INSIDE: Special Anzac Day
Anzac Day in the Western Downs
IN two weeks, Australians all over the world will commemorate Anzac Day.
The day is a chance to pay our respects to all those that have served in armed conflict.
It was on April 25, 1915 that the Australian forces landed in Gallipoli, a battlefield that has shaped the way many Australians see their national identity.
This year marks 100 years since the end of World War I, so it’s particularly poignant as communities gather to remember the sacrifice of servicemen and servicewomen throughout our history.
The Chinchilla News has spoken to groups around the region to see what’s happening in their towns to commemorate Anzac Day on Wednesday, April 25.
IN CHINCHILLA, the Dawn Service will begin at 6am in Fuller’s Place.
RSL Sub-Branch president Bill Belcher said his address would focus on the Australian charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba.
After the service the Apex club will serve breakfast, followed by a 9am service at Illoura, and the main service back on Heeney Street.
The service will include a march starting at the post office.
“When that’s finished, for all those that are eligible, we have a dinner starting at 12.30pm for our veterans and legacy ladies,” Mr Belcher said.
Mr Belcher said he was pleased with the turn-out at previous ceremonies.
“We’re probably getting up near 1500 for our main service and then Dawn Service might be 500,” he said.
“When you go back, when you look at the names on Fuller Place, they were all the original people that left here in Chinchilla to go fight in the Great War.”
RSL Sub-Branch secretary Pat Devlin said Wandoan’s events would begin at dawn.
“We always have a Dawn Service, and then we follow that with a breakfast at the Wandoan Bowls Club, coffee and toast normally,” Mr Devlin said.
“The next item is the main event for the day, we have a march with the school children, veterans, families of veterans and families of ex-service people that starts at 9.45am.
“Our main service is at the Cultural Centre in Wandoan, our Dawn Service is at the Memorial, and that’s at 5.30am.
“Following that we have a community cup of tea, get together, and that’s catered for by our local ambulance group.
“In the afternoon we have a bowls afternoon at the Wandoan Bowls Club... we’ll have two-up at the Juandah Hotel.
“It is pretty eventful day, we don’t have very many veterans left but Wandoan traditionally was a soldier settlement area.
“It’s basically the younger people remembering.
“It’s important for me number one because I am the son of a soldier-settler, and that has been important, and we had five members of our immediate family who served during World War II.
“The other thing is that I think we owe a debt of gratitude to all those who served for our country and it’s very important that we continue to put that message out there for our younger generation.
“It’s just emphasising the fact that a small community can have this day and hold it as a very important day of our year.”
THE Warra Anzac Day commemorations will begin with a memorial service at 9am with a guest speaker from the Enoggera Army
We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who served for our country and it’s very important that we continue to put that message out there. — Pat Devlin
Base in Brisbane.
Warra War Memorial Hall committee chairman Jeff Taylor said, “We generally have a wreath laying ceremony during the service and normally conclude about 9.45am and it’s followed by morning tea in the hall.
“The school children play a part in the service, they lay a wreath on behalf of the school.
“It’s a pretty normal service for Anzac Day with the flag raising and half mast, and raising to full mast at the end of the service.
“It’s generally well attended, last year we had probably a record crowd I would have thought, we would have had over 100 people last year and I don’t ever remember it being that
Last year was a special year for Warra, with the centenary of their World War I memorial in town.
“We had a special occasion where there was 20 names on that World War I honour board that never returned and last year we read a little citation for everyone of those that paid the supreme sacrifice,” Mr Taylor said.
And he’s encouraging everyone to come along this year.
“It’d be lovely to see everybody, to honour our fallen and not only the fallen but the men who returned to play their part in their communities after the war, of course most of them are also gone now.”
The Warra Heritage Centre will also be open on Anzac Day “for anybody who wants to have a look in there at the old, the way Warra was in years gone by.”
“It still has the Anzac display that we had last year for the centenary of the honour board,” Mr Taylor said.
“There’s a lot of photos of the old diggers, it’s worthwhile having a look at.”
IN MILES, there’s both a dawn service and main service happening on the day.
RSL Sub-Branch treasurer Adrian Daveson said the dawn service would be followed with breakfast at the Miles Golf Club, before the main service later in the day.
“We’re just there to meet to make sure that Anzac Day and Remembrance Day are well and truly patronised,” Mr Daveson said.
“The high school gets involved with us, and the school out at Dulacca is very well represented plus the high school people that live out that way do the flag raising and other parts of the ceremony.
“It’s very well attended. “Very well respected.” For Mr Daveson, Anzac Day is all about paying his respects.
“Just the remembrance of people that I’ve served with, that’s the main part of Anzac Day,” he said.
One highlight of the Miles event usually includes Miles’ last World War II veteran leading the march.
“Normally... one of his very close friends from Goondiwindi brings up a Jeep, and we sit him up the back of the Jeep and he leads the parade,” Mr Daveson said.
IN THE town of Dulacca the Anzac Day service will begin at 8.45am at the Dulacca Hall.
“We get a really good roll up, it’s probably one of the very main community events in Dulacca for the year,” Dulacca Pioneers’ Memorial Hall and Progress Association president Adele Hughes said.
“And every couple of years we have local people that are stockmen and women, that come and ride their horses.
“They all lead the parade in. Then the RSL guys march and then we have the Dulacca State School students and the high school students... they march too.”
Mrs Hughes said the service was a special event for the tight-knit Dulacca community.
“Kylie Bourne’s the MC and then we have local people, a local guy that is actually our bugler,” Mrs Hughes said.
“We have local high school boys that raise the flag, and then the state school kids are actually singing.
“After the service is all over everyone has brought a plate to share and so then everyone just has a cup of tea and a bit of morning tea and has a bit of a get together.
“I know I’m probably a bit biased, but it really is a really good little service and everyone seems to enjoy it a deal deal. And we try to involve as many people from the community as we can.”
REMEMBER THE FALLEN: The 2017 Chinchilla Anzac Day parade.
Chinchilla’s 2017 Anzac Day service.
Children march at the 2017 Chinchilla Anzac Day parade.
Wreath laying at Chinchilla’s 2017 Anzac Day service.
2017 Anzac Day service. Chinchilla.
TRADITION: Flag bearers at the Chinchilla 2017 Anzac Day service.
Chinchilla 2017 Anzac Day service.
Chinchilla 2017 Anzac Day service.
Locals gather at the 2017 Chinchilla Anzac Day service.
Children lay wreaths at the Chinchilla 2017 Anzac Day service.