April 30 - May 6  2023: Issue 581


Anzac Day In Pittwater 2023

Rear Admiral Rachel Durbin, CSC, RAN, gave the 11am 2023 Anzac Day Address at the combined Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch and Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Commemorative Service. 
At Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Church Point, Newport, Bilgola, Avalon, Whale Beach and Palm Beach thousands attended Anzac Day Commemorative Services as Dawn and 11am on Tuesday April 25th to honour those who had served in the Defence of Australia in past conflicts, and those who serve still in our Air Force, Navy and Army.

Commencing at Narrabeen Cenotaph on Sunday April 23rd, and with traditional ceremonies held from Pittwater RSL at Mona Vale/Warriewood and all points north, the increase in residents attending Dawn Services, along with 11am Services, with the Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch this year combining with Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch for the first time, shows people here have not forgotten nor ever will relatives who served from the Boer War on and support all those who live among us and are active members of Australia's defence forces today.

Dr. Sophie Scamps, MP for Mackellar, attended the Dawn Service at the War Veterans Village, Collaroy Plateau and the 11am Service at Palm Beach RSL.

Pittwater Sub-Branch Member, Sub Lieutenant Zamri Burns gave the 2023 ANZAC Address at Pittwater RSL. Sub-Lieutenant Zamri is a New Zealand born naval officer with a proud Australian indigenous heritage. He has multiple operational deployments to his name; both seagoing and land based.

This year's Pittwater RSL Commemorative Service acknowledged the 50th Anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in Vietnam in particular, Long Tan Day; August 18th 1963. There are several Australian Vietnam Veterans in Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch, as well as two American Vets. Another important event happening on May 14th 2023 is the 80th Anniversary of the sinking of the hospital ship, Centaur. There were 332 people on board this ship. The ship had a Red Cross clearly visible on its stern and was torpedoed by a Japanese Submarine I-177. There were only 64 survivors, one being Army Nurse Sister Eileen Savage who lost 11 of her nursing colleagues.

President Carter states a Commemorative Service will be held at the Robert Dunn Reserve at Mona Vale Headland (southern end) on May 14th 2023 at 3:00pm. The significance of this location is that last October a Lost At Sea Memorial, was consecrated in honour of the POW’s, Nurses and Civilian Internees who lost their lives in the South Pacific ocean at the hands of the Japanese. 

Kylie Adams-Collier, an award-winning vocalist whose Grandfather lost his life on the ship Montevideo Maru (1942) sang “Montevideo Maru 1942” as part of the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch 2023 Anzac Day Service. On Saturday April 22nd, 2023 news broke that this ship has been found in the South China Sea. Stated by many to be Australia's worst maritime disaster, a US submarine torpedoed the ship unaware that it was packed with prisoners captured in Papua New Guinea. The Montevideo Maru sank in July 1942. An estimated 979 Australians died, along with 33 Norwegian sailors and 20 Japanese guards and crew.

Mona Vale south headland's Lost At Sea Memorial served as a poignant reminder of this on Tuesday, doubly so when you realise the gentleman behind it, former Pittwater RSL president Wal Williams OAM, worked with now retired Pittwater MP Rob Stokes to have the memorial placed on the opposite headland to where commemorates the Japanese submariners grave site off Bungan beach. 

Mr Williams was among the tens of thousands of Allied soldiers, nurses and civilians taken prisoner by the Japanese after the Fall of Singapore. Wal was interned at the notorious Changi prison camp before working along the infamous Burma-Thailand Railway. While Mr Williams was being transported to Japan in 1944, onboard the Rakuyō Maru, an American submarine fired a torpedo at the Japanese prison ship, unaware of the Allied prisoners onboard. After treading water for 24 hours and surviving overhead aerial attack, Mr Williams was among a small number of survivors pulled from the water and transported to labour camps in Japan. Mr Williams later survived the Allied firebombings of Tokyo and Yokohama, before finally returning home to Australia in October 1945 – on his 23rd birthday.

