Tag Archives: Anzac Day

Remembering our Anzacs, as a community

This year on Anzac Day, the marching, the bagpipes, the veterans, the crowds and the choir were notably absent from the Warrandyte RSL.

However, at 10:45am on Saturday, April 25, RSL President David Ryan, begun his Anzac Day service introduction, and dozens of homes in and around Warrandyte heard his words, as the 2020 Warrandyte Anzac Day service was livestreamed for the first time in its history, in a collaboration between Warrandyte RSL, the Warrandyte Diary and 42K Media.

Warrandyte RSL has faced a number of challenges surrounding its Anzac Day service in the past few years.

In 2017, the memorial was vandalised the day before the service, with anti-anarchist graffiti.

In 2018, the RSL balcony, which is usually reserved for wheelchair bound veterans during the service, was condemned and had to be closed for repairs.

On both occasions, the branch, and members of the community pooled their resources and came together to ensure these challenges were merely bumps on the road to “another respectful service”.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions we have all be living with since mid-March threatened Warrandyte’s traditional service.

It became apparent very quickly that the traditional mass march from Whipstick Gully, followed by moving service complete with choir, bugler, bagpipes and sandwiches at the RSL after, would not be possible.

All over the state, country and world, public Anzac Day services were cancelled.

Officially, there was still reduced services at the Shrine of Remembrance and the Australian War Memorial, while Australians everywhere were asked to join in with the Dawn Service and Stand To in their driveways.

In Warrandyte, families stood with lit candles by the roadside, some even played the Last Post on trumpets and bagpipes.

Warrandyte RSL had planned on holding a small, private service at the Warrandyte War Memorial on Saturday 25th, but a chance meeting between Warrandyte branch President David “Rhino” Ryan and Sandra Miller, a former Army Reservist and cofounder of local video production company 42K Media, set in motion an idea which would allow our local community to participate in a local Anzac Day service from their living-rooms.

Using a series of 4G mobile internet routers, 42K Media was able to harness enough bandwidth to successfully stream the full 30-minute service.

On the Friday before Anzac Day, Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith laid a wreath and paid his respects at the cenotaph, and Mullum Mullum Ward Councillor, Andrew Conlon, inadvertently became part of the ceremony when he turned up to lay Manningham Council’s wreath on Saturday morning.

As well as readings by the RSL President, and Community Church Pastor Andrew Fisher, traditional hymns, songs and the Last Post were played from recordings.

The speeches, songs, prayers, wreath-laying and the two minute’s silence were all recorded on camera and between the livestream and the post-produced video, the service has been watched thousands of times.

With services being cancelled everywhere, this Anzac Day was always going to be different, but thanks to some local inspiration, a dose of technological ingenuity, and a pinch of luck (especially with the internet), Warrandyte was able to mark Anzac Day 2020 in its own special way.

You can watch the service on the Warrandyte Diary’s Facebook page, or YouTube Channel: bit.ly/DiaryTV

 

 

Anzac Day

They were all answering the Call of the Dardanelles,

Little did they know, they were entering a living hell.

The brave ANZAC’s, marched up the hill,

With their aim, freedom and to kill.

Fighting for our freedom,

With their families at home, who really, really need them.

At Gallipoli, 10,000 ANZACs lost their lives,

While a small amount of them, only just survive.

As the Reveille played, get them up in the morn’,

As they thought about what would happen after dawn.

They slowly chewed on the Anzac biscuits that their families had made,

As they hid in the trenches, extremely afraid.

For the families whose daddies, brothers and husbands who went to war,

And for those who didn’t come back, their heart is so sore.

The Poppy’s laid over the soldiers, who were laid to rest,

May all of the ANZACS, be well and truly blessed.

At the Anzac Day parade, the soldiers march, strong and tall,

These are the people, who answered the call.

Liam, Our Lady of the Pines Primary School

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Large turnout at 103rd Anzac Day

Photo: STEPHEN REYNOLDS

DESPITE THE dwindling ranks of veterans, numbers continue to swell to commemorate Anzac Day.

On April 25 around a dozen former serving soldiers, sailors and airmen gathered at Whipstick Gully for the annual march to the Warrandyte RSL.

They were joined in their journey by an over 100-strong contingent of family, friends and community members. Representatives of all levels of government joined the march, led by a WWII Indian motorcycle together with lone piper, Casey McSwain.

