Wauchope Anzac Day commemoration at cenotaph 2019

Hundreds of people turned out for the 11am Anzac commemoration at the Wauchope Cenotaph in bright sunshine.

The Hastings District Highland Pipe Band led marchers from the Wauchope RSL Club, and there was a fantastic turn-out from local schoolchildren. Pupils in uniform came from Wauchope High School, Wauchope Public School, St Joseph's Primary, Beechwood Public School, Huntingdon Public School and beyond.

Wauchope RSL Sub-branch president read the prologue, reminding everyone that they were commemorating the immortal day when the young men of Australia, by their deeds and sacrifice, demonstrated to the world at Gallipoli that Australia was truly a nation.

"The sons and daughters of Anzacs came forward without question, accepted gladly, and discharged their responsibilities during World War 11, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and in peacekeeping operations including East Timor and Iraq.

"On this day, we remember the sacrifice of such men and women for an ideal, for a way of life. Let us take strength in the knowledge and hope that our sons and daughters will never forget the examples set by their forefathers. In everyday life, let us endeavour to carry on those traditions established by past wars and conflicts at such tragic costs," he said.

Wauchope Sing Australia led the singing of 'The Recessional' hymn, and children from local schools read the prayer of thanksgiving, the prayers for the Queen and for the nation.

Jane Flood from Wauchope RSL Sub-branch read the moving First World War poem, 'In Flanders Field' by Colonel John McCrae.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Pastor Rick de Vertueil gave the address and said it was in the face of adversity that the Anzac legend was born, and character forged in the furnace of affliction. He said soldiers everywhere reflect the fibre and community from which they were drawn.

"The image of the digger is derived from an intricate mix of qualities: mateship, courage, endurance, loyalty, selflessness, resourcefulness and a sense of humour. This spirit emerges when an individual calls on it in a time of need," he said.

"We honour the Anzac spirit typified in our forces. We need to preserve and nurture these qualities, lest we do forget an important part of our Anzac tradition. Over the years, this nation has broadened the cross-section from which its citizens have arrived.

"Immigration has added peoples from many different countries and backgrounds. This should not be a hindrance for any to assimilate and adopt the values of this great country they now call home," he said.

He said we also honour those who serve and protect the life and freedom we all enjoy, and that our nation needs to stand together in bonds of love and unity. He called on everyone to display moral courage, like the Anzacs.

After the commemoration of the fallen, the bugler, Tom Hord sounded The Last Post, and Wauchope RSL Sub-branch president read the Ode:

"They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in morning, we will remember them. Lest we forget."

The bugler sounded 'Reveille', then Greg Cavanagh from the Wauchope RSL Sub-branch read a poem 'The Anzac On The Wall' by Jim Haynes, Mick Brownlow paid tribute to the World War Two veterans present, and the ceremony ended with the singing of the national anthem.