Wreaths adorn the monument outside Wondai Memorial Hall

April 27, 2019

Towns and villages across the South Burnett paused again on April 25 to mark the 104th anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove.

Many towns had Dawn Services.

In Murgon, Wondai and Kingaroy the Dawn Service attracted almost as many people as the later-morning commemorations.

At Hivesville, local residents and Wheatlands State School students turned out in force at the Memorial opposite the Hivesville Hotel.

If there wasn’t a Dawn Service, nearly every town had a morning commemoration of some sort, involving wreath-laying and hymns.

Poppies were also placed on war graves across the region, and there were numerous parades featuring serving and former Defence Forces personnel, bands, local residents and schoolchildren.

The RAAF organised two flyovers of a Super Hornet fighter – at Wondai and Kingaroy – to coincide with commemorations.

There were also privately organised flyovers in Kilkivan (a T-28 Trojan warbird) and Nanango (a Nieuport 11 replica).

2019 Anzac Day Around The Region (scroll down for Wondai & Wooroolin):

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Wondai RSL Sub-Branch secretary David Scrimgeour and president Neil Burrows

Wondai RSL Sub-Branch president Neil Burrows was the guest speaker at the Wondai Anzac Day morning commemoration.

The procession and wreath-laying ceremony followed a well-attended Dawn Service and pilgrimage to war graves.

Marchers assembled near the Wondai Post before parading down Mackenzie Street to the Memorial obelisk outside Wondai Memorial Hall.

Veterans were joined in the parade with children from local schools, including Wondai P-9, Wooroolin State School, St John’s Lutheran School and St Mary’s Catholic College.

After the parade and wreath-laying ceremony, the crowd waited a few minutes for the flyover of an RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet, which then headed towards Kingaroy.

Inde Pearce, 2; Khoa Hedges, 5; and Chase Pearce, 5, from Wondai, were waiting for the Super Hornet to fly over Wondai
An RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet buzzed Mackenzie Street just after the official ceremonies ended
Tommy Verkerk, 2, from Gympie, with his grandfather Ian Bramley, from Wondai, who served with ANZUK (Australia-New Zealand-UK) forces in Singapore and at Butterworth in Malaysia
Students from Wooroolin State School in the Wondai parade (Photo: Ros Heit)
Wondai P-9 students were followed by pupils from St John’s and St Mary’s in the march
(Photo: Ros Heit)

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Cr Ros Heit compered the Wooroolin commemoration and South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt was guest speaker

Last year’s Wooroolin Anzac Day featured a movie star in the form of Travis Fimmel plus some of the original heroes from the Battle of Long Tan.

The 2019 event may not have had the razzle-dazzle of last year but the Wooroolin Memorial Hall was still packed for the occasion.

The Bunya Highway was briefly closed to through traffic for the traditional parade which featured veterans, the Wooroolin State School bugle band (under the close eye of Noel Selway), the Wondai and District Town Band, local residents and emergency services personnel.

After the parade, everyone adjourned to the hall for the formal part of the morning.

Footnote: The official trailer for the Long Tan movie filmed near Wooroolin, “Danger Close”, was released last week in time for Anzac Day

Wooroolin QCWA volunteers were serving free tea, coffee and Anzac biscuits in Dalton Park opposite Wooroolin Memorial Hall … the QCWA members had also peppered the park with hand-made red poppies in remembrance
The Wooroolin State School bugle band led the first part of the Wooroolin street parade
(Photo: Ros Heit)
Wondai & District Town Band led the second part of the parade … every year the band members make a quick dash from the Wondai commemoration to march at Wooroolin
Veterans marching behind the Union Flag in the Wooroolin Anzac Day parade
Year 5 and 6 students from local schools read the loyal Resolutions … from left, Lochlan Gillon and Claire Burns (Crawford SS); Darryle Gyemore and Charli Thomas (Wooroolin SS) and Corey Lucey and Charlotte Duffy-Townsend (Tingoora SS)
After the parade, residents poured into Wooroolin Memorial Hall for a service which included the laying of wreaths, a speech by SBRC CEO Mark Pitt and performances by the Wondai & District Town Band … the service was chaired by local councillor Ros Heit

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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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One Response to "South Burnett Salutes Our Fallen"

  1. John Box  April 29, 2019

    Thank you SB Online for the extensive detailed coverage of the outstanding South Burnett Anzac Day activities. I read each article with great interest.

    You are to be commended for your efforts, that such a small journalistic team could cover so many events in such detail and dignity.

    The range of contacts provided for those in need of support will also be of great benefit.


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