Mona Vale's and Bungan Beach headlands, and throughout Mona Vale and to Bayview featured as the second Anzac Day precursor for 2023 - this time focused on what was placed in and on the landscape of this area  and particularly the 'Bungan Bridge' across on of these deep wide ditches to safeguard the rest of Sydney against an invasion by Japanese forces. That is available to read still in  The Mona Vale-Bungan Beach-Bayview Tank Traps: Coastal Defences Of Pittwater During World War Two  The first Anzac Day 2023 History precursor is available in: Avalon Beach Norfolk Pines: To Honour Those Who Served – Anzac Day 2023 History Precursors

At the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Cenotaph in excess of 1200 residents attended the Commeortaive Dawn Service.

Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Dawn Service

Terry Jones, Vice President: Welcome and Introduction 
Joe Chase Berry, Guard Commander: Catafalque Party 
Deborah Carter, Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch President: Welcome and Requiem Address
Kylie Adams-Collier: song “Montevideo Maru 1942” 
Bob Wood, Sub -Branch Member: The Prayer of Remembrance
Deborah Carter, Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch President: Ode of Remembrance
Dr Harriet Channon - Bugler:  “The Last Post”. 1 minute silence. “Reveille”
Tribute to the Late Joe Crumlin OAM
Sub-Lieutenant Zamri Burns: Commemoration Address
Kylie Adams-Collier led: The Royal National Anthem “God Save the King”, New Zealand National Anthem - “Aotearoa ” and Australian National Anthem - “Advance Australia Fair”
Ben Riley: Piper 
Jeff Brown: Parade Commander 

Laying of Wreaths and Books
50th Anniversary Vietnam Veterans,
John Cicolini and Gary Everitt
Deborah Carter, Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch President
The Hon. Bronwyn Bishop AO
Rory Amon, Member for Pittwater
Guy Glenny, representing Dr Sophie Scamps MP for Mackellar
Inspector Vanessa Robinson, Northern Beaches PAC
Livia and Odette Burns,
representing children of current serving members
Alex Barrell, Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner, CEO
Leigh Arnold, Pittwater RSL Club President
Jason Manning, Pittwater RSL Club CEO
Steve Hill, Pittwater Men’s Bowling Club President
Sue Lewis, Pittwater Women’s Bowling Club Vice President
Mona Vale Public School
Sacred Heart Catholic School
St Luke’s Grammar Junior School, Bayview Campus
Narrabeen North Public School
Pittwater High School
Mater Maria Catholic College
Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club
Newport Surf Life Saving Club
Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club
Warringah Rugby Club

Requiem Address At Dawn Service Of Pittwater RSL By Sub-Branch President Deborah Carter: 

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch and Pittwater RSL Club Ltd for the ANZAC Dawn Service, in particular our school students and their teachers.

This year we acknowledge the 50th Anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in Vietnam in particular, Long Tan Day 18 August 1963. We have several Australian Vietnam Veterans in our Sub-Branch, as well as two American Vets, and we pay our respect to them today.

Another important event happening on 14 May 2023 is the 80th Anniversary of the sinking of the hospital ship, Centaur. There were 332 people on board this ship. The ship had a Red Cross clearly visible on its stern and was torpedoed by a Japanese Submarine I-177. There were only 64 survivors, one being Army Nurse Sister Eileen Savage who lost 11 of her nursing colleagues.

A Commemorative Service will be held at the Robert Dunn Reserve at Mona Vale Headland (southern end) on 14 May 2023 at 3:00pm. The significance of this location is that last October a Lost At Sea Memorial, was consecrated in honour of the POW’s, Nurses and Civilian Internees who lost their lives in the South Pacific ocean at the hands of the Japanese.

I will now recite The Prologue

On this day, above all days, we recall those who, in the great tragedy of war, gave their lives for Australia and for the freedom of mankind; who still sleep amid the ridges of Gallipoli and the terraced hills of Palestine; in the lovely cemeteries of France or the shimmering haze of the Libyan desert; amid the mounts and olive groves of Greece and the Middle East; the jungles of Malaya, New Guinea and the Pacific islands, in rugged Korea and the battlefields of Vietnam; in the mountains and barren fields of Afghanistan and Iraq; amid loving friends in our mother country and our own land, and in unknown resting places in every continent and every sea.

