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Towns Pause To Honour Centenary

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Kingaroy Quota Club president Marie Shaw chatted with Rear Admiral Brett Wolski AM after Kingaroy’s Remembrance Day ceremony concluded … Rear Admiral Wolski was this year’s speaker at the service, where he gave a solemn reminder of the terrible effects World War I had on Australia

November 14, 2018

The past four years have been very special … marking the 100 years since the start of World War I, 100 years since the Gallipoli landing, and finally, 100 years since the Great War ended.

There have been special events held in almost every South Burnett town during these four years of remembrance.

All these commemorations culminated at the weekend with the Centenary of the Armistice.

Exactly 100 years ago, the documents that finally halted the shelling were signed in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiègne, about 60km north of Paris.

World leaders gathered in Paris and London at the weekend to mark this anniversary with much pomp and ceremony.

The gatherings may have been smaller in the South Burnett, but they were no less dignified or heartfelt …

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Blackbutt

Blackbutt marked this year’s Remembrance Day with three activities over the weekend.

On Saturday, the town staged a Country Fair in the area between Nukku Nook and the Blackbutt Memorial Hall which kicked off at 8:00am and lasted until late afternoon.

The Fair allowed residents and visitors to browse an assortment of market stalls.

Later that night, attention turned to the Blackbutt Memorial Hall where an Armistice Centenary Ball drew an estimated crowd of 200.

The hall was decorated with posters and flags and the front of the stage was covered with sandbags to resemble a trench.

Guests enjoyed dinner, dancing and live entertainment.

On Sunday, the town marked Remembrance Day with a formal ceremony at the Blackbutt War Memorial in Coulson Street.

Members of the public laid wreaths and paused to remember the sacrifices made by the volunteers who enlisted to fight in “the war to end all wars”.

Blackbutt marked Armistice Day with a Country Fair on Saturday, where members of the Blackbutt-Yarraman QCWA paid tribute to WWI nurses … the Fair was followed by an Armistice Centenary Ball at Blackbutt Memorial Hall on Saturday night

QCWA members changed costumes to help with the Centenary Ball’s¬†catering, and received a surprise kitchen visit from Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

The Armistice Centenary Ball featured a variety of entertainment with a World War I flavour

Mayor Keith Campbell and his wife Marion at the Blackbutt Memorial Hall … the Mayor said he was very impressed with the turnout of about 200 guests

[Photos: Blackbutt RSL]

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Cherbourg

At Cherbourg, a small group of local residents and visitors in town for “Golden Oldies” gathered at the Anzac Memorial to observe a minute’s silence at 11:00am.

Pastor Albert Bowie, from Brisbane, led the service, praying for those who have gone before, and their families today.

“Never forget what they have done,” he said.

Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray said people often talk about footballers as “heroes”

“My heroes are on the wall. They fought for us so we can have a lovely community here today,” he said.

The service was an opportunity for residents to inspect the new Poles which have been erected near the memorial, crafted by Robert ‘Rocko’ Langton.

A new gate has also be erected at the entry to the area, remembering former resident, the late Bill Turner, whose vision led to the establishment of the war memorial.

Cherbourg residents and visitors pose in front of some of the new Memorial Poles which flank the Anzac wall

Iris Glenbar, from Widgee, with one of the Poles … it took Iris 40 years to track down her uncle, Lighthorseman Private Valentine Ayr (recorded in the war records as Hare) who enlisted from Townsville but came to Cherbourg after the war – where his mother, three sisters and two brothers had been sent, splitting the family

Cherbourg resident Aunty Bessie Bond with the Pole marking the establishment of the Barambah Mission (now Cherbourg) … Aunty Bessie was born in 1927 when it was still known as Barambah

Lesley Williams, who also spoke at the service, points to the name of her birth father Arthur Gyemore, who served in World War II, on the Roll Of Honour

Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray with Alkira and Ester Bowie, from Brisbane

* * *

Kingaroy

Kingaroy held its Remembrance Day service at Memorial Park, attracting a crowd of several hundred onlookers.

The morning’s commemorations began with a march from the former croquet field to the Rotunda, escorted by piper Ross Page and flag-bearers.

Veterans Doug Farmer OAM and Warren Cockburn OAM led the rest of the parade which also included students from the Taabinga State School Recorder Ensemble.

After a Catafalque Party from Wondai’s 135 Army Cadet Unit had formed, Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL president Don Davey opened the ceremony.

