Time for reflection a century on
Acentury after the guns fell silent across Europe to mark the end of the First World War, the Wimmera will pause to reflect and share a moment of silence.
Sunday’s Remembrance Day services take on extra significance this year, taking place exactly 100 years after the Armistice was signed.
Many RSL sub-branches across the Wimmera will host ceremonies to commemorate the anniversary.
Horsham will host a service at the Sawyer Park cenotaph at 10.45am, and a special one-off evening service at Anzac Centenary Bridge on Barnes Boulevard at 7.45pm.
A series of displays, presentations and exhibitions has already opened across the city. A free display entitled ‘Fate of the Imperials: The 1914 Warracknabeal Premiership Team at War’ opened at Horsham library last week and will remain until Monday.
It details the history of the undefeated 1914 Warracknabeal football team.
Nearly all members of the team enlisted to fight in the First World War. Many never returned.
A lighting display will be projected onto Horsham Post Office after sunset each day until Sunday.
The display features First World War images and is a tribute to the 463 men from Horsham district who lost their lives in the conflict.
Poppies and banners will also be displayed along Firebrace Street.
Horsham Rural City mayor Pam Clarke opened a ‘Century of Service’ exhibition at Horsham RSL on Sunday.
Horsham RSL president Robert Lockwood said the exhibition, curated by RSL committee member Jim Amos, featured a huge collection of artefacts.
“It is probably the biggest display of First World War memorabilia outside of a capital city,” he said.
“Jim Amos is the real hero, because he worked extremely hard to put it all together.”
The exhibition is free and open to the public until 4pm on Friday.
Mr Lockwood said it was vital people reflected on the brutality of war without feting it.
“We don’t want to celebrate what happened, but be very mindful of it,” he said.
“It has been 100 years since Armistice and we want people to continue to remember what it means.”
Mr Lockwood said far from fading into obscurity after a century, Remembrance Day was increasing in popularity.
“Remembrance Day is growing again,” he said.
“We’re getting school children involved and there are more people turning up to services than there were six years ago.
“We had about 3000 people attend the Anzac Day centenary dawn service, so it’s definitely not dying off.”
In another special event, bagpipe bands across the world will play ‘The Battle’s O’er’ at the exact moment the Armistice was signed.
Pipers in Horsham and Ararat will join the ceremony at 5pm. Year seven students at Ararat’s Marian College have planted more than 1000 ceramic poppies outside Ararat RSL as part of an Armistice Centenary project.
The poppies will remain until November 18, when members of the public can purchase them for $5 each, with all proceeds going to the Legacy foundation.
Nhill will mark the day with the dedication of a new war memorial commemorating soldiers from the area who died in conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas.
The memorial dedication service will be at 10am followed by a morning tea, with the Remembrance Day service starting at 11am.