We remember those who have since fallen by our side in the wars in which we have been engaged – in the air, on the sea and land, and all our loyal friends among the people of New Guinea and elsewhere. We think of every man, woman and child who, in those crucial years, died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine.

Anzac Day is not just about WW1 (the war to end all wars) but is a Remembrance of all campaigns in theatres of war and sadly many wars have followed.

In my view, the war that changed Australia was WW2 because the enemy was close on our doorstep and the Brisbane Line was proposed. With the fear of occupation of the Japanese, the Government decided that the Japanese could live north of Brisbane, and the Australians could live south of Brisbane.

I pay Tribute to our WW2 Veterans, the young men of the Militia of Kokoda, Templeton's Crossing, the Battles Milne Bay, Gona and Buna which broke the back of the Japanese from further aspirations to take Australia.

I also pay Tribute to the 7th Division on returning from the Middle East who assisted with this triumph.

Anzac Day is not just a day we remember our Anzacs, but we salute all Veterans who have put on the uniform, in particular, our current serving Members and Reserveists who have kept us safe during Fire Assist, Covid Safe, Floods and Border Control. Thanks also to our Kiwi cousins. 

May we and our successors prove worthy of their sacrifice. 

Lest We Forget.

At Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph the Requiem for the Dawn Service was given by Sub-Branch President Commodore Richard Menhinick AM, CSC, RAN, (retired) who also led the Dawn and 11am Services.

Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch Dawn Service
Tamara Sloper-Harding OAM for Sub-Branch Members and Mark Houlder for Avalon Beach RSL Members

Laying of Wreaths
Rear Admiral Rachel Durbin CSC, RAN
Captain Ian Campbell, RAN on behalf of the Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch
Mark Houlder on behalf of the Avalon Beach RSL Club limited

Special Guests
Flanders Fields read by Barrenjoey High School Captain Adrian Inger
Colour Party: formed by Serving Members of RAN Chloe Anderson, Maritime Warfare Officer at Royal Australian Navy, Sophie Keoghan, Maritime Logistics Officer at Royal Australian Navy, and Petty Officer Ian McGiffen 
Catafalque Party: formed from 201 Army Cadets
Bugler: Charli Baggot, Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood
Vocalist: Samantha Shaw
Piper: Eric Meppen

A little Dawn Service Colour Party insight: formed by Serving Members of RAN Chloe Anderson, Maritime Warfare Officer at Royal Australian Navy, Sophie Keoghan, Maritime Logistics Officer at Royal Australian Navy, and Petty Officer Ian McGiffen - Ian gave the 2018 Anzac Day Address when a Leading Seaman and is a current Avalon Beach RSL Sub Branch Member. Chloe Anderson (Class of 2017) graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Creswell.  During the 2022 graduation ceremony, Chloe was given the honour of leading out her peers and was presented with the Cunningham Cup, a prize awarded to the New Entry Officer who demonstrates outstanding leadership, officer-like qualities and good influence amongst colleagues whilst on course. As part of her navy training Chloe completed a bachelor’s degree in Science, a master’s degree in Podiatry and was also awarded a Captain’s commendation for moral courage. Sophie Keoghan, Maritime Logistics Officer is a graduate of Manly Selective Campus, Northern Beaches Secondary College and Surf Lifesaver at Queenscliff SLSC since 2014, served as Youth Observer for Freshwater Community Bank. This role involves attending regular board meetings and undertaking an individual project of donation to support a local organisation, for which Sophie chose the State Emergency Service Manly Unit. This assists the Bank in giving back over $1.7 million to more than 70 organisations, benefitting the local community. Sophie Keoghan, Maritime Logistics Officer at Royal Australian Navy has served in this position since 2020.

Chloe Anderson, Maritime Warfare Officer at Royal Australian Navy, Sophie Keoghan, Maritime Logistics Officer at Royal Australian Navy also formed the Colour Party for 11am Combined March and Commemorative Service of Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch and Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch this year

Petty Officer Ian McGiffen and Command Warrant Officer-Navy Engineering (CWO-NE) Anthony Booby at 2023 Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch Dawn Service

Rear Admiral Rachel Durbin, CSC, RAN, gave the 11am 2023 Anzac Day Address at the combined Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch and Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Commemorative Service. 

