Crowds gathered at Heathcote's war memorial for a Remembrance Day service on Sunday.November 14, 2012 4:44am
Heathcote RSL hosted a solemn service on Sunday to commemorate Remembrance Day.
City of Greater Bendigo Eppalock Ward councillors Helen Leach, Rod Campbell and Mark Weragoda attended the service and placed a wreath at the war memorial in front of the Heathcote RSL hall.
Cr Campbell gave the opening address for the service, thanking the RSL for the chance to take part and also recognised the organisation for it’s continuing service to the community.
‘‘The RSL provides representation for the ex-service community, but also perpetuates the ties of mateship and provides for the sick and needy among those who have served the nation.
‘‘Most importantly the RSL fosters loyalty to the nation and maintains the spirit of ANZAC,’’ Cr Campbell said.
Guest speaker Captain John Ozols of the Royal Australian Army Corps spoke of the concept of mateship, which had remained unchanged for the Aussie soldier since the Boar War.
‘‘It could be argued that the concept of the digger has been the one of the few constants in Australian military history,’’ Captain Ozols said.
‘‘There are a number of traits that stand out, many of them are uniquely Australian, and when speaking these characteristics – mateship, compassion, teamwork, courage, loyalty, tenacity, initiative and perseverance – are regularly mentioned.’’
William Tobin from Holy Rosary Primary School, Bailey Wilson from Heathcote Primary School and Steven Shaddock of Tooborac Primary School read parts of the poem In Flanders Field’ and were each presented with an ANZAC medallion and a book of Remembrance Day Poems.
‘‘The community showed their support for the services with a strong attendance by ex-servicemen and women from WWII through to current serving soldiers, several of whom have served in Afghanistan and on overseas peace keeping missions,’’ RSL secretary Colin Carrington said.
‘‘It was also pleasing to have Vietnam veterans in attendance.’’
The formal service ended with a wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial in front of the RSL hall in High St.
RSL president Tony Illarietti, students from Holy Rosary and Heathcote Primary Schools, Cr Campbell, Cr Leach, Cr Weragoda and veteran Clarice Reid placed wreaths.
Mr Illarietti thanked the Heartbeat Singers, bagpiper Vivenne Arnett-Dunlop and bush poet Mick Coventry of Kyabram, who was well-received when reciting his own poem, Where Poppies Grow.
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