Im­por­tant time to re­flect

Res­i­dents to mark Ar­mistice

Daily Mercury - - NEWS - MITCHELL BAZLEY Mitchell.Bazley@dai­ly­mer­cury.com.au

PREPA­RA­TIONS are be­ing made through­out the Mackay re­gion to com­mem­o­rate the cen­te­nary of the Ar­mistice to­mor­row.

Sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple are ex­pected to gather at the re­gion’s war memo­ri­als and com­mu­nity cen­tres this Sun­day for Re­mem­brance Day, which marks the end of World War I and is a time to re­flect on those who have served the na­tion.

Cer­e­monies will be held in Mackay, Walk­er­ston, Bu­ca­sia, Mar­ian, Mi­rani, Finch Hat­ton, Sa­rina, Koumala, Seaforth, Proser­pine, Can­non­vale, Bowen, Cler­mont, Mo­ran­bah and Emer­ald and other cen­tres.

World War II vet­eran Terry Hayes served in the RAAF from 1944 to 1946 and will be a guest speaker at the Ju­bilee Park ser­vice in Mackay.

“I was 18 when I was en­listed – I was de­ployed to Bor­neo where I spent a year be­fore I came back to Aus­tralia in Au­gust 1945, where I was op­er­at­ing in Rich­mond, and I was fi­nally dis­charged in July 1946,” Mr Hayes said.

“Get­ting the ser­vice­men back to Aus­tralia was a pretty big un­der­tak­ing, we were re­leased on a points sys­tem and I was prob­a­bly one of the last to leave due to my young age.”

Mr Hayes was awarded a num­ber of medals dur­ing his time in ser­vice, in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian Ac­tive Ser­vice Medal, the De­fence Medal, the Pa­cific Star, two Re­turned from Ac­tive Ser­vice Medals and the 1939-1945 Medal.

“The Ar­mistice is one of the most im­por­tant days in mod­ern his­tory. Be­cause World War I was such a ter­ri­ble event, it had a tragic im­pact on many peo­ple,” he said.

Mayor Greg Wil­liamson will at­tend the Ju­bilee Park ser­vice to­mor­row. He said about 20 per cent of Mackay’s pop­u­la­tion had been lost in World War I.

“Re­mem­ber­ing peo­ple who served for our coun­try is re­ally im­por­tant. We do it well in Mackay and I’m very proud of what we do as a com­mu­nity,” Cr Wil­liamson said.

De­tails of com­mem­o­ra­tive ser­vices planned can be found on Page 4.

Photo: Con­tributed

TIME TO RE­MEM­BER: Piper Alex Cameron, Mayor Greg Wil­liamson, Malu­danae Simeon, Deb­o­rah Green and Terry Hayes.

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