Kalangadoo remembers soldiers

Members of the Kalangadoo community will gather on Sunday (April 18) to remember two late local soldiers who served overseas with the Australian Imperial Force during World War II. Private William Peake and Craftsman Leo Bilney will be honoured at the dawn ceremony at the Kalangadoo Cemetery.

Both had attended Kalangadoo Primary School before entering the local workforce and then volunteering to serve in the AIF. Their war service and post-war lives will be detailed at the dawn service starting at 6.30am.

For many years, the Kalangadoo Remembers committee has arranged a public commemorative ceremony on the Sunday preceding Anzac Day. Crowds of up to 200 have witnessed the moving tribute.

The committee has taken over the role which was formerly run by the Kalangadoo RSL until it went into recess around 30 years ago. Anglican Church lay reader Howard Young will lead the prayers after a welcome from national serviceman Frank Ousey.

Member for Barrker Tony Pasin and MacKillop MP Nick McBride have been invited to take part along with Wattle Range Mayor Des Noll and ward councillors Dale Price and Deb Agnew. The Anzac Requiem will be delivered by Leanne Young while former RAAF servicemen Peter Burford will reflect on the centenary of the formation of the RAAF.

The significance of Anzac Day will be explained by Kalangadoo Remembers committee member Jes Carlson. Wreaths will be laid by representatives of the RSL, Wattle Range Council, RSL Ladies Auxiliary, Kalangadoo Primary School, Red Cross, Penola police and the Kalangadoo Remembers committee.

Other traditional aspects of the dawn service such as the Ode of Remembrance, singing of the national anthem, sounding of the Last Post and the minute’s silence will be observed. Families will be invited to lay a personal floral tribute at the conclusion of the service.

The ranks of returned ex-service personnel will be thinner this year owing to the deaths of ex-Spitfire pilot Charlie Miller and fellow airman Pat Wilson. After the dawn service, the attendees are then invited to the Gunfire Breakfast at the Riddoch Memorial Institute.

Members of the Kalangadoo and District Lions Club will cook the breakfast. The Kalangadoo Remembers committee is grateful to the local businesses and organisations who have donated breakfast and other supplies.

Committee member Peter Savage said the Kalangadoo commemoration also served to point to other Anzac Day events around the region a week later. “We follow the tradition of the former Kalangadoo RSL Branch in having a local commemoration the week before allow local members to attend their unit’s marches at bigger locales on the actual day,” Mr Savage said.

The usual Kalangadoo Remembers commemoration could not be staged a year ago on account of the COVID protocols which then applied.

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