The John Rogers Memorial Medal was awarded by his brothers Dugald McPhail and Ken Rogers to new Hawk spearhead Cameron Sandercock as part of an Anzac tribute in the Mid South East netball and football matches at Kongorong on Saturday afternoon.
The best-on-ground accolade honours the memory of the local soldier who was killed while on active service in Vietnam in 1968. Sandercock was chosen by umpires Adam Maidment and Scott Chuck after he bagged 10 goals as the Hawks defeated the Saints.
The A Grade footy match involving Nangwarry had been preceded by an Anzac ceremony conducted by president Bob Sandow and other committee members of the Mount Gambier sub-branch of the RSL.
The Ode of Remembrance was recited by visiting naval officer Captain Matt Ritchie and a minute’s silence was observed by officials, umpires, footballers, netballers and the crowd.
Kongorong Football Club president Amanda Sealey was the master of ceremonies and said it was the 15th year the John Rogers Memorial Medal had been awarded.
Speaking to The SE Voice, Nangwarry Football Club president Shane Ploenges said his club was proud to be involved and to honour the service to the nation of many. “I know that our coach Luke Thomson stressed this to the players,” Mr Ploenges said.
Meanwhile, Mr Sandow said the sacrifice of Private John Rogers is honoured in a display of his photograph and medals at the clubrooms. “At 6pm each night, we remember him and 103,000 other Australian service personnel who made the supreme sacrifice in war,” Mr Sandow said.
Ken Rogers tossed the coin for choice of ends and it was won by Kongorong. As in past years, Kongorong footballer John Simkin painted the words “Lest We Forget” in giant letters on the grass.