Rear Admiral Rachel Durbin, CSC, RAN, Head Navy Engineering grew up in the NSW Snowy Mountains and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1993 through the Australian Defence Force Academy as a Marine Engineer. She spent her sea-time onboard HMA Ships Westralia, Anzac, Canberra and Perth deployed on operations in the Persian Gulf, conducting exercises in North and South East Asia, fisheries operations in the Southern Ocean and border protection off Northern Australia.

Following promotion to Captain in 2013, RADM Durbin enjoyed strategic roles within the Rizzo Reform Program, Major Surface Ships Sustainment (CASG) and Navy Capability Division. On promotion to CDRE in 2021, RADM Durbin served as Director General Engineering—Navy from 2021–2023. In March 2023 RADM Durbin was promoted to Rear Admiral and assumed the role of Head Navy Engineering. She has also served within the Navy Leadership and Culture Program and Navy Workforce Management responsible for engineering workforce requirements and remediation.

RADM Durbin was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), Master in Engineering Management, Master in Arts in Strategy and Management, is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology. She is also a graduate of both the Australian Command and Staff Course and the Defence Strategic Studies Course. She is married to Scott and mother to two active children. She enjoys camping and skiing with family and the relentless pursuit of children’s sports every weekend.

Combined Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch - Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch 11am March and Service

Marshall: Adrian Harding
Street Safety: NSW Police Force
Led by Piper: Eric Meppen
Colour Party: RAN
Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch Members and families
Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Members and families
Treetops Preschool, Warriewood - who made their own wreath
Barrenjoey High School Students and Teachers, including Principal Mr Mark Robinson
Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches
Zonta Club of Northern Beaches
Avalon Primary School Sudents, Teachers and families
Newport Public School Sudents, Teachers and families
Bilgola Plateau Public School Students, Teachers and families
1st Bayview Cub Scouts and Sea Scouts
Avalon Beach SLSC - Life Members and Committee Members and Nippers
Avalon Soccer Club Womens Players with Vice President Stuart Randall
Maria Regina Catholic Primary School Avalon Beach
Avalon Bulldogs JRLFC, with Life Members Brian Friend OAM and Richard Harris and families

Commodore Richard Menhinick AM, CSC, RAN

Reverend Sturt Young, Senior Pastor Barrenjoey Anglican Churches
Father Richard Sadowski of the Catholic Parish of Pittwater

Poems - read by Barrenjoey High School Captains
Flanders Fields read by Holly Knights
The Poppy read by Adam Inger

The Ode
read by Deborah Hendy, President of Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch

Special Guests
Rear Admiral Rachel Durbin CSC, RAN
Mrs Vivien Robotham, representing Dr. Sophie Scamps, MP for Mackellar
Rory Amon, MP for Pittwater
Chief Inspector David Richards, New South Wales Police Force
John McInerney, Northern Beaches Legacy
Michael Gencher, Pittwater Councillor on Northern Beaches Council
Catafalque Party: formed from Pittwater House School Army Cadet Unit
Bugler: Charli Baggot, Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood
Vocalist: Samantha Shaw
Piper: Eric Meppen
Choir: The Big Sing

Wreath and Book Laying Ceremony
Rear Admiral Rachel Durbin CSC, RAN
Captain Ian Campbell, RAN on behalf of the Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch
Deborah Hendy, President of and on behalf of Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch
Mark Houlder on behalf of the Avalon Beach RSL Club limited
Mrs Vivien Robotham, representing Dr. Sophie Scamps, MP for Mackellar
Rory Amon, MP for Pittwater
Jan Proudfoot, Newport Surf Life Saving Club
Brian Friend OAM and Michelle Womersley, Avalon Bulldogs JRLFC
Treetops Kindergarten
Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches

The Big Sing and Samantha Shaw led those attending in Eternal Father by John Cohen, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen with the lyrics written by Sailor Jerry, the New Zealand National Anthem and the Australian National Anthem. 

