Grand plans for AN­ZAC cen­te­nary

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE AN­ZAC cen­te­nary is fast ap­proach­ing and be­hind the scenes in the Whit­sun­days a host of prepa­ra­tions are al­ready un­der­way to en­sure 2015 is the most mem­o­rable year yet.

Air­lie Beach RSL sub branch pres­i­dent Terry Brown said this year more than ever was about com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, as much be­cause of the present sit­u­a­tion as com­mem­o­rat­ing the past.

“The 75 Squadron just left for the Mid­dle East in the war against ISIS – we live in a world now where it seems to get mad­der and mad­der and there’s [still] peo­ple do­ing the best they can to make the world a safer place,” he said.

Mr Brown’s sen­ti­ments were echoed by lo­cal war vet­eran Josef Concy who said it was im­por­tant for the younger gen­er­a­tion to en­gage with the RSL.

“We’re try­ing to get young peo­ple to un­der­stand what the RSL is all about – it’s not just a bunch of old guys, it’s to help every­body who’s served,” he said.

As part of that en­gage­ment with the wider com­mu­nity and youth, this year’s AN­ZAC com­mem­o­ra­tions will start on Fri­day, April 24 with a World War I in­spired art show at the Reef Gate­way Ho­tel.

Tick­ets to the evening event cost $10 and only 200 are avail­able so Mr Concy urged the com­mu­nity not to wait.

At this year’s Can­non­vale AN­ZAC Day dawn ser­vice, the New Zealand na­tional an­them will be sung in English and Maori in ad­di­tion to Australia’s ‘Ad­vance Australia Fair’.

Air­lie Beach RSL sub branch vice pres­i­dent Bill Rose said ev­ery ef­fort was also be­ing made to bring some- thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to the Air­lie Beach main street pa­rade.

“Weather per­mit­ting we’ll have Re­mem­brance pop­pies dropped over the pa­rade from a Tiger­moth and we’re hop­ing we can get a cou­ple of peo­ple dressed as light horse­men,” he said.

Tick­ets to the art ex­hi­bi­tion and cock­tail night on April 24 can be bought by phon­ing Josef Concy on 0419 645 042.

EN­GAG­ING THE YOUTH: Com­mu­nity in­volve­ment is what the lo­cal RSL are hop­ing for with the AN­ZAC cen­te­nary next month.

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