The plight of Australian prisoners of war will be commemorated next week at a special screening of the powerful film The Railway Man.MONIQUE FREER March 12, 2014 9:22am
Time to reflect: Benalla RSL appeals officer Alan Ould, Benalla RSL life member Norman Davis, State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes, Benalla RSL president Jeff Lewis and Benalla RSL member Max Wright at the ‘Weary’ Dunlop memorial.
The plight of Australian prisoners of war will be commemorated next week at a special screening of the powerful film The Railway Man.
State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has initiated special screenings of the movie at Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre as a community fundraiser for the Benalla RSL and an opportunity for students to see the film.
‘‘This is an extremely evocative film about the horrors of war, post-war suffering, forgiveness and friendship,’’ Dr Sykes said.
‘‘The film is based on the book by Eric Lomax which tells of his experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war working on the Burma-Siam railway, and the story has many parallels with our local Benalla ‘Weary’ Dunlop story.’’
Benalla RSL president Jeff Lewis said the purpose of the screenings was to educate all age groups about the history of prisoners of war.
‘‘The amount of Australian personnel that were POWs and didn’t return to their families — it should be explained to the population from students up what really happened in the war years,’’ Mr Lewis said.
All Years 10, 11 and 12 students from Benalla P-12 College and FCJ College will attend a screening of the film on Thursday, March 20, and the community is invited to attend the fundraising screening on Friday, March 21.
‘‘I encourage as many people as possible to make the most of this opportunity to see this movie, which reinforces that the freedom we enjoy today was paid for by immeasurable suffering by many of our servicemen and women and their families,’’ Dr Sykes said.
Before the community fundraising screening, members of Benalla RSL will share their experiences as servicemen.
Benalla RSL life member Norman Davis said every day something reminded him of his experiences as an air gunner in World War II.
‘‘I don’t think many people realise that post-traumatic stress is part of war experiences, and that’s what we’re trying to get through to people who are coming from the Middle East and Iraq wars — that it affects their mental attitude,’’ Mr Davis said.
Benalla RSL appeals officer Alan Ould said the film would help increase the understanding of what locals went through during times of war.
‘‘I hope that they get a real appreciation of what happened to our POWs, including many from this district,’’ he said.
The screenings coincide with new digital technology installed at BPACC, and The Railway Man will be one of the first films screened with this state-of-the-art equipment.
Tickets are available from Bill Sykes’ electorate office, 2/55 Carrier St Benalla between 9
A former priest and teacher at St Colman's in Shepparton has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student in 1970.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Echuca Lion Ken Walter has been presented with the International President’s Medal.
Rochester Tigers take on Rochester United today in the Goulburn Murray Cricket Twenty20 match.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
Two primary school students have been among just 25 in Victoria to be awarded the Prime Ministers NAIDOC Medal.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
Pre-schools in Heathcote and Colbinabbin will benefit from grants announced last week.
Moira Shire Council says 36 cents of every dollar spent on staff costs is 'not an unusual number'.
Works on Edward River Beach to Beach Walk to be completed.
Further redundancies at Victoria’s largest rural water corporation, Goulburn-Murray Water, are possible, with more efficiency reviews being carried out.
Rotary's inaugural Community Policing Award goes to Detective Leading Senior Constable Jenny Parker for her work above and beyond her duties working with victims of sexual abuse.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.