Anzac Day and Remembrance Day are the two most significant events on the Returned and Services League’s (RSL) calendar.
Remembrance Day 2018 at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the killing in World War I. This War was also known as the “First World War”, the “Great War” or the “War To End All Wars”. Sadly, this did not happen.
This Anzac Day marks the 103rd anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Anzac Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand. This is a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same day of remembrance
but making reference to both countries in its name.
The Parkes Dawn Service will be held on the Memorial Hill where representatives of the armed forces, serving and ex-service men and women, Parkes’ organizations and schoolchildren commemorate and lay wreaths for the fallen. The ceremony commences at 5:30am and there will be seats available for the aged and infirm ex-service men and women as well as for the public attending this solemn, moving ceremony.
The ceremony will be completed by 6:30am where the Memorial will remain opened for a time to allow for the viewing of the wreaths. All those who go to the Dawn Service are invited back to the Parkes Services Club for a free breakfast hosted by the Club. While you are on the Hill and before you leave, take note of the repainted Memorial, the Bofors anti-aircraft gun east of the memorial and take a walk along the Remembrance Walk through the Theatres
of Conflict Gardens. On your way down, view the relocated Vietnam War Memorial with its 25 pdr gun and the linking steps from the Rotary Peace Gate through to the Remembrance Walk and the Memorial. All this work is just the first stage of the Memorial Hill Restoration Project by the Memorial Hill Rejuvenation Committee, Parkes Shire
Council and the Parkes volunteering community.
ANZAC DAY MARCH
The Anzac Day March will be led by Air Vice Marshal Stephen Osborne, AM, CSC, who is Commander Joint Agency Task Force of Operation Sovereign Borders followed by serving and former service men and women. The Parkes Shire Concert Band will play the marching music. The march will include contingents from the Parkes Schools
plus scouts and guides. We are asking all service and ex-service men and women of Parkes to march to recognise that special event. Now days all ex-service men and women irrespective of overseas service are now termed Veterans. We are also inviting the people of Parkes to march with us and wear their ancestor’s medals with pride on their right chest. If you do not wish to march, come as a spectator and wear your ancestor’s medals with pride and to show your respect to your ancestor’s contribution to the defence of Australia.
The march will start off at about 8.35am from in front of the Parkes Services Club. Those marching should be there by about 8.15am to form up.
COOKE PARK CIVIC CEREMONY
The 2018 Cooke Park Civic Ceremony will start off immediately after the march at 9.00am.
The Parkes Shire Concert Band will play the music and the Middleton Public School Choir will provide the vocal accompaniment. The MC for this event will be Mr Kent Boyd, General Manager, Parkes Shire Council and the Mayor of Parkes Shire, Cr Ken Keith, OAM, will recite the Prologue. The Principle Address will be by AVM Stephen Osbourne, AM CSC, and the “Anzac Addresses by Modern Youth” will be made by school captains from Parkes High
School and Parkes Christian School.
PILGRIMAGE TO PARKES WAR GRAVES
At 10.45am there will be the pilgrimage to the Parkes Cemetery with a small wreath laying service at the WWI digger’s statue and brief service will be held and wreaths laid on each of the graves in the War Graves section. Everyone is invited to attend.
DEDICATION OF DISPLAYS
At 11.30am, AVM Osbourne will dedicate two displays at the Parkes RSL display cabinets in the Parkes Services Club. Also attending will be Mr Philip Donato, MP, Member for Orange. The displays are dedications honouring Pilot Officer Rawdon Middleton VC and Flying Officer Colin Hendry DFC. We all know about PO Middleton VC and his heroic deeds and his relationship with the Parkes area, but FO Hendry DFC was the highest decorated Parkes born service man of WWII.
ANZAC DAY LUNCHEON
The Anzac Luncheon will be held at 12 noon for Sub Branch members and invited guests. AVM Osborne will give the keynote address. In addition to Mr Philip Donato and Cr Ken Keith, other invitees include the RSL Western Districts President, Mr Greg Salmon, MM, Parkes RSL Women’s Auxiliary, Parkes War Widows, Parkes Torchbearers for Legacy and the captains of all Parkes Schools and their chaperone teachers.
Should any other veteran wish to attend please contact the Sub Branch for catering purposes. Your attendance would be most welcome.
The annual Anzac Day Two Up will take place in the Starlight Lounge of the Parkes Services Club starting at 2.30pm and ending at 6.00pm. All proceeds will go to Parkes Legacy.
Anzac Day 2018 will come to a close at 5.00pm with the lowering of the Flag and the Last Post at the Cooke Park Cenotaph.
The annual Anzac Day badge sales, raffle and street stall will not be carried out this year as the RSL State Branch has banned all fundraising in all Sub Branches seemingly moving the blame for HO governance issues onto Sub Branches.
Parkes RSL Sub Branch