Sac­ri­fices hon­oured

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

More than a thou­sand peo­ple gath­ered un­der blue skies on Satur­day for Re­mem­brance Day ser­vices across West Gipp­s­land.

The day com­mem­o­rates the sign­ing of the Ar­mistice at the 11th hour of the 11 the month of and orig­i­nally hon­oured those whose had died in World War I. It now re­mem­bers those who died in all wars. In War­ragul hun­dreds of peo­ple gath­ered for the short ser­vice.

Wreaths were laid by com­mu­nity groups, in­di­vid­u­als and school stu­dents.

Mayor Joe Gauci said it was the 99th an­niver­sary of the date which stopped hos­til­i­ties in World War I from 1914 to 1918.

He said it was a time to pay re­spects to more than 60,000 peo­ple who paid the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice in that war.

“We ac­knowl­edge, ap­pre­ci­ate and re­mem­ber their ser­vice and the price they paid to make this coun­try the great land that it is to­day. Cr Gauci said it also was a time to re­mem­ber those that had paid the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice in all wars since and peace keep­ing op­er­a­tions.

He said it was par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the An­zac cen­te­nary that was be­ing re­mem­bered and would con­tinue un­til 2018.

The Ode was read by War­ragul RSL pres­i­dent Noel Tucker. Julie Reilly played the last post and reveille and the St Paul’s Angli­can Gram­mar School choir led the Na­tional An­them.

Drouin’s Re­mem­brance Day com­mem­o­ra­tion was once again well-at­tended, with sev­eral peo­ple lin­ing the fore­court at Drouin’s Me­mo­rial Park.

Drouin RSL pres­i­dent Rod McNabb led the com­mem­o­ra­tion ser­vice, and while his open­ing ad­dress was punc­tu­ated by roar­ing mo­tor­cy­cles pass­ing, he pro­vided some mov­ing re­flec­tions on con­flicts past and present.

“Spe­cial thought must be given to those cur­rently serv­ing half a world away and in most dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, they are do­ing very well,” he said.

Fol­low­ing prayer led by Mark Kelly, Mr McNabb re­flected on the 99th an­niver­sary since the ar­mistice to end World War One, along with sig­nif­i­cant con­flict that oc­curred 100 years ago in­clud­ing the Cal­vary charge on Beer­sheba, where 31 Aus­tralian lives were lost.

“There were three sig­nif­i­cant things, one, that there was no end in sight in France and Bel­gium,” he said. “Sec­ondly, it was in­cred­i­bly cold. “They had some of the cold­est days in 20 years in France.

“There was a let­ter home to knit more socks, as rumba ra­tion was used to cure chilblain.

“It said I would much rather use rum for the use in­tended.

“Thirdly, and most sig­nif­i­cant, was the lives lost.”

Mr McNabb also touched on other con­flicts, in­clud­ing the 75th an­niver­sary of ac­tion on the Kokoda trail.

He also touched on the sig­nif­i­cance of next year for the Drouin RSL.

“The year 1919 was spe­cial for Drouin, as we had our first hon­our board en­try,” he said. “Mr Hamilton was pres­i­dent.” The com­mem­o­ra­tion be­gan with a per­for­mance from Drouin Sec­ondary Col­lege stu­dent Cas­sidy Dalziel.

Mr McNabb said it had come about fol­low­ing a late re­quest from Drouin South Pri­mary School to per­form on An­zac Day.

He said lo­cal schools would now per­form on both An­zac Day and Re­mem­brance Day on a ro­ta­tional ba­sis as an ex­tra mea­sure to have young peo­ple in­volved.

Sev­eral mem­bers aid wreaths at the ceno­taph, with the com­mem­o­ra­tion con­clud­ing with a minute of si­lence and flag rais­ing.

For­mer World War II ser­vice­man Arthur Erbs was part of a spe­cial trib­ute at the Trafal­gar Re­mem­brance day ser­vice on Satur­day.

Mr Erbs fam­ily filled his ab­sence at the RSL where he had given a life­time of ser­vice be­fore his death this year.

Trafal­gar-Thor­p­dale RSL pres­i­dent Ray James said the branch had lost two ser­vice­men this year with the deaths of Mr Erbs and Stan­ley Sav­ige.

Mr James said Mr Erbs and the late Jack Cooper had been in­stru­men­tal in re­form­ing the RSL and the re­fur­bish­ment project for the Trafal­gar RSL rooms.

“Arthur Erbs and Jack Cooper are the rea­sons the RSL is here to­day.

“Their names are mem­o­ralised in this (hon­our) wall for­ever to show their love and com­mit­ment to the na­tion,” he said.

The Trafal­gar-Thor­p­dale RSL con­ducted eight ser­vices in two days as part of its Re­mem­brance day ser­vices.

Mr James said it was a day to recog­nise the end of hos­til­i­ties.

“We do this so that each of the men on this ceno­taph are re­mem­bered. On this day we re­call those who gave their lives for Aus­tralia and mankind.

“The 11th of the 11th is set aside to re­mem­ber the sac­ri­fices made in wars and con­flicts.

“This free­dom we all en­joy is a legacy of those who fought and died for Aus­tralia,” he said.

Vice pres­i­dent Rus­sell Mack read all the World War I and World War II ser­vice­men listed on the ceno­taph.

The Erbs fam­ily led the wreath lay­ing fol­lowed by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the RSL, Pris­on­ers of War, Viet­nam Vet­er­ans, Baw Baw Shire, Lega­tees, Trafal­gar Lions Club and Trafal­gar High School

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