TIME TO REFLECT
Community prepares to mark Anzac Day 2016
POPPIES falling from the sky, light horsemen trotting through the soft sands of Airlie Beach and thousands gathering for solemn services at dawn. These are just some of the elements synonymous with Anzac Day in the Whitsundays. Inside today’s edition we bring you:
Your guide to what’s happening and when on Monday. All the best photos from last year’s event. Stories from the front-line, including a Q&A with Rhylee Goodwin, the local teen who was privileged to be at Gallipoli for last year’s centenary commemorations, courtesy of the Premier’s Anzac Prize.
THEY sacrificed so that we can live in the peace and prosperity we enjoy today.
On Monday, we honour the efforts of men and women like Margaret Helen Henrietta Bell.
Born in Mossman in 1914, Margaret and her family moved to Proserpine four years later.
Margaret began her nursing training at Proserpine Hospital before her studies saw her move north to Charters Towers.
On November 7, 1941, she enlisted for service abroad as a nursing sister, training and working in Brisbane and Warwick.
With the 2/12th Australian General Hospital she departed Australia on the July 7, 1945, for Balakipapan, Borneo, to work in a forward battle area.
She remained in Borneo for 191 days, returning to Australia on January 13, 1946.
The Borneo campaign was the last major Allied campaign in the Second World War, with Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands doing battle against the Japanese.
The Allied troops suffered 8000 casualties, while the Japanese endured 10,000.
Following the surrender of the Japanese forces, the Australians were committed to occupation duties until February 1946.
On her return, Margaret married Harry Briskey, who served in the same unit as Henry Dray, and had a son.
Three months after his birth, Margaret passed away on September 15, 1947, in Greenslopes Military Hospital, Brisbane.
She is commemorated on the AIF Memorial Wall in the Mount Thompson Crematorium, Brisbane.
WE WILL REMEMBER: Whitsunday Navy cadet Sean Healey holds the national flag in front of the 3000-strong crowd at last year’s Cannonvale dawn service.
POPPY DROP: School children scrambled to collect the poppies as they fell from the Tigermoth to the road in Airlie Beach last year.
Proserpine RSL sub-branch president Jason Raiteri speaks at the 2015 dawn service in Proserpine.
ANCESTRY: Whitsunday nurse Margaret Bell served with the 2/12th Australian General Hospital in Borneo.
Returned servicemen George and Robert Gnezdiloff pay their respects before the Proserpine Cenotaph during the 2015 Anzac Day service.
Piper Neil Macmillan.