Included, and a highlight at this years Combined Service at Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph was The Big Sing leading everyone in the song I Am Australian (1987) by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton of The Seekers. As Commodore Richard Menhinick AM, CSC, RAN stated, with the recent loss of Judith Durham AO, and considering the multi-cultural gathering of all peoples form all nations, including the indigenous peoples of this place at Anzac Day Services in Pittwater, a more fitting song and lyrics would be hard to find. 

The 2023 rendition at this Service left many with tears in their eyes. 

The record of the 2023 Avalon Beach RSL Anzac Day Addresses runs below. 

Below these images from Anzac Day in Pittwater. The Anzac Day March and Service - combined Avalon Beach RSL and Pittwater RSL 2023 album is available HERE for those who wish to download images for their own Family Albums.

Requiem Address At The Dawn Service At Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph: By Commodore Richard Menhinick AM, CSC, RAN, (Retired), President Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch

Good morning everyone and welcome to the Avalon Beach RSL Dawn Service for ANZAC Day 2023. I commence this morning by acknowledging the Garigal people, the traditional custodians of the land in and around Pittwater and pay respects to their Elders, past, present and future.

My name is Richard Menhinick and I have the honour of being the President of the Avalon Beach RSL Sub Branch. I served some 40 years in the Royal Australian Navy and amongst other postings had the absolute privilege of Commanding the frigate HMAS ANZAC at the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings in 2005.

I will never forget the view of ANZAC Cove from so close to the shore, just a few hundred yards off, literally as close as the surf line off Avalon beach. As day dawned we conducted our own commemorative service, looking at the land as our sailors and soldiers did in 1915. Dignitaries and other visitors were all gathered at ANZAC Cove for the official service, but we hundred or so sailors were the very few to witness that dawn from the sea, with the Nek and the vertical landscape behind ANZAC Cove that rises almost straight up, revealing itself as the sun rose. It is something that stays with you, forever.

In a similar fashion we gather this morning in the early dawn, with quiet reverence, perhaps for some or many of us with sadness at loss, we can reflect thankfulness for love, family and community. We pause, honour and contemplate especially this dawn the sacrifices of Australian, New Zealand and Allied sailors, soldiers, aircrew, merchant mariners and families who have served and in too many cases, have paid the ultimate sacrifice, for their loved ones, for their mates, for their country – for us.

Especially at this time with the recent discovery of the wreck of the Japanese merchant vessel Montevideo Maru, in the Luzon Strait off the Philippines after 81 years, the agony of loss and cruelty of war has been brought back into stark reality for the families and descendants of the 979 Australians who did in that tragic incident.

Since Federation, Australians have been called on many times to serve in operations, conflicts and wars. They have served in all theatres, on or under the seas, on land and in the air. This day, this dawn service, is intrinsically linked to the beach landing at Gallipoli in the early dawn of 25 April 1915.

The eight months of fighting on that tiny peninsula and at sea around it, has become a rallying symbol of courage, tenacity, loss and sacrifice. However, it is just a piece of the story, albeit an important piece of our nation’s story. Since then almost two million men and women have worn with pride the uniforms of the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and merchant navy in times of conflict and peace. Meanwhile women, men, children and families at home have banded together with resilience to mobilise industry, food production and to keep society running in some dire times.

The current state of the World means that sadly days such as this are perhaps more brooding or contemplative. All of us here today, young and old, are indeed fortunate to live in a democratic country where our government is decided at regular intervals via orderly queues of citizens, pieces of paper with names of candidates on them and a cardboard voting box with a pencil supplied; not by guns, secret police, government terror, dictatorial elites or single party systems and pervasive censorship.

The fact we can all enjoy a democracy sausage, a cake, a chat on voting days, is due in large part to the sacrifices of those who have gone before us, who have fought and defeated regimes who have sought to impose totalitarian yokes on us.

As we consider this day, this dawn, as we listen to the birds, as we look around us at this beautiful part of Australia, we cannot escape the fact that today Australia is at the centre of a dynamic, uncertain and perhaps even dangerous strategic environment. Our armed forces are deployed as I speak, to uphold international norms that until recently we took for granted, such as freedom of navigation of seas vital for our trade and that of our neighbours in accordance with United Nations conventions.

