Dawn­ing of a new era


Wanneroo Weekender - - Front Page - Lucy Jarvis

WANNEROO RSL will host its first Anzac Day Dawn Ser­vice at the Wanneroo War Me­mo­rial next week.

Pres­i­dent Jack Le Cras said the sub­branch used to hold a dawn ser­vice at the Joon­dalup War Me­mo­rial when it was called Wanneroo/Joon­dalup RSL.

How­ever in 2016, both it and Ocean Reef RSL re­aligned their names to rep­re­sent local coun­cil ar­eas, be­com­ing Wanneroo RSL and Joon­dalup City RSL re­spec­tively.

“Wanneroo RSL still wished to be in­volved in a dawn ser­vice,” Mr Le Cras said.

“Af­ter dis­cus­sions with the City of Wanneroo, where it was stated there had not been a dawn ser­vice at the ex­ist­ing me­mo­rial, ar­range­ments were made for a 2017 in­au­gu­ral dawn ser­vice, fol­lowed by a short march with a clos­ing cer­e­mony.”

Mr Le Cras said the ser­vice, which in­cludes a RAAF fly-past, would start at 6am on April 25 and fin­ish by 8.30am, al­low­ing vet­er­ans to also at­tend the Perth City March. Rev­erend John Miles will be the of­fi­cial chap­lain at the ser­vice and guest speak­ers are Bri­gadier Phil White and Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts.

“At 0700, there will be a march led by the Chal­lenge Brass Band through Si­na­gra Street into Civic Pa­rade where the salute will be taken by Bri­gadier White and the mayor,” Mr Le Cras said. “The pa­rade will re­assem­ble in Me­mo­rial Park carpark for a clos­ing ad­dress by Mrs Roberts.”

Wanneroo Lions will serve a gun­fire break­fast from 6.30am for gold coins.

Vet­er­ans wear­ing medals and ACROD per­mit hold­ers can park in the me­mo­rial carpark from 5am, with pub­lic park­ing at the Wanneroo Cen­tral carpark.

Mr Le Cras said Wanneroo Scouts would mount an overnight vigil at the Me­mo­rial from 6pm on April 24.

LIKE many for­mer Aus­tralian De­fence Force (ADF) mem­bers, Brad Kay has found it dif­fi­cult ad­just­ing to life af­ter ser­vice.

The Heathridge res­i­dent spent 22 years in the Air Force, hav­ing joined in 1988 as a 19-year-old, and be­came a flight sergeant and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­ni­cian.

“I joined to get a trade; the Air Force seemed to of­fer what I was af­ter,” he said.

“I kept go­ing un­til I wasn’t en­joy­ing it any­more.”

That time came af­ter be­ing sent to Afghanistan in 2009, which Mr Kay said re­sulted in a “few odd mo­ments” and be­ing “rock­eted daily”.

He left the ADF in 2010, keen to spend more time with his wife and young chil­dren. Mr Kay ad­mit­ted to strug­gling since then and missed the com­rade­ship.

He had joined a New South Wales Re­turned and Ser­vices League (RSL) club while still serv­ing and af­ter­wards be­came a mem­ber of Joon­dalup City RSL Sub­branch.

“You can talk to like­minded peo­ple that have had sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences,” he said.

“They of­fer sup­port and al­low peo­ple to meet up; some­times you don’t know what sup­port to ask for.”

A source of sup­port for Mr Kay is the Mil­i­tary Art Pro­gram, a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion of­fer­ing free art classes for cur­rent and for­mer ADF mem­bers.

“I’ve al­ways been doo­dling and draw­ing and stuff like that,” he said. “I find the art­work calm­ing.

“The classes al­low peo­ple to chat and get ad­vice on where to go (for help).

“It set­tles me and calms me and lets me fo­cus a lit­tle bit. I’m able to be by my­self and draw or paint or what­ever I feel like.”

The RSL holds monthly meet­ings for mem­bers and though Mr Kay said many did not want to talk about their ex­pe­ri­ences, they were al­ways there to help each other when needed.

He hoped to en­cour­age younger peo­ple to join, whom he said could pro­vide in­put into how it was run and make it rel­e­vant to them.

“If you can get younger or re­cent vets into the RSL, they can help with the di­rec­tion of where the RSL can go,” he said.

“A lot of peo­ple think it’s an old boys’ club… (but) a lot more younger guys are start­ing to come in.”

For Mr Kay, Anzac Day will start at Ocean Reef War Me­mo­rial for the dawn ser­vice fol­lowed by help­ing to cook break­fast for at­ten­dees.

Picture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d468055

Wanneroo RSL pres­i­dent Jack Le Cras.

Picture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d468072

Brad Kay with a por­trait of his great grand­fa­ther Ken­neth Kay.

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