Police, CFA, the Warrandyte Football Club as well as Scouts and Girl Guides showed their respect for servicemen and women by joining the march along Yarra Street, an effort that was appreciated by WWII veteran Don Haggarty.

“It is so good to see the young people here,” he told the Diary.

His son, Chris Haggarty, a volunteer at South Warrandyte CFA agreed, noting that it is important for the young people to “help keep the tradition alive”.

State Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith said that he commends the RSL for allowing “the evolution of the march to include family members who are here to support the veterans”.

The children who participated in the parade had been learning the history of Anzac Day and the Gallipoli campaign in the lead-up to the commemoration.

“We are here to remember the Anzacs from Gallipoli,” one young Guide said, proudly displaying her knowledge that Anzac stood for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

As the marchers stepped off they were encouraged along the route by an estimated 200 people lining Yarra Street, and met by a further 800 people to participate in the commemorative service.

The Catafalque Guard was provided by Melbourne University Regiment and as they took their positions around the cenotaph, RSL president David Ryan commenced the service. Mr Ryan noted that it was the 103rd anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli “where hundreds died and thousands were injured”.

The gathering also commemorated 100 years since the second battle of Villers-Bretonneux on the Western Front “where Australian and British troops drove the Germans out of the town in a daring night attack at a cost of 1500 casualties”.

The Bellbird singers provided musical leadership for the hymns and anthems sung during the service, and Barry Carozzi performed the stirring Eric Bogle ballad, In Flanders Field. A very moving address was read by John Byrne.

Mr Byrne concluded his address with the poem A Soldier Died Today.

David Ryan said he was delighted to see the large crowd turn out to commemorate “the sacrifice that men, women and families at home and abroad have endured from pre WWI to today with the War on Terror, United Nations and humanitarian conflicts”.

Mr Ryan told the Diary, he was delighted with the growing turnout, “I am just relieved that we didn’t have the problems with vandalism we had last year”.

Page 18-19 of the May Warrandyte Diary has a full colour photo spread of the day and a transcription of Mr Bryne’s speech

Vandals fail to break Warrandyte’s spirit

THE WARRANDTYE community awoke to the sad news that the RSL memorial had been vandalised overnight.
The graffiti displayed the symbol for anarchy and the words “War is Murder”.
While vandalism is always a hurtful act, the defacing of the RSL’s war memorial on the eve of Anzac Day was felt particularly strong within the community.
The council were quick to act and soda-blasted the offending marks.
However, this process also strips the gold trim out of the words on the memorial.
Stephen Papal from Advanced Stone, a company that specialises in the making bespoke headstones and memorials, contacted the RSL directly to volunteer his company’s services and restore the memorial back to its former glory.
“I know what it’s like for RSLs and clubs to try and find the money to cover up something that’s been vandalised.
“I rang them because I knew they’d soda-blast it, the process should be to sand it and touch up where the graffiti has been.
“This will look magnificent tomorrow”, said Mr Papal.

Stephen and Ben Papal from Advanced Stone volunteering their services

Local Member of Parliament, Ryan Smith also visited the memorial to see the damage for himself and personally thank the men who had come out to undo the damage.
In an interview with the Warrandyte Diary, Mr Smith expressed his appal on last night’s criminal act.
“It’s just completely appalling that this has happened in Warrandyte, the vandals that did this — the very freedom that they are making a statement against were fought for by the people remembered at this memorial… that this has happened in Warrandyte is just disgraceful.”
Mr Henk Van Der Helm, President of the Warrandyte RSL stated: “We are pretty disgusted with this act but we’ve been able to clear it off”.
The Warrandyte RSL have decided to pay for security around the War Memorial tonight over concerns that the publicity that has been generated may encourage the “ratbags” to return.
Mr Van Der Helm is confident that the Anzac day ceremony will go ahead, as planned, tomorrow morning.
Victoria Police have issued a public appeal for information relating to the vandalism of the memorial, acting Sergeant Nick Bailey stated: “It’s sad to see this attempt to diminish the spirit of the ANZACs with this disrespectful act.”
If you have any information regarding last nights graffiti, please contact Crimestoppers on:
1800 333 000
Despite the attempts to deface the Warrandyte memorial, the RSL’s Anzac Day service will go ahead tomorrow morning, as planned.
The march will start from Whipstick Gully at 10:30am with a service to follow from 11am.