Saturday, 25 April 2009

We Will Remember Them

I have not long returned from the Dawn Service at Bathurst to commemorate ANZAC Day. This is the day on which Australia and New Zealand reflect on their service men and women who have served for their countries and fallen. Each year the numbers attending increase, which is good to see, as for several years they were dwindling.

The Dawn Service is held at the War Memorial Carillon, which is a wonderful setting. There was an amazing number of wreaths laid this year.

My Dad served in WWII in Singapore and Malaya and was a POW of the Japanese. Fortunately, he survived.
When we were kids, we always travelled to Sydney for Dad to attend the march and catch up with his mates that he only saw once a year. As he has got older he became more involved in the local RSL Club and therefore marched at Bathurst.

He is now 90 and will have a huge day. The Dawn Service is at 4.30am, but he gets there early to hand out sprigs of Rosemary that he spent yesterday picking and trimming to exactly the same size – he had 100 sprigs. This year he did sit down during the service, which I am glad of, as it is a long time to stand. After the service we went to the RSL Club for their ANZAC breakfast where we caught up with lots of friends.

I don’t go to any other services, but Dad will front up again for the main march in town at 10.30am. Then, there is a wreath laying service at the site of the old Army Camp where he trained in the afternoon, which he will also attend. Mum will go to these two ceremonies.

Although there are several old diggers in Bathurst, Dad is one of only 2 POW’s of the Japanese still surviving in Bathurst and the only one able to march, which makes him rather special. I hope his day goes well.

1 comment:

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Well done to your Dad - hope he had a good day. He is a true hero!