April 30 - May 6, 2017: Issue 310

Anzac Day In Pittwater 2017: Pittwater RSL And Avalon Beach RSL Commemorative Dawn And 11 A.M. Services - April 25th

Pittwater RSL

On Sunday 23 April, the annual Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch March took place from Vineyard Street, along Pittwater Road, to Village Park, Mona Vale, where a Service was conducted. 

Deborah Carter, President of the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch, welcomed The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP, Member for Pittwater and NSW Minister for Education, Jason Falinksi, MP, Member for Mackellar, Kylie Ferguson, Northern Beaches Council, Father George Kolodziej, the Pittwater RSL Club Executive, Sub-Branch Members, and members of the Public.

Deborah Carter said: “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 mountains 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 all those who have since fallen by our side in the wars in which we have been engaged – in the air and 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.
May we and our successors prove worthy of their sacrifice.”

On Tuesday 25 April, the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch conducted the annual Dawn Service at the Club’s Cenotaph.  This was attended by several of the above mentioned dignitaries, and many members of the Public. Mr Joe Crumlin OAM, our Military Historian, delivered a very moving ANZAC address. The Service was followed by breakfast and Two-Up at the Club.
Lest We Forget.
The Sydney Thistle Highland Pipe Band leads the marchers along Pittwater Road, Mona Vale.
Sub-Branch members, Bill Mackay and Tommy Knox meeting members of the public.
The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP, Member for Pittwater, NSW Minister for Education,  Deborah Carter, Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch President and  Jason Falinski, MP, Member for Mackellar.
Dawn Service at Pittwater RSL Club 
Mr Joe Crumlin OAM, our Military Historian, delivers his moving ANZAC address.
Sub-Branch member, John Roxburgh with the Catafalque Party

Avalon Beach RSL

5.30 am - Dawn Service 
Today we commemorate the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in Turkey 102 years ago. Over the relatively short, yet rich history of our nation, we have consistently contributed to global military campaigns deterring oppression, defeating those who would challenge our way of life and supporting those values of freedom, justice and democracy. It is a history that leaves us with a magnificent legacy.

On ANZAC day we honour the service, sacrifice and selflessness of a distinct group of Australian's. We honour those men and women who served our nation its times of need - those Australians and New Zealanders who have served us in war, and in peacekeeping operations in places quite often far from home - including the muddy battlefields of Belgium and France, the jungles of Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, the deserts of North Africa and Iraq and the mountains of Korea and Afghanistan. We also recognise those serving us now in Iraq and the Middle East.

On ANZAC Day we honour that magnificent generation of Australian's. It is an opportunity to contemplate, reflect, understand and reaffirm the values demonstrated over a century ago - our ANZAC values of courage, mateship, selflessness and dedication - still vital to our way of life nowadays. These are of course fundamental Australian values. We should be immensely proud of how this ANZAC spirit lives on in the hearts, minds and actions of Australian's today. It is evidenced through the stamina, courage and good humour of Australian's when the chips are down; our determination to ensure a 'fair go' for all; and our sense of community and selflessness when we see others in need. This is important, because the very best way we can honour our fallen, on ANZAC day and every day, is to ensure that we live by the values they demonstrated in their final moments. May we be worthy of their sacrifice.
The service was conducted by
Lt. Col. Matt Stevens, CSC 
Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Assisted by Mark Houlder, President of the RSL Club Limited.
The Catafalque Party was formed from the
201 ARMY CADETS (Lieutenant David Stabback) 
305 SQN. Australian Air Force Cadets (Pilot Officer Adrian Gibney)
Piper: Brett Lee
Bugler: Robbie Adams
Vocalists: Jess Harris, Joy Yates and Marie Ozaltin
Hymn: Eternal Father: Led by Avalon Voices Choir
Flanders Field: read by Miss Sophie Downs, Year 12 Student of Barrenjoey High school 
Wreaths laid by Tamara Sloper Harding, Avalon Beach RSKL Sub-Branch
Mark Houlder, President of the RSL Club Limited
Captain Leif Maxfield RAN
Mark Ferguson, Northern Beaches Council
Barrenjoey High School Students greet the sun rising over Avalon Beach after the Dawn Service - photos by Sally Mayman

Avalon Beach RSL

11 am March and Commemoration Service
The service was conducted by
Lt. Col. Matt Stevens, CSC 
Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Commemoration Address: Hon. Jason Falinski, MP for Mackellar
Captain Leif Maxfield RAN, LCDR Alistair Walsh, Inspector Jo Comber,
RAN Clearance Divers Association Members, including CPOCD William (Bill) Fitzgerald, OAM (Rtd) and Commodore Russell Baker AM (Rtd), President of the NSW Branch of the RAN Clearance Diving Association, and Vice President of the national association

Piper: Brett Lee
Bugler: Robbie Adams
Vocalists: Jess Harris, Joy Yates and Marie Ozaltin
Hymns led by Avalon Voices Choir
Music by Barrenjoey High School Band conducted by Joshua Hughes
The Catafalque Party and Honour Guard was formed from 305 Sqn. Australian Air Force Cadets (Pilot Officer Adrian Gibney)
Prayers read by Barrenjoey High School Captains Yusuf Fayers and Caroline Wang
The Ode read by Captain Leif Maxfield RAN

Anzac Day 2017 Commemoration Address - Hon. Jason Falinksi, MP for Mackellar

If you think about it we are a very strange nation. Here we are, gathering as we do each year, for our most important day of national observance, ANZAC Day.  Not to commemorate a great victory, but to commemorate a great defeat.
Yet it is at ANZAC that we celebrate the shaping of a true Australian spirit. 

