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ANZAC Day 2017

Once again the communities of Bannockburn, Teesdale, Shelford and Inverleigh remembered those who rose to the challenge when our country, our communities and our families were threatened by an enemy.

Once again our communities dream of the time when we can say with reality … that was the war to end all wars and now we will live in peace.

Sadly, this is not human nature and despite the horror of war, it is inevitable that we will have to stand again against enemies who want to invade our freedom, our way of life, our beliefs, our culture and our country to satisfy their own lust for power and domination.

Our ANZAC week commenced on Monday when students from schools in our local communities met at Bannockburn to remember those who have served in various conflicts and peace keeping operations over the past century. 

Mr Mal Johns, President of the Inverleigh RSL presided over this service for our students who then laid wreathes at the memorials outside the Shire Hall.

After a night of torrential rain, the dawn service at Bannockburn was well attended. No rain, just solemn thoughts as we heard the message from the Prime Minister read out by Mr Dean Bushell from our local Federal Member’s office, followed by silence, Last Post, Revelli and the Ode of Remembrance taken from Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen:

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

The main march and service for the day was held at Inverleigh – the parade led by Mr Keith Kelly riding in a convertible vintage Ford Mustang. Keith flew 40 missions with Bomber command with the RAF, which was quite an achievement. Two coaches brought visiting military personnel from Williams Air Base to share the Inverleigh service with us. These visitors are from a range of South East Asian countries and are on a short term training mission in Australia.

The Service was followed by a delicious morning tea provided by the local Red Cross ladies as locals got to meet the visiting personnel and learn something of the culture of our surrounding nations.

The afternoon saw Bannockburn and Inverleigh football teams play an intensive game of Australian rules football at Bannockburn. Despite leading for most of the day, Inverleigh succumbed to Bannockburn after the final siren – a hard fought battle to cap off another day of remembrance.