Residents to honour Anzacs

Residents to honour Anzacs

The Mount Gambier Community RSL will hold a series of services in honour of Anzac Day next Thursday.

The ceremonies will honour the more than 1.5 million service men and women who have defended Australia in all conflicts, wars and peacekeeping operations and the more than 102,000 who sacrificed their future for ours.

The events started with the 43rd Salvation Army Accolade wreath laying ceremony at the Salvation Army Citadel last night with the offerings of the annual service donated to Legacy Australia.

On Wednesday, April 24, a Kapyong Day Service will be held at 11am at the Soldiers Memorial in Vansittart Park which will honour a large battle during the Korean War and last local Korean War veteran 94-year-old Roy Underwood.

Reidy Park Primary School will attend the Kapyong Day Service and place white crosses under the lone pine tree at the Vansittart Park Soldiers Memorial in preparation for Anzac Day.

The Anzac Day Dawn Service will commence at around 6am with Royal Australian Navy Captain Alistair Cooper from Canberra delivering a short address and a Tenison Woods College captain reciting the Anzac Requiem.

Mount Gambier Community RSL president Bob Sandow said he expects to see thousands of community members in attendance at the dawn service, while local cadet ranks are continuing to grow post COVID.

“It is just building momentum and the numbers are slowly increasing, in fact I think there were about 6000 people there last year,” he said.

“The army has picked up nine new cadets and the air force has picked up 11 so 20 kids have joined the cadets just this year.”

Dawn service attendees are invited back to the Mount Gambier Community RSL following the ceremony for fellowship.

At 9am, a Boer War Service will take place at the Bay Road site presented by Mr Sandow while a coinciding airman’s service will be conducted by Reverend Murray Earl at the Australia War Graves commissioned site in the Lake Terrace Cemetery to honour the memory of the four local veterans who reside there.

“I remember when I first did the Boer War Service there was two people there and now we have built it up to about 40 family members who attend,” Mr Sandow said.

“The airmen’s service has done for many years without the knowledge of the RSL.

“The old World War II airmen of the district Charlie Miller, Jack Hopgood and Tony Braithwaite continued it.

“When we found out, I remember saying to Charlie that when he passed I will make sure it continues for him.”

The Anzac Day march will start at 10am and finish with 13 9th Brigade soldiers from Adelaide and a Bushmaster vehicle led by former Millicent resident Senior Officer in Charge Captain Taylor Davies.

It will be a particularly special occasion for Limestone Coast Officer in Charge Superintendent Cheryl Brown who will take part in the local march for the first time.

Superintendent Brown’s parents have retired from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and her two children are each in the RAAF and Royal Australian Navy.

Captain Cooper will again deliver a short address at the mid-morning service while Captain Davies will recite The Ode and a Tenison Woods College captain will speak on the history of the Anzacs.

Mr Sandow said the status of the annual flyover was up in the air and to be advised prior to Anzac Day.

The Women’s Auxiliary will host a lunch at the Mount Gambier Community RSL following the later service.

The attention will then be turned to the Limestone Coast Football Netball League A Grade match between North and South Gambier at Vansittart Park from 2.30pm with the best on ground player awarded the Tony Casadio Anzac Day Medal.

Meanwhile in the Limestone Coast Football Netball League, the South and North Gambier A Grade netballers will compete for the Shirley Underwood OAM Anzac Day Medal at Vansittart Park at 2.30pm.

Across town, a ceremony by the Barry Maney Premier League between International and Blue Lake will take place at Casadio Park on Anzac Day at 6.30pm in honour of Mr Casadio.

On Saturday, April 27, the Marge Dennett Anzac Day Medal will be presented to a Mount Gambier Netball Association player.

The John Rogers Memorial Medal will be presented at the Kongorong Football Club following the A Grade match at 2.10pm between Kongorong and Robe in the third round of the Mid South Eastern Football League season.

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