Unfortunately, there is increasing instability in the world and our region. There is erosion of international conventions and the rise of authoritarian powers, who threaten and seek to coerce us. Sadly, news is chockful daily with discussion about trade sanctions, cyberattacks, the actions of dictatorial leaders invading or threatening democracies such as Ukraine and Taiwan, to name but two. As a result, we, a liberal democracy that really wants to focus our funding on health, welfare and education, on ameliorating disabilities, on providing housing and feeding our people is forced to increase Defence budgets and acquire complex and expensive weapons and platforms.

As a democracy and as a victor in World War Two, Australia was present at the formation of the United Nations. The preamble to the Charter of the United Nations, forged out of the unthinkable horror of that conflict basically says it is up to all of us to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which has brought untold sorrow to mankind.

The Charter asks us to reaffirm our faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small. It establishes conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
It is hard to find much fault with such entreaties or ideals.

Our focus today, at this Dawn Service, on this the most important commemorative day for Australians and New Zealanders, should be to uphold these principles to which our country is bound, to honour the sacrifice of so many that achieved this. We especially thank and remember those who so sadly have no grave but the cruel sea, no tombstone but a rusting hulk, those who fell on land, who are buried either here or in countless graves overseas and those who perished in the skies here and around the world.

We do this today by remaining strong and proud in this Commonwealth, in this democracy and above all united to never forget.

11am 2023 Anzac Day Address at the combined Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch and Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Commemorative Service: by Rear Admiral Rachel Durbin, CSC, RAN:

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m with you today to remember those of all generations who have served our nation and paid the ultimate sacrifice; never again to return home to the land they loved, never again to see their family and friends.  

It is great to see so many of the Avalon Beach and surrounding community here today, especially the younger generations here today attending the Anzac Day Service.

Anzac Day was first commemorated during the First World War to ensure that the sacrifices made by Australians and New Zealanders on the shores of Gallipoli on the 25th of April 1915 would not be forgotten. 

Today, all Australians pause to reflect on the contribution made by all of our past and present Service personnel who have chosen a life of Service to their country.

Time dims the memory of ordinary events, but not great events. In a nation’s history, great events, whether in peace or in war, live in our memories regardless of time. 

They are deemed great, not necessarily for what they achieve, nor for whether they were victories or successes. Rather, great events are distinguished by the quality of the human endeavour they called upon, by the examples they create for ordinary men and women, and by the legends that they inspire.

And so it is with Anzac Day. 

In the silence before dawn on the 25th of April 1915, hundreds of soldiers form Australia and new Zealand stormed the beaches at what later became known as Anzac Cove. Despite thick scrub and heavily waterlogged uniforms, these young untested men advanced fully onwards and upwards towards gunfire, impossible terrain and a determined enemy who occupied all the high ground. 

They faced this terrifying ordeal with courage, camaraderie, and honour. They dd not shirk their duty.

The tenacious efforts of the Anzacs are echoed in the selfless acts generations of Defence personnel have continued to make in the Service of their nation.

It is right that on Anzac Day we take pride in their efforts, reflect on their values, and most importantly, remember their sacrifice. They were ordinary Australians, but they did extraordinary things. 

Ye if we are to truly honour their memory, then we should also understand something more of how the original Anzacs came to be at Gallipoli. We should appreciate how the Australian Armed Services worked together then and how we still work together today to preserve and protect our nation’s interests.  

The Naval Campaign that preceded the Gallipoli landing is relatively well known. However, less well recognised is that the maritime operations in the South Pacific set up the conditions for Australia to contribute to the global conflict. 

At the outbreak of the war the presence of the RAN’s flagship, HMAS Australia, deterred an Asian-based German cruiser squadron from preying on Australian shipping or holding our cities to ransom. 

In September 1914 the entire Royal Australian fleet escorted and supported a joint Army and Navy expeditionary force that took possession of Germany’s New Guinea territory. The sinking of the German Cruiser SMS Emden by HMAS Sydney in November 1914 removed the lats enemy threat to the free passage of Australian men and materials to the Middle East and to Europe. 

Another Australian warship that played a key role in the Gallipoli Campaign, the submarine AE2, was ordered to attempt passage through the Dardanelles on the 25th of April 1915, and became the first Allied warship to succeed in penetrating the Strait and reaching the Sea of Marmara. 

