Anzac Day 2017
I hope everyone enjoyed Easter and the well-deserved break over the long weekend. The next important date on our national calendar is of course the annual commemoration of Anzac day.
I would encourage everyone to reflect on the service and sacrifice of Australia’s service personnel from all wars and conflicts this Anzac Day.
The sacrifices young men and women have made towards keeping our great nation safe is something we must never forget.
The freedom and quality of life we all enjoy is in no small part due to the ongoing efforts of our defence forces who have always been there when our country is under threat.
Often we take for granted the free country we live in, as we spend each day going our own way, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that this freedom came at a price to many in wars past and present.
Anzac Day is a day to take the time to pause and remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
This day gives us all an opportunity to show our eternal gratitude for their service and for the freedoms that we enjoy every day.
The courage shown by the first ANZACs and the events that followed are entwined in our national identity and we continue to honour their courage, sacrifice and tenacity.
As we pause to remember the service and sacrifice of our military personnel, the annual Anzac Day commemorations will again provide Australians the opportunity to be part of this traditional mark of respect.
I often reflect on a quote from a memorial plaque that sums up the Spirit of Anzac,
“Anzac is not merely about loss, it is about courage and endurance, and duty, and love of country and mateship, and good humour, and the survival of a sense of self-worth and decency in the face of dreadful odds.”
The Dubbo electorate was home to many diggers, from Narromine’s Charles McCarthy who dreamt of becoming a soldier and got his chance at the outbreak of World War One. Charles enlisted on 12 August 1914 joining the 2nd Battalion, he served at Gallipoli and in Palestine. He was sadly killed in action in France aged just 24.
Also in the 2nd Battalion, Mudgee farmer Frank Robertson earnt the respect of his mates in Gallipoli and on the western front. Frank survived the brutal Gallipoli campaign evacuated to Egypt for medical treatment for a gunshot wound. He returned to fight again and was fatally wounded on 29 December 1916 near Corbie in France.
We remember Hector Black from Gulgong who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Battle of Bardia, the site of the first battle fought by Aussie troops in WWII.
Dubbo brothers John and John James Turner who were sadly both killed in action during the Battle of Fromelles and the charge at Lone Pine, respectively. Their father, Robert, also served leaving his boys behind returning to Australia early in 1918.
Known as an all-round good bloke, Wellington’s Arthur Devenish saw service at Gallipoli and later in France with the 17th Battalion, he lost his life during the Battle of Pozieres just eight days after his 20th birthday.
These are the stories of just a few young lads from our region who served our country with pride.
I urge you to honour the memories of our fallen, attend a dawn service, commemoration or march to show your support and keep the spirit of Anzac alive.
Lest We Forget.
COMMEMORATIONS IN DUBBO
DAWN SERVICE: Begins at 5.45am at the Cenotaph at Victoria Park on Darling Street.
MARCH AND SERVICE: The Anzac March will begin in Brisbane Street outside the Dubbo RSL. Those taking part in the March are asked to gather from 10am with the March beginning at 10.15.
The march will proceed to the Cenotaph at Victoria Park for the 11am Service. Group Captain Francis Frederick Grigson will be a guest speaker at the service.