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Cherbourg Memorial App Unveiled

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Vietnam veteran and Wakka Wakka elder Eric Law, AM, led the Cherbourg commemoration

April 27, 2019

A large crowd turned out in Cherbourg’ s Memorial Park for a special Anzac Day commemoration on Thursday which also included the unveiling of a new high-tech way to preserve the town’s military history.

The ceremony featured traditional Anzac Day activities – a march, wreath-laying, flag raising and ceremonial guard – as well as special Cherbourg traditions, including honouring the “Boys From Barambah” with a smoking ceremony.

Cherbourg Junior Police Rangers carried photos of World War I soldiers with connections to Cherbourg around the memorial ring, led by local resident John Cobbo carrying burning eucalyptus leaves.

Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray did the Welcome To Country, and Br Tim Beencke, from St Joseph’s Catholic School in Murgon, read the opening prayer.

“I’m proud to be standing in front of our heroes. It’s so very special. If it wasn’t for my great-grandfather, I wouldn’t be standing here now,”  Mayor Murray said.

Students from Murgon State High School read the Honour Roll before wreaths were laid.

Anzac Day is always an important day at Cherbourg with former service personnel returning to town for family reunions, but this year was extra special with the official launch by Mayor Murray of the new “Dilly Bag” iPad app for use by visitors to Memorial Park.

The Ration Shed’s IT expert, Mark Newman, explained how the app works in conjunction with the Memory Poles which are erected in a series around the Memorial.

The Poles detail the story of the wars fought by Indigenous people from south-east Queensland – from the frontier to World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and the present day.

When visitors hold up the iPad near a pole it triggers the app to provide more information, creating an interactive experience.

Mark said the app was especially designed for school visits.

“Students are able to save information to the ‘dilly bag’ on the iPad and that is then sent back to the school to create an educational experience both here and at the school,” Mark said.

The Dilly Bag app is a follow-up to the successful Boys From Barambah app which visitors use in conjunction with displays in The Ration Shed.

Sadly, illness prevented well-known Cherbourg artist and musician Robert ‘Rocko’ Langton, who decorated the Poles, from being present at the official ceremony but the recording of his song, “The Boys From Barambah” was played at the end of the ceremony.

Mark also thanked the other people who had worked to make the Poles and app a reality … Robert Langton Jnr, David Broome, Jonathan Barney, Wayne Farrell and the Cherbourg Men’s Shed, SkillCentred, Adrian Anderson, Jeanette Brown, Peter Trail and The Ration Shed.

Funding for the project was through a Federal Government Armistice grant and the State Government’s QAnzac100 program.

Anzac Day also marked the official unveiling of four new flagpoles at the Memorial, with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags joining the Australian and Queensland flags above the Memorial wall.

“I’m pleased to see our Memorial Park has developed into something that we can all be proud of,” Mayor Murray said.

Cherbourg children had a big role again in the ceremony … Cherbourg Junior Police Rangers and local school pupils walked in the parade and laid wreaths

The Ration Shed’s Mark Newman explained how the new Dilly Bag iPad app works

John Cobbo carries the coolamon in the smoking ceremony

Vietnam veterans Claude Malone, from Brisbane, and Peter Hegarty, Wondai … Claude travels to Cherbourg every year to mark Anzac Day

Murgon SHS Year 12 students Selwyn Cobbo and Deacon Bond read the Honour Roll

RAAF veterans Paul Taylor, who served in Iraq, and his wife Simone, who served in Afghanistan

Eric Law with Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray who did the Welcome To Country

Gloria Bell, from Cherbourg’s “Many Threads” group, with a Boys From Barambah quilt made by the group which was hung at the Memorial

Alfred Murdock, from Cherbourg, with the banner depicting his grandfather Arthur Murdock … Arthur was wounded while serving with the 41st Infantry Battalion in the Somme but survived and returned to Cherbourg

Patricia Bond, Martina Jacobs and Antonia Jacobs with a poster of their Great Uncle, Robert George Aitken, one of the original Boys From Barambah who was killed in action on the Western Front in October 1917

Robert Fuller took the opportunity to catch up with Claude Malone … the men were together at Murgon State High School in 1962

Claude was also welcomed by other members of the Malone family … from left, at back, Darren, Hayden and Samuel; front row, Tariq, Marlii and Nate

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More Photos From Cherbourg

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Anzac Day can be a deeply emotional time for Australia’s veterans and their families and some may find this time of year difficult.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has advised there are specialised counselling services and resources available.

  • Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling Service (formerly VVCS) provides free and confidential counselling and support for current and former ADF members and their families. They can be reached 24/7 on 1800-011-046. Visit the Open Arms website for more information.
  • DVA also provides help and treatment for any mental health condition. Phone 1800-555-254 or visit the DVA website

Veterans, their families and health care professionals can also visit the At-Ease Online portal for information about support available and online self-help tools, including:

  • High Res – An eToolbox with resources to help serving and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families to manage stress and build resilience.
  • PTSD Coach – Strategies to assist self-management of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and treatment schedules.
  • On Track with the Right Mix – Strategies for finding the right balance of diet, alcohol and exercise.
  • Operation Life – information and resources on how to assist those at risk of suicide.

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