July 2, 2021
Reserve Forces Day commemorations will be going ahead this weekend in Wondai, although there are contingency plans in place should key events be rained out.
Organiser Noel Selway said unfortunately the social bowls day – the Wondai Armed Forces Shield Challenge – which was to be played at the Wondai Golf & Bowls Club on Saturday had been cancelled due to the weather.
However, the meet’n’greet for visitors who have travelled to Wondai for the main commemoration will still go ahead on Saturday night at the Wondai Diggers Club from 5:30pm.
On Sunday, the flag-raising and wreathlaying ceremony will be held at the Cenotaph in front of the Wondai Council Chambers at 10:00am.
If the event is rained out, the service will be moved inside the Wondai Diggers Club.
The Brisbane lockdown has meant the guest speaker, retired Squadron Leader John Burgess, 92, from the Pine Rivers RSL Sub-Branch, will not be able to attend.
The parade will assemble at 11:00am in Mackenzie Street, near the post office, and march off towards the Cenotaph.
Noel said uniformed soldiers from the Reserve 25th/49th RQR Battalion will be travelling from Toowoomba to take part in the parade.
Members of the Australian Light Horse Association re-enactment troop, from Gympie, will also be taking part, as well as military vehicles from John Kratzmann’s collection at Windera.
Noel said Reserve Forces Day was an opportunity to honour the more than two million Australian who have served as Reserves in all three services since 1948.
“It’s significant and it acknowledges that they are not forgotten, even in a small place like Wondai,” Noel said.
Wondai has proud links with the Army Reserves – and the former Citizens Military Forces (CMF) – through its hosting of a depot of the 25th/49th RQR.
25/49 RQR has a distinguished lineage, tracing its roots back to the 8th Company Queensland Volunteer Rifle Brigade which was formed in Toowoomba in 1875.
Members have served in both World Wars and, more recently, in the Solomon Islands, East Timor, the Sinai, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wondai is believed to be one of the few towns across Australia that still salutes the service of Reserves on Reserve Forces Day.