An estimated 20 million people from more than 30 countries died during World War I … including more than 60,000 Australians

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.

Raymond Fuller with the commemorative certificate presented to him at Kingaroy’s Remembrance Day service on Wednesday
The catafalque party was made up of representatives from the Army, Navy and Air Force
The Kingaroy State High School choir sung the anthems of Australia and New Zealand
Piper Ross Page played a lament as wreaths were laid at the memorial
Elgin Leedie, who did the Welcome To Country and played a didgeridoo lament, with Keith Campbell, who said the opening prayer and benediction
Don Davey presents World War II veteran Doug Farmer OAM (accompanied by his daughter Carolyn) with his 75th anniversary medal and certificate
Seeing double? Lieutenant Matt Phillips with Matt Phillips, from Kingaroy State High School and Kingaroy-Memerambi Sub-Branch president Don Davey; the first Matt was the guest speaker while the second played the Last Post and Reveille on trumpet

* * *

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.

Uncle Eric Law AM speaks at the Cherbourg Remembrance Day ceremony .. the ceremony involved students from local schools and was also simulcast (Photo: Cherbourg Radio)
A trumpeter played the last post and wreaths were laid at the foot of the memorial in Wondai (Photo: Ros Heit)
Cr Kathy Duff with students from Murgon State School and Murgon State High School (Photo: Kathy Duff)
Wreaths were laid at the Nanango Memorial by community members, including local MP Deb Frecklington
(Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)


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