The British Commander in Chief received news of AE2’s success just as deliberations concerning a general evacuation from the Peninsula were underway. They provided a tremendous boost to the morale of the joint force, and other Allied submarines followed them and disrupted the Turkish sea communications to and from Gallipoli.

The combined Allied Navies transported the Anzacs to Gallipoli, but this was not the end of their role.  During the landing, and after, battleships covered enemy troops and batteries with their guns. Smaller ships were also active. Cruisers closing the beach to direct rapid fire on enemy positions and destroy a station in each flank, using their searchlights and guns. 

Once the Anzacs had settled down to their fight, Naval Forces continued to sustain them ashore. 

The vast majority of Australians who fought for our nation have been soldiers. And it is therefore natural that their story and their names should be most easily brought to mind in the Anzac legend. Alongside them, the Service of our Air Force and our Navy should be remembered. 

Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan remain vivid in the hearts and minds of many Australians. Those of us in uniform today have inherited the legacy of those who served in all wars. They epitomise the spirit and values displayed in every battle in which Australians have proven themselves. The qualities of self-sacrifice, courage, and mateship offer inspiration and set the standard for us. 

In remembering the Anzacs, and their spirit, we should also acknowledge the younger Defence Veterans who equally deserve our respect and gratitude. Marked by their experiences far from our shores, many have lost friends and there is still much pain associated with these losses.

These Veterans stand alongside us every day, making their contribution to this time, serving their country and their community, just as the earlier generations of Anzacs and Veterans have done.

I’m proud to be an Australian sailor. I’m proud of he Navy and the Defence Forces contribution to the Anzac legend. And I’m honoured to carry on the legacy of those who have died across the globe in the defence of our freedoms. 

All around Australia today millions of people with gather in Services just like this one, not to glorify war, but to remind ourselves that we value who we are, the freedoms that we possess, and to acknowledge the courage and the sacrifice of those who have contributed so much to shaping the identity of our nation, and those who continue to serve. 

There are tens of thousands of Australian headstones in immaculately kept war cemeteries across the globe. Underneath their names there is usually a few simple words from, their families as a reminder that they will never be forgotten. 

Among the nearly 104, 000 Australians whose lives have been lost, nearly 1900 officers and sailors of the Royal Australian Navy have made the ultimate sacrifice. For the majority of them, their grave has no headstone, and there was no burial service. Their ship sank quickly and became their eternal resting place. 

Today, when our ships pass their location, we stop, we say a prayer, and we cast wreaths into the sea where our ships are resting and rusting on the sea floor.

We consider these sailors, forever on Patrol, and recite the words;

They have no grave but the cruel sea

No flowers lay at their head

A rusting hulk is their tombstone 

Afast on the ocean bed

Lest we Forget.


Cr. Miranda Miranda Korzy - attended the 8.30 am Bilgola SLSC March Past and Service and the 11am Terrey Hills War Memorial and Cenotaph Service.

Cr. Korzy stated, ''The most powerful Anzac speech I heard today was by a young girl, who told how the Gallipoli landings coincided with the beginnings of the Armenian Genocide. In the ceremony at the Terrey Hills War Memorial and Cenotaph, the school captain explained how overnight on April 24-25, 1915, a first wave of about 500 Armenian intellectuals were arrested by order of the Ottoman Interior Minister (historians estimate perhaps 1.5 million Christian Armenians died in the genocide). Some of those arrested encountered in prison Australian soldiers captured at Gallipoli. She observed that Australians have reached this continent from many war-torn parts of the world, and that we must work to maintain the peace.''

Photos by Cr. Miranda Korzy

Bilgola Beach SLSC Service

Terrey Hills War Memorial and Cenotaph Service

Narrabeen RSL Sub-Branch At Narrabeen Cenotaph

Sunday April 23, 2023

Photos/report by Fiona Murphy

Veterans and Members Mustered at Narrabeen SLSC opposite Furlough House on Ocean streets. The March to the Narrabeen Cenotaph commenced at 11:30am. The March was led by the Warringah Pipe Band. 