Ross Page played the Lament and Taabinga State School students played Amazing Grace before guest speaker Rear Admiral Brett Wolski AM took to the podium to deliver this year’s address.

Rear Admiral Wolski said 51 people from the Kingaroy district had enlisted to fight, and they suffered the same horrendous rate of casualties as volunteers from other Australian towns.

The effects of WWI were so terrible, he said, that they were still being felt in Australia decades after the war ended.

Mr Cockburn delivered The Ode and Matt Phillips, from Kingaroy State High School, played The Last Post before the minute’s silence and Reveille.

Rev Dr David Ferguson, from Kingaroy’s Uniting Church, then offered the Closing Prayer and Benediction before wreaths were laid on the Catafalque and the service concluded.

Afterwards, guests and veterans adjourned to the Kingaroy RSL for refreshments.

Kingaroy’s Remembrance Day service kicked off with a small parade from Memorial Park’s former croquet fields to the Cenotaph, escorted by piper Ross Page

Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch stalwarts Doug Farmer and Warren Cockburn were given the honour of leading the marchers

The Taabinga State School Recorder Ensemble, led by their music teacher Ginny Salmon, played ‘Amazing Grace’ after The Lament to start the commemoration service

The Memorial Park Rotunda was the site for several guest speakers … Cr Danita Potter made a presentation to Rear Admiral Wolski and the Taabinga State School students to thank them for their help with this year’s Remembrance Day service

Wondai’s 135 Army Cadet Unit made up the catafalque party as wreaths were laid

Denese Brown laid a wreath and a sketch in honour of her grandfather Daniel Roots, from Cloyna, who served in the 15th Australian Infantry Battalion during WWI

* * *

Murgon

Murgon’s Armistice Centenary commemorations began on Saturday night with a community dinner at the Murgon RSL Club.

Murgon Sub-Branch president Trevor Williamson OAM said 117 people listened to guest speaker Major Huynh Phan, officer-in-charge of the 26th Transport Squadron at Amberley Air Base.

Major Phan, who arrived in Australia as a child with his refugee parents, also spoke at the Sunday morning commemoration service at the Murgon monument while soldiers from his squadron mounted a guard.

The service followed a short parade along Lamb Street.

After the services, invited guests retired to the Murgon RSL Club to enjoy lunch.

Murgon Sub-Branch president Trevor Williamson OAM and guest speaker Major Huynh Phan at the Murgon RSL Club on Sunday

South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff and John Kratzmann, Windera, right, with a World War II-era Jeep and participants in the Murgon parade

Students from Murgon State High School laid a wreath at the monument

Hitching a lift in an ex-Army LandRover in the Murgon parade

Soldiers from the 26th Transport Squadron stood guard at the Murgon commemoration ceremony

[Photos: Cr Kathy Duff & southburnett.com.au]

* * *

Nanango

Nanango held three days of activities to mark the Armistice Centenary, beginning on Friday night with the launch of historian Liz Caffery’s book “The Memory Tree”.

This was followed on Saturday night with an Armistice Centenary Ball at Tara’s Hall, and then a traditional Remembrance Day service on Sunday at the Drayton Street War Memorial organised by members of the Nanango RSL Sub-Branch.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington were special guests at this year’s service.

Division 1 Cr Roz Frohloff and student leaders from Nanango State High School were among the many people who laid wreaths to honour the fallen.

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington at Nanango’s Remembrance Day commemorative service

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud and South Burnett councillor Roz Frohloff with members of Nanango RSL’s organising committee

Nanango State High School student leaders chatted with Cr Roz Frohloff after wreaths were laid at the monument

[Photos: Nanango State High School]

* * *

Wondai

Wondai’s Remembrance Day commemorations followed a well-rehearsed format, with Gervie Fullerton performing piping duties.

Cr Ros Heit laid a wreath on behalf of the South Burnett Regional Council, which joined others laid by members of the public who gathered at the War Memorial outside Wondai Town Hall.

Afterwards, guests adjourned to the nearby Wondai Diggers Club for refreshments and fellowship.

Piper Gervie Fullerton played a lament on the bagpipes

Wondai’s war memorial was strung with red poppies for this year’s service

Guests at the Wondai commemoration gathered at the front of the Town Hall

[Photos: Cr Ros Heit]

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[UPDATED with correction]


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