughts on the ef­fects of mod­ern con­flict were read Father Barry Pat­ter­son.

It re­flected on the wars of to­day, and though while the na­ture of the threats may change, the ef­fects of fight­ing are all-too fa­mil­iar.

“A new gen­er­a­tion needs our help” the poem says.

The com­mem­o­ra­tion at Mount Mol­loy in­cluded the ded­i­ca­tion of a replica Bat­tle of Long Tan Cross, which was built us­ing a par­tial grant given by the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs.

Vet­er­ans, a naval con­tin­gent from HMAS Cairns, mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and chil­dren from the Ju­lat­ten and Mount Mol­loy schools at­tended the com­mem­o­ra­tion where the au­di­ence lis­tened to prayers led by Father Robert Greenup, and an ad­dress by WO John Men­henick of HMAS Cairns.

Ra Ribes and Night

Sean Hawkes

Rodney Ross

Pic­tures: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Ron Sav­age, RSL branch pres­i­dent

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