When Australians departed in 1915 for the theatres of war, Australia as a federation was barely 14 years old. Our allegiances were as much to Britain, and our respective home states, as to this new nation called Australia. We were Brits from New South Wales, from Victoria, from Western Australia.  
We still referred to a trip from London as going home. Yet our young men and women, the bright hopes of an entire generation, volunteered to join our armed forces out of duty to the king, and a simmering spirit of adventure.  

A newly formed Australian Imperial Force that was called for the first time in service to the nation. 
It was in the crucible of this war, in the crucible of this defeat, where man looked into the ravine and when nothing stared back at him, that we started thinking of ourselves as Australians.
We found ourselves; we found character and strength that we didn’t think existed. 
And so, each year as we come together to commemorate the service and sacrifice of these brave young Australians, we do so with the knowledge that it was their heroism and their unimaginable bravery that forged the legacy of a young nation. 

The day we choose to remember today, saw 4,000 troops land at Gallipoli as part of an offensive to secure crucial control of the Dardanelles. 
The plan was for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps to storm the beach and climb to take three landmarks, that will now forever be in our memory: Chanuk Bair, Scrubby Knoll and Gaba Tepe.  From these positions, the main body was to advance across the peninsula.

In the early hours on Sunday the 25th of April 1915 the ANZACs were landed one mile to the north of their intended landing site, a place we will forever remember as ANZAC Cove.  
By 2:00pm it had become clear that the plan had failed, and within 24 hours the invasion had become a siege which would last eight and a half long months. 

History’s ledger would ultimately record the 60,000 Australians who served, the 8,709 Australians killed and 19,441 wounded on the beaches and impossible cliffs of Gallipoli. 
To put this in context during the entire Iraqi conflict, only one Australian soldier died. 
An unimaginable sacrifice for many amongst us today.  
So we strive to remember, to remember, not mere numbers on a page, but what those lives meant.

I was taught at a young age that what we call history is simply the sum experience of individual lives.  
But commemorating events, battles, both glorious victories and tragic defeats – rather than the human tragedy or triumph lived within these - is to diminish their meaning. 

Although one hundred years on from World War One, the stories and the accounts, of bloodshed and sacrifice, can seem distant, we can still find within the ghosts of the past shared emotions, a common spirit. 
For the enduring memory of ANZAC is that these Australians from the past, share with us, names that we would recognise, and homes that we would live in today. 
For each had a family, and felt love equal to the love we feel for our own.  
For each ‘number’, each soldier that number represents, had parents who experienced both worry and fear, and who too often had to mourn the tragic passing of their child before their time. 

Throughout the accounts of the battles, their acts appear superhuman, yet none of these young men or women would have thought themselves exceptional.  Bravery beyond our comprehension that may even have felt to them commonplace. Teachers and clerks, engineers and accountants, some were immigrants, while others were first Australians.  
Those who we commemorate today were not strangers, but friends.  
Friends who through their sacrifice, gave us the great and lasting gift of a common identity.  

Forged in the midst of battle, in voices rich with Australian accents, we built a reputation as tough and dogged fighters, as larrikins and jokers, always prepared to have a laugh, but steely eyed in our determination. 
We built our reputation for mateship; based on shared and individual responsibility.  
Above all, we stood up for the first time and said with a loud voice: we are unique in our identity, and we are here, as Australians. 

So, as we pause today to honour the fallen, and commemorate those who gave service to our nation, we remember the enduring bond that binds all of us here together.  
Courage in the face of adversity, humility in the face of defeat. 
A conviction that our shared values, our way of life, are worth fighting for, with bravery and inconceivable sacrifice.  

Today, built upon this legacy, we are a tolerant nation, confident and comfortable with our identity, with the capacity to meet any challenge we encounter.
We are a cornerstone of the greatest and most successful peaceful regime in human history.  

Since World War Two, along with our allies, we have been part of an empire that has sought to bring security and peace to the world, instead of seeking expansion. Not since the Roman Empire, has there been such peace in our time. 
We still fight, but in a global context of international law.  
We fight for the rights of the weak and the powerless, as much as we fight for the rights of the powerful.  
That’s what we celebrate today.  
We celebrate the fact that there are people in this country, people in this place, who are willing to fight to keep the flame of liberty and humanity alive.  
Australians willing to serve, to put their lives on the line.  
Their generosity is completely irrational, but we do it again and again and again.

The world is littered with the tombstones of fallen Australians who fought for our ideals. 
So for all those who gave their lives in the service of our country, be it at ANZAC, be it during the Second World War, or be it today, we thank you.  
We learn from you, we live for your sacrifice, and we remember. 

Lest we forget. 

Anzac Day 2017 Avalon Beach RSL March and Commemorative Service photo album by Pittwater Online News available for participants to download images for their own Family Albums HERE - some of these run below
Photographs by Sandra May, Julie Hegarty, Sally Mayman, Rebecca Fitzgerald and Alison Guesdon, 2017.