The Commemorative Service and wreath laying took place at Narrabeen Cenotaph, corner of Ocean and Pittwater roads.

Ethan did a great job playing the trumpet-bugle for the “The Last Post”. 1 minute silence. “Reveille”. John West standing next to him.

Jacquie West with The Hon. Bronwyn Bishop:

Back to Nth Narrabeen Surf Club for food and drinks after the service; photo of Fiona Murphy (Founder/Curator of Narrabeen Reunions and the Northern Beaches FB page) and Jacquie West 

Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Dawn Service

Tuesday April 25 2023

Photos/report by Pittwater RSL staff

The Community turned out in epic numbers to pay their respects to our Anzacs. The service at Pittwater was incredible and started with the haunting sound of the bagpipes piercing the pre-dawn morning. Well in excess of 1,200 locals started arriving before 5am to take their place and show their respects, including a few furry, four-legged friends. 

Community clubs and groups all rose to the occasion to honour and celebrate our Anzacs, donating books and laying wreaths. Heartfelt gratitude to the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch for facilitating such an incredible service, the best we've seen yet.

A special shout out to the Warringah Rats who turned out in big numbers to honour the Rats of Tobruk, from whom they have built their values, character and culture at the Warringah Rugby Club. 

The community spirit was well and truly felt with the Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club, Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club and Newport Surf Life Saving Club all donating books and wreaths. Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed, it was an incredible day. 

Pittwater RSL was literally bursting at the seams with pride all day.

Newport Dawn Service At Newport Cenotaph, Trafalgar Park

photo by Penny Auburn, Founder, Friends of Trafalgar Park

The ANZAC memorial service in the park this morning was a moving event, even more people this year. The event is gathering momentum, and at the end of the service, officials announced they want to build an amphitheatre ... which could be a really good thing ... but it will involve removing trees. One suggestion is to move the memorial to the other, upslope side of the trees. The grassed slope down from Queens Parade forms a natural amphitheatre for a large crowd without the need for much, if any concrete, and no need to remove any trees.

Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch Dawn Service:  

Photos by A J Guesdon/PON

Whale Beach Dawn Service: Led By Palm Beach RSL Veterans Ocean Therapy

Photos by Chris Hendrikson and Palm Beach NSW RSL Veterans Ocean Therapy

Anzac Day Dawn Service. Breakfast at the Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club deck afterwards.

Thank you to everyone who came down to Whale Beach Dawn Service this morning. 

Church Point 11am Commemorative Service

held in Thomas Stephens Reserve at Church Point

Photos by Neehal Clements

11am Combined March And Commemorative Service For Avalon Beach RSL And Pittwater RSL Sub-Branches

photos by A J Guesdon/PON

Proud dad and sons muster to take part in 11am March

Zonta NB President Anne Asker with her husband, granddaughter and neighbour Paddy Mitchel, Member of Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch

Zonta NB Members Muster for Anzac Day March in Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach

Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Members Muster for 11am March

Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Members Muster for 11am March

Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches members

Avalon Bulldogs JRLFC Life Member Brian Friend OAM and Michelle Womersley who plays in the Under 9's, the young club member who gifted a book during the Wreath and Book laying ceremony at Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph

Bayview Sea Cubs and Scouts muster

Avalon Bulldogs JRLFC players and Life Members muster

11am Commemorative Service At Palm Beach RSL Cenotaph - Veterans & Members Luncheon

Led by President of the Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch Mark Ferguson, PBRSL Sub Branch Vice President Bryan Webster, PBRSL Sub Branch Committee Member Bob Head, attended by Club Patron The Hon. Bronwyn Bishop AO, Dr. Sophie Scamps, MP for Mackellar, Rory Amon, MP for Pittwater

Prayers by Palm Beach RSL Sub-Branch Padre, The Reverend Lloyd Bennett. 

Directors of Club Palm Beach

PRESIDENT : Bryan Webster


TREASURER : Neil Smith


DIRECTORS : Chris Hendrikson, Andrew Blundell, Michael Gillmeister, John Oliver, Neil Smith, James Woodward, Russel Marsh, Glenn Babicci.

photos by A J Guesdon/PON