Another great day was commemorated this year. The support from everyone was humbling and most appreciated.
On behalf of Gloucester RSL Sub-branch president, Alan Vale and its members, we are truly grateful for the support from so many Gloucester people. The Spirit of the Anzacs is etched in our hearts and soul and was never more evident this year. The Diggers would be proud of you all.
There are so many to thank but I will try.
The State Emergency Service (SES) commanded by Rob McNeice were up early to prepare and cook breakfast at the Gloucester Soldiers Club which was provided by the club. Our thanks to the SES, Soldiers Club president Gail Ellis and manager Anthony Hughes and the staff. Gloucester Soldiers Memorial Hospital provided a bus for those a little less mobile for the march. Driver Ross Cullen, co-ordinator Sue Tripeny and nurse Jackie Windred who looked after the frail with a caring hand.
The hardworking Gloucester police commanded by Scott Chester co-ordinated the road safety for all who attended the commemorations. They were supported by Mark Edwards and his men providing fire trucks and Rob McNeice and his men from the SES and their trucks. MidCoast Council supported the march with traffic controllers. A sincere thanks to you all for giving up your time to protect our community; may you stay safe in future operations serving the community. Also supporting the day were our dedicated ambulance officers, Erika Kostrin, Jodie House and Hugh Dougherty who all volunteered to help out and gave up their time off.
Judy Ingram organised the Gloucester High School singers and presenters at the service. A big thank you to Mia Bowden, Liam Chester, Nina Samson and Harry Clarke. Liam also entertained those who attended the Anzac luncheon with a sterling singing voice. Our pipers who travelled from afar, Clyde Murray and Gordon Peden complemented the service. It was a tough job trying to keep them all in step on the march. Thanks Clyde and Gordon. Gloucester Women’s Auxiliary president Yvonne Reynolds and the ladies provided tea and coffee after the dawn service at the Memorial Clock Tower. The little nip of whisky or rum in the coffee was a welcome tradition. They also set up the hall for the luncheon. Thank you ladies.
Gerald McCalden and staff at the historical society once again opened the doors to allow the sub-branch to conduct a traditional wreath laying; most of the honour rolls from the outlying areas are displayed there with a collection of military memorabilia. Visit the museum to see the great display.
The youth of Gloucester again came forward embracing the Spirit of Anzac by participating in the march and the services. Thank you to the teachers for encouraging the students to carry on the ideals and the vision for our country, of the Anzacs, and their attributes of:
Courage, Sacrifice, Mateship, Endurance, Integrity, Honour, Determination, Freedom and Compassion.
The Gloucester Advocate is always very supportive of the sub-branch and the commemorations conducted. Big thanks to Anne Keen and the staff for the professional manner in which the news is presented. The RAAF Air Cadets commanded by Flying Officer Laurie Easter provided the guard and flag orderlies for the dawn service. Thank you to the cadets and the leaders who give up their time to train and lead them.
From the School of Infantry Singleton Warrant Officer Class 2 Geoffrey Loftus, Lance Corporal Hills and guard participated in the march and the 11am service at the tower and WO2 Loftus was the guest speaker at the luncheon. Thank you to all.
A thank you to Scout leader Heather Higgins, Adam Glew, Michael Collins and the scouts who assisted on the day as flag carriers, flag orderlies and in packing away of the chairs. Members of the community please support this newly formed group as they do a great job in teaching life skills to the children. They are always looking for children to join the group and parents to assist.
Scott Hoy and his men maintain the memorial park in a beautiful condition and it’s a most fitting tribute to our servicemen and women. Big thanks to the outdoor staff from council, the garden club and the contribution of the potted rosemary plants for the public.
Pastor Ty Soupidis officiated over the dawn service and Rev Lindsay Sheppard the 11am service. Rev Rob Llewellyn conducted the service at the Anglican Church. Their addresses and prayers were well received. Thank You.
Judy Hopkins and the Rookhurst ladies catered for the luncheon presented a great meal and service. Thank you ladies.
Thanks to John Parish for being on standby in case we had to activate the wet weather plan. The weather was kind to us and I think Rev Sheppard’s prayer at the memorial clock tower helped. Neville Ralph kindly provided his jeep to carry veterans during the march. Thank you Ralph.
To Effie Crawley for providing the 14 beautiful wreaths. Effie makes this contribution every year. Effie, our sincere gratitude.
I will not forget the Gloucester people who supported the march by lining the streets, clapping the veterans, servicemen and ex-service men and women and by their attendance at the services. They are there every year and never forget this important day. Our warmest thanks.
Once again it was a great day, with sadness, reunion of mates and a strong feeling of pride in the past. Seeing our youth and the community embracing what the day is about gives us great anticipation for the future. Thank you one and all.
‘The price of liberty is eternal vigilance’.
My sincere thanks, Max Poole Gloucester RSL Sub-branch secretary.