Remembrance Day commemorations at Wingham 2017

At 10am on November 11 the local veterans formed a small parade on the footpath on the Eastern side of the Wingham Memorial Town Hall, under the watchful eye of parade commander Brian Willey.

Piper Graeme Clarke led flag bearers Tallulah Greaves, Bethany Carter, Kate Bevitt and Toby Irvine of our high school followed by the veterans to march to the cenotaph to celebrate the 2017 Remembrance Day Commemoration Service.

Master of ceremonies Terry Gould conducted the wreath laying ceremony with many wreaths and tokens being placed in remembrance.

It was from there to within the Wingham Town Hall for the remaining part of the service.

Terry opened with a welcome to the many in attendance (a lot of our younger generation) followed by a prologue by Del Heuke in her usual efficient delivery.

Prayers for the fallen and thanks giving by RSL chaplain Darrell MacKeough and Rev Brian Ford were offered followed by an emotional recital by Cameron Waugh of Wingham High School of John McCrea’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields.’

A wonderful address was then delivered by Wingham High School captain Ryan Smoothy, Supported by Taj Greaves.

I quote Ryan’s closing remarks,

“Why remember? We remember because, remembrance is forever, a moment of the past that lasts and stays with us so that sacrifice is never forgotten.”

I have a copy of this wonderful address for those who may wish to read it.

Recently another Wingham High Student Stephen Smith completed a trip on the Young Endeavour, being our youngest mariner he read a letter from our oldest mariner, Royal Australian Navy veteran Ken Malpass OAM, on his thoughts on Remembrance Day and time served in Korea.

Then the combined choir of our two delightful primary cchools nailed a rendition of ‘The Band played Waltzing Matilda’ that never left a dry eye in the hall.

LT Col (Ret.) Eric Richardson OAM gave the Ode as only he can.

Bugler Lincoln Harrell sounded the Last Post and Reveille so wonderfully and perfectly and the combined schools choir led the community in a rendition of the full national anthem.

RSL president Lloyd Parker-Manderson thanked all for their efforts and to join the Wingham RSL Womens Auxiliary for light refreshments in the supper room.

The MC Terry Gould then closed the service after a sterling presentation by himself, Terry you are getting better all the time.

I believe this was the most incredible Remembrance Day service I have been privileged to share.

The credit for this service rests with our young generation, our local schools - Wingham High, great leaders of the future, Wingham Public School, Wingham Brush Public School and St Josephs.

The students, staff,  student bodies and parents all contributed greatly and are contributing to this great country in an immeasurable way. Special mention of choir leaders Natasha and Clare, two wonderful teachers, for their effort with the choir.

- Ron Irwin, vice president of Wingham RSL Sub-branch