November 11, 2020
The sacrifices of veterans from all wars – but in particular World Wars I and II – were commemorated at Remembrance Day services across the South Burnett on Wednesday morning.
Traditionally, 11:00am on November 11 is the time and date that citizens pause to remember the Armistice that finally brought a close to the horrific slaughter of World War I.
More than 330,000 Australians served in that war, and more than 60,000 died …
But this year’s commemorations also included a focus on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II – an anniversary which should have been marked on VP Day (August 15) but like so many other things in this year of pandemic, was postponed.
In Kingaroy, the Remembrance Day service was held as usual at the rotunda in Memorial Park.
Students from Kingaroy State High School sang the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand while a catafalque party, representing all services, guarded the memorial.
Wreaths were laid, laments played on the didgeridoo and bagpipes, and the Last Post and Reveille sounded.
A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of special medals and certificates – issued by the Federal Government – to surviving World War II veterans.
Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch president Don Davey said there were five remaining World War II veterans in the Sub-Branch but unfortunately only two could make it to the ceremony.
He presented medals and certificates to Raymond Fuller (the oldest member in the Sub-Branch), who served in the AIF in New Guinea and Bougainville; and Doug Farmer, who served in the South Pacific as an RAAF Guard.
Mr Davey said he would present the medals to the other veterans – Fred Dahms, Ray Broomhall and Rex Partridge – privately.
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Most towns and schools around the region also held short commemoration services at 11:00am on Wednesday.
As well as Kingaroy, we know of events held at Cherbourg, Murgon, Wondai, Proston, Nanango, Yarraman and Blackbutt … and there were probably more as the South Burnett paused to remember.