Kokoda's 75th anniversary remembered with service at Dubbo

Remembering: Tom Gray (left) and Bill Greenwood (right) from the Dubbo RSL Sub-Branch with Wayne Garnsey and Peter Scott at Dubbo's cenotaph. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
Remembering: Tom Gray (left) and Bill Greenwood (right) from the Dubbo RSL Sub-Branch with Wayne Garnsey and Peter Scott at Dubbo's cenotaph. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Soldiers from Dubbo who helped win victory against the odds on the Kokoda Trail will be in the hearts of future generations on Sunday who will thank them for the gift of “a much better life”.

The 75th anniversary of the pivotal World War Two campaign will be marked with a remembrance service at the Dubbo Cenotaph.

Stories of two Dubbo soldiers who slogged it out with their mates in the jungle will be shared.

Kokoda advocate Charlie Lynn will travel to Dubbo for the special event and reflect on the campaign.

Afterwards the former army major, who has been a driving force behind the development of the Kokoda Trail since 1991, will share his knowledge in a session at the Dubbo RSL Club.

The Remembering Kokoda events have been organised by community members, moved by the World War Two sacrifice, and supported by the Dubbo RSL Sub-Branch.

Organiser Wayne Garnsey trekked Kokoda in 2015.

“It’s something special,” he said.

He hopes to see anyone with a connection or who is interested in Kokoda at the 11am ceremony, and afterwards at the RSL.

For Peter Scott of Dubbo, being involved in the service is about “putting the pieces together”, decades on.

His father, Corporal Robert ‘Bob’ Scott, enlisted in the army as a 21-year-old and had five years of active service, almost two years of which were at Kokoda.

“So in all he spent five years in the army… there were times he reflected on it and again, the strength he gained from his mates that made him who he was,” Mr Scott said.

He and his two sons, Jordan and Jackson, did the Kokoda Trail in what became “a journey of a lifetime” in 2013.

The boys, aged 22 and 15 respectively, walked in the footsteps of the grandfather they never met.

It was an experience that brought Kokoda home to them, Mr Scott said.

“It wasn’t just about their grandfather, it was about my boys realising just what all of those soldiers had done, for us, so that we would be able to live a much better life.”

For further information, and to RSVP for Charlie Lynn’s free midday talk at the RSL Club, contact Wayne Garnsey on 0422 362 166.

Mr Scott is preparing to share some of these stories on Sunday at the ceremony.

“[It’s for] anybody that’s been involved with family members, who have spent time on the Kokoda Track, or the Second World War, or anyone that’s interested in saying thanks to all those soldiers that again, who helped make this place a better place to be, anybody who’s inspired to walk the track, it would be nice to see a good turn up on the day.”