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26 April 2010

Ipswich community honours Anzacs

QT

AS the early morning fog cleared across Ipswich yesterday the mood  remained sombre as young and old remembered those who made the ultimate  sacrifice.

Remember them: A RAAF serviceman pays his
respects at the Amberley dawn service.

AS the early morning fog cleared across Ipswich yesterday the mood remained sombre as young and old remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Ipswich residents turned out in record numbers to a multitude of Anzac Day services across the region yesterday to pay their respects as flags flew at half mast.

Tears were shed at an emotional service at the Amberley RAAF Air Base at yesterday's dawn service.

Speaking to the gathered crowd of servicemen and women as the sun crept above the horizon, Officer in Command Health Services Wing Group Captain Michael Patterson said those who fought and died for Australia had created our sense of national identity.

"There was an incredibly strong sense of mateship that existed amongst these men," GPCAPT Patterson said.

"Men who went to war as teenagers and, if lucky, returned several years later as men.

"The first Anzacs have gone and as such they have become the stuff of legends."

Bundamba resident Doug Eadie, who served in the RAAF 78 wing with the No 3 and 79 Squadron in Malaysia from 1964 to 1966 attended the Amberley service and the 75-year-old said there were fewer familiar faces in the crowd this year.

"We were here the year before last and we knew so many people and they're just starting to dwindle off now," Mr Eadie said.

"I don't know where the last 50 years went."

The Ipswich community gathered in Timothy Molony Park after a march from the corner of Limestone and Ellenborough streets, which included present and past ex-servicemen and women.

An FA-18F Super Hornet flew over the park to mark the beginning of the service which was led by Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Ripley twins Tara and Sean Kearney, 8, wore t-shirts with their grandfather Colin Alderdice's photograph emblazoned on the front and said it was important to remember sacrifices of the fallen.

"It's to remember everybody that served and fought in wars," Sean said.

Tara and Sean's mother Patricia Kearney said her father was an armourer in Borneo and the Dutch East Indies during WWII and she brought her children to an Anzac Day service every year.

Goodna RSL Sub-branch president Vivienne Stanbury said the Goodna ceremony, held around the Queen Street memorial stone, was the first to be organised by the youth.

"It is the youth who are going to lead the way," Mrs Stanbury said.

"We have to step back and let them control these ceremonies and I really believe they've done a good job."

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