ANZAC DAY 2018

Published: Tuesday, 8 May 2018 at 9:43:45 AM

Official proceedings for ANZAC Day 2018 commenced with people accumulating one by one in the darkness to await the dawn. As the sky lightened in the east the lilting tunes of bagpipes broke the air and the Australian Army Band Perth appeared.

Once a year Merredin comes together to observe and remember all the Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all our nations’ wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. 2018 proved no different.  

The Australian Army Band Perth headed the parade which arrived at the Cenotaph and the official Dawn Service for 2018 commenced. Cr Mal Willis opened the service and was followed by Father Andrew Bowron who led the Lord’s Prayer before several community groups and organisations were invited forward to lay a wreath at the base of the Cenotaph.

The Ode was then read by Aub Tompkin before The Last Post was sounded and a minute’s silence was observed to remember all those who fell. The Reveille sounded in the wake of the minute’s silence followed by Jade Healey-Ratima being invited forward to complete a beautiful rendition of the Australian National Anthem followed by the New Zealand National Anthem.

Attendees were then invited to a sumptuous Gunfire Breakfast at Cummins Theatre prepared by the Men’s Shed. 

Those unable to make the Dawn Service were able to attend an 11:00am service held at Cummins Theatre. It proceeded in a similar manner to the Dawn Service with the addition of the hymms ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Lest we Forget’ led by talented local choir ‘A Choired Taste’ as well as the song ‘In a Moment’. Guest speakers, Rosa Robertson (community representative) and Rob Eade (Vietnam Veteran), both spoke to the service.

Mr Eade is travelling around Australia visiting the hometowns of those service men and women who fell during the Vietnam War and in other conflicts following. He arrives in each town astride a great black motorbike with his dog, Ginge, and places a small flag to pay his respect to the fallen at each town’s war memorial. Merredin was fortunate to have Mr Eade in residence for this year’s ANZAC Day.    

Pastor Lomani Uilou led the Lord’s Prayer for the service and at its conclusion, those in attendance stood as a mark of respect as the service men and women in attendance departed from the theatre. Refreshments were then provided by the Shire of Merredin.

A large amount of planning and organisation goes into every ANZAC Day service each year and the Shire expresses its gratitude to all the volunteers in the Merredin community who assisted in setting up, putting out the poppies, singing, cooking, etc. for both services.  Thanks to the ANZAC Day Working Group who planned the day, Merredin Men’s Shed, Pastor Loumani Uilou, Father Andrew Bowron, Grace Alvarez, Vicki Musca, the Merredin Military Cadets, Merredin Fire and Rescue, Rosa Robartson, Nadya Adim, Shire of Merredin staff  and many others. Thanks must also go to Collgar, the Returned Services League and Lotterywest for the provision of funding to support ANZAC Day.

The spirit of ANZAC Day still lives strongly in Merredin and everywhere else in Australia and New Zealand. As a group the Shire of Merredin is very humbled to have had the opportunity to be able to organise and bring this significant event alive with the help of many community organisations and individuals.

The Shire hopes that Merredin will keep on remembering the men and women that sacrificed their lives for our great countries in 2